It’s now official. Barça announced this morning that Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino will be the new first team coach. Jordi Roura will be in charge of the team for tomorrow’s friendly game at Bayern Munich and Martino will take his first training session with the players in Norway on Thursday to prepare for Saturday’s friendly against Valerenga. Martino, who was born in Leo Messi’s hometown of Rosario, will sign a two-year deal before being presented later today. He will become the fourth Argentine manager in Barça’s history after Roque Olsen, Helenio Herrera and César Luis Menotti.
It’s going to be a tough job to take over so close to the beginning of the new season. Fortunately, Tata favours a very similar system to the classic 4-3-3 used at Barça by previous coaches Rijkaard, Guardiola and Vilanova, so hopefully the period of adaptation will be brief and there will be a good understanding between players and coach. Martino is expected to bring in Elvio Paolorroso as his assistant and Jorge Pautasso as part of the physical preparation team. There seems little doubt about the Argentinian’s pedigree for the job, the only concern is his lack of experience in European football.