El Centrocampista

Tito Vilanova: Dani Alves is staying and Barca want a defender and left-back

Tito Vilanova was officially unveiled as new coach of FC Barcelona today at the Camp Nou, signing a two year deal, with Jordi Roura taking over the role as second coach.

The former number-two held his first press conference as Barça coach shortly after, with President Sandro Rosell praising his “human values of La Masia” and the “footballing ideals” of FC Barcelona that he represents. Rosell also confirmed that Vilanova was ‘as strong as a tree’ (in reference to his health scare), and that he ‘could see in Tito’s eyes’ how much being coach of FC Barcelona meant to him.

For his part, the new coach spoke openly and with authority. He mentioned that though many of his players have won everything, they all want to continue to do so. He also thanked Pep Guardiola, saying that it had been ‘five years of dreams’.

When asked if he felt Barcelona could better the last four years, Vilanova was cautious, saying it would be ‘very difficult’, but that as always they would ‘intend to win every game’. Vilanova also dispelled rumours that his relationship with Guardiola had strained in recent months, saying that they had a ‘perfect’ relationship, that they ‘get on very well’, and joking that ‘there isn’t a marriage in the world that’s better than my relationship with Pep’.

Indeed, with that response and the one that followed, Vilanova showed a new, fiery side to his personality that suggests he’ll be able to hold his own in the press room. When asked about why he left FC Barcelona after his spell as youth-team coach, Vilanova was short, saying that he ‘didn’t want to talk about things from ten years ago’.

Vilanova also revealed that during Guardiola’s era most decisions were shared between the two, and that Guardiola would then ‘communicate them’. The new coach dispelled rumours that he had already spoken with Barcelona’s captains, saying that it wasn’t his job until he started as manager. He also said he ‘doesn’t demand anything from the fans’ and expects ‘they’ll be patient’.

Regarding any additions and absences from his squad next season, Vilanova was adamant that ‘Dani Alves will stay, and there’s no possibility of him leaving’. He also said that Seydou Keita would stay if he so wished. Responding to questions over possible signings, Vilanova said that Barcelona were looking for a central defender and a left-back, with no further additions planned. He also commented on which players would be promoted from the second team, stating that there was nothing definitive at this moment.

Finally, in a moment that may point towards what can be expected from Vilanova as a coach, he mentioned that ‘most things would be the same as before’ regarding press conferences, when the team travels and the ‘methodology’ in place. Vilanova ended on a confident note, saying he was ‘very calm’ and with some irony that, in reference to overcoming his health problems, ‘it’ll be a challenge, but given what I’ve came through lately, being Barca coach is child’s play’.

One Comment

  1. FCB1899

    16 June, 2012 at 12:03

    I don’t expect too much to change at Barça under Tito – it is no surprise that the club may look for defensive replacements.

    What will be interesting to see is how the new coach will conduct himself now he has stepped out of the shadows. It is totally unrealistic to expect him to be as successful as Guardiola, however the club management are no mugs and must feel Tito is the best man for the job.

    I look forward to the new season and wish Tito all the best.

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