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5 Ways for Tata Martino to Save His Job at Barcelona

Jason PettigroveContributor IMarch 24, 2014

5 Ways for Tata Martino to Save His Job at Barcelona

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    Tata Martino has been under fire at Barca for a few months now.
    Tata Martino has been under fire at Barca for a few months now.David Ramos/Getty Images

    Poor old Tata Martino. The Barcelona manager can't seem to escape the media pressure surrounding his position.

    Even local Catalan TV station Esport3 noted via their website (Catalan), h/t TheScore, that he would be leaving at the end of the current season.

    Barely a year after his arrival and despite the fact that he has lost just a handful of matches throughout the campaign.

    Such is the pressure to deliver at Camp Nou.

    Let's take a look at five ways in which Tata can prolong his stay in Catalonia.

Embrace Tiki-Taka

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    Perhaps now is the time for Barca to go back to what they do best.
    Perhaps now is the time for Barca to go back to what they do best.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Barcelona are the best exponents of a style we have come to know as "Tiki-taka" in the world of football.

    That being the case, one would have to question why the Blaugrana don't stick to what they know.

    Tata Martino came into the club as an outsider with different ideas, which in many respects was refreshing. 

    Gerard Pique even alluded to it at the start of the season during an interview with Extra Time, a supplement to Gazzetta Dello Sport, h/t Marca.com.

    However, surely the maxim "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies here?

    Regardless of the manager, there is a style of play that is synonymous with Barca. The long-ball game isn't it.

Win the Champions League

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    Winning the Champions League will be difficult but not impossible.
    Winning the Champions League will be difficult but not impossible.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Win the Champions League.

    Easier said than done, but not impossible. Atletico Madrid present the first challenge but they are by no means unbeatable, even though this season's record reads played three, drawn three.

    The Rojiblancos have yet to face a Barcelona with a fully fit Lionel Messi and the Argentine maestro could well prove the difference.

    With virtually every player fit and ready to attack the business end of the season with vigour and renewed energy, why can't Barca go on and win the competition?

    If Tata were to take the team all the way to victory in Lisbon, the club couldn't possibly dispense with his services. 

Stop Tinkering

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    Tata barely has the same starting XI twice in a row.
    Tata barely has the same starting XI twice in a row.Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    You could argue that there are valid reasons for Tata Martino to regularly rotate his team.

    Xavi Hernandez being as fresh now as at the beginning of the season, rather than looking fatigued as he did at the back end of the last campaign, is probably one which springs most readily to mind.

    However, Barcelona were successful under Tito Vilanova, Pep Guardiola and Frank Rijkaard without the constant need to mess about with staffing, particularly in the attacking areas.

    Competition for places is all well and good, and the occasional switch is a professional necessity, but it's regular playing time that breeds confidence and therefore success.

    Not a few minutes here or there. 

    Just ask Marc Bartra.

Retain the Support of the Dressing Room

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    Lionel Messi was happy with Martino's appointment.
    Lionel Messi was happy with Martino's appointment.David Ramos/Getty Images

    Never underestimate the power of the dressing room.

    A squad of players that know their manager better than anyone else inside or outside the club.

    If you have a group of players that want to sweat blood for you, to go the extra mile for you, then you're half way there.

    Of course, players are but employees at the end of the day and will just get on with the job as they must.

    However, the group can make life for a manager extremely difficult if they don't believe he has the credentials.

    Fortunately for Martino, he continues to retain the support of his charges.

    According to AS, h/t Football Espana, Andres Iniesta dismissed the notion the manager doesn't have the full support of the entire squad after the recent loss to Real Sociedad:

    It was a tough defeat, but we’re with him all the way.

    We don’t have any doubts. It has to be kept in mind that he always wants the best for the team.

    At the end of the day, everyone has to take responsibility for [losing to La Real]. When you win and lose, it’s the players who have to go out and play the match.

Restore Confidence Amongst Fans

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    Tata's general demeanour is in marked contrast to the confident Pep Guardiola.
    Tata's general demeanour is in marked contrast to the confident Pep Guardiola.David Ramos/Getty Images

    Perhaps it's just how he is, but Tata doesn't radiate confidence in the same way as Pep Guardiola did.

    In press conferences for example, you're left with the feeling that the manager is like a frightened rabbit in the headlights.

    Hardly smiling, barely engaging the press. A permanent "hangdog" expression lining his features. That's the face of the club that is beamed around the world.

    It's quite possibly the wrong perception of the man, but fans will judge on what they see and read, and Tata's PR in this area just doesn't cut the mustard.

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