BARCELONA

Luis Enrique loses patience with the Barça players

Reports from Cataluña suggest the Barcelona manager tore into his players during the half-time break on Saturday. "It looks like you don’t want to win LaLiga".

Portada del Diario Sport del 2 de mayo de 2016.
Jose Manuel Vidal EFE

From Gerard Piqué’s stylish barnet to Andrés Iniesta’s tightly cropped crew cut, there wasn’t a droplet of moisture to be found atop the Barcelona players’ heads at half-time in the Benito Villamarín’s away dressing room on Saturday night after Luis Enrique was through with his spittle-infused hairdryer rant.

According to the Catalan publication Sport, the Asturian coach tore into his squad at the break following Barça’s lackluster first-half showing against a ten man Real Betis side. “Do you want to win the league or not? It looks like you don’t. There’s no speed, no intensity, nothing. It’s as if you had nothing to play for. Pull your socks up or you’re going to throw the title away. You’ll only have yourselves to blame”.

This is the second incident in a short space of time that highlights the tension that exists between the team’s technical staff and players. A couple of weeks ago, after losing at Anoeta, Mundo Deportivo published a story about how the azulgranas’ sacred cows were upset with the manager over the starting line-up he selected to face Real Sociedad. On this occasion however it was ex-Celta coach who lost his temper, and in fairness, his tough-love approach seemed to work as los culés went on to finish out 0-2 winners against the verdiblancos and hold onto first place.

Mundo Deportivo has also reported that winter-transfer target Nolito has reached an unwritten agreement with AC Milan to join the Serie A giants in the summer, a transfer that is likely to infuriate the Barça boss. Luis Enrique’s request to sign the Celta forward, so as to have another attacking option to avail of, was turned down by the club and with the Rossoneri expressing an interest in the 29-year-old it’s now unlikely the MSN will be redubbed the MSNN anytime soon.