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Posted by Francesc Tomas on 05/27/2012

Pep Guardiola walked away from Barcelona. While I am obviously sad to see him leave, the Camp Nou will continue to stand strong without him. Many greats have left in the past, many greats will leave in the future.

The show must and will go on.

Since Guardiola announced his departure, I have heard a variety of rivals and so-called football experts arguing Barcelona's winning cycle is over. For me, it is clear those who doubt don't understand how our Blaugrana club works behind the scenes: Barça is much bigger than one person, whatever their name is.

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Gracies Pep

Pep Guardiola took Barcelona to new heights in terms of sporting excellence while achieving worldwide recognition for our traditional attacking philosophy. Our legendary manager collected a tremendous fourteen trophies in just 4 seasons in charge, making him the most successful coach in our history. The way Pep Guardiola carried our team on and off the pitch gained respect from football fans not only in Catalunya, but around the world.

But his time at Barcelona is over now for many reasons.

Gerard Pique explained this week: 'Pep knew deep inside that it was time for him to leave, and he will now feel a bit of nostalgia after leaving the club. I hope he will return someday'

And there, in a nutshell, is an interesting point which will damage our club's future if we are not careful: The assumption Guardiola is leaving so that he can come back is false and dangerous at the same time. Sandro Rosell announced Tito Vilanova would be in charge of the team next season and, from that very moment, all the power in terms of new signings, squad management and tactical variations lies on his hands.

Don't be fooled: Guardiola will not be there when ugly decisions are taken in the near future. Guardiola will not answer to Mourinho's continuous attacks any longer. Guardiola has chosen to stop being part of Barcelona and, as a result, he will have no say about our future from now on.

In football, the most important match in the next one. Looking back at what Barcelona has achieved in the past will not help us move forward. Therefore, hoping Pep Guardiola may come back some day as if he was the one and only saviour is pointless.

All I can say is: Gracies Pep, thanks for the memories and all the best for the future.

Tito Vilanova is in charge from now on.

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Barcelona Have The Quality To Continue To Be Successful

As the clear 3-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final showed, the current Barcelona has reached a point of footballing maturity and excellence which makes this team stand out from the rest.

The mistake would be to assume that everything such dominance is entirely down to Pep Guardiola. Sure, the Catalan Master has played a key role to lead the team forward but he would have achieved nothing without the contributions of many others.

Both Barcelona presidents during Guardiola's time gave him everything he asked for. Laporta appointed Pep as manager despite being totally unproven at professional level, then signed Dani Alves, Keita, Pique, Hleb, Caceres, Henrique and Pinto (2008/09), Ibrahimovic, Maxwell, Keirrison and Chygrinski (2009/10) and David Villa (days before leaving his presidency, May 2010). Since Rosell took over, Barcelona have signed Mascherano, Adriano, Afellay (2010/11), Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez (2011/12) - While some of those players have flopped dramatically, it can't be denied the club has strengthened our squad by investing heavily during the Pep years.

Perhaps more importantly, Guardiola was also allowed to drop Ronaldinho, Deco, Eto'o and Ibrahimovic during his time in charge . The Barcelona board always prioritized Pep's opinion above any player which, as we know, is a rarity in top European football - Simply look at Villas-Boas at Chelsea or Luis Enrique at Roma.

The Barcelona squad doesn't need any major changes. Our four captains (Puyol, Xavi, Valdes and Iniesta) are going nowhere. Their roles within the changing room will be crucial next season, as they need to ensure players pull together to support Tito Vilanova in his new role as main coach. Other experienced players (Pique, Pedro, Busquets, Cesc, Mascherano) will carry the classic Barcelona concepts into the future under our new manager's influence.

Plus, we seem to have a little magician called Lionel Messi who certainly knows how to perform at the highest level. What a luxury.

The Barcelona fans are fully aware that change is inevitable over the years. On that basis, the immense majority of Cules are pleased that our successful footballing model will stay the same: Tito Vilanova belongs to the Cruyff, Rijkaard, Guardiola traditional Barcelona school of thought. The formation or internal mechanisms may evolve with the times, but the essence behind it all remains.

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What We Learned

Pep Guardiola's departure closes the most successful era in Barcelona history but I strongly believe our club will continue to be stronger for years to come if those who are now in charge work together.

Barcelona have lost a charismatic leader in Guardiola but Tito Vilanova's appointment ensures the model can continue.

The current squad only needs minor changes to stay competitive.

Cule fans have reached a degree of maturity and togetherness which is previously unseen at the Camp Nou.

Overcoming tough challenges has been a constant in Barcelona's history. We have done it before. Together, we can do it again.

I can't wait for our next season to start.

Bring it on!

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Have Your Say 

What did you think of this article?

Do you think Barcelona has a bright future ahead without Guardiola?

Can Tito Vilanova earn the respect of the players and take those tricky decisions?

How do you feel ahead of the summer transfer window?

Did I miss out on any important points you would like to share with us?

I welcome and appreciate all respectful feedback.

Força Barça!!

Posted by: Francesc Tomàs

Founder and Columnist at www.barcablog.com

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Comments

Posted by zara santa on 05/27/2012

my ronaldinho the great is one of biggest players of barselona remember him ever .

Posted by sanusi Adamu on 05/27/2012

Certainly Barca did not start with pep and will not end with pep.Tito was his assisstant & now the manager.The players love him &he loves the traditional Barca style.we should give him all the neccessary support.He deserve & earn it. We will suprise those who think the end of Barca dominance is over.

Posted by Fadipe opeyemi on 05/27/2012

I can see a brighter future ahead of barcelonia despite the exit of pep guardiola. Goodluck & success to tito.

Posted by Shollz on 05/27/2012

This is a very beautiful article. For Vilanova to succeed he has to continue the philosophy but bring in some personal creativeness into d team. He musnt do just what Pep did. He needs full support of d board n players. Finally, some games r so difficult(parking d bus) in front of goal kind of games. And so we need good central forwards who possess great physical strength in d likes of Falcao,Cavanni,Dzeko or Llorente to make our attack more potent and dangerous. A good central defender and a left back are also essential. With d core of d team, we'll continue to match up to our standardsn rule Europe.

Posted by ABUBAKAR DANYARO YAKASAI on 05/27/2012

Barcelona 4life.

Posted by Paul Santos on 05/27/2012

I don't know if Barca can win, like before. the problem is Madrid and Mourinho. He's a fabulous tactical master and he knows all Barca weak points.
We shall wait and see!!!

Posted by Scott Wolf on 05/28/2012

Great piece.

I have an issue with the way Guardiola left,though.He clearly wanted to pursue other opportunities in Europe.Why not just say that?This nonsense of "recharging' his battery/taking a sabbatical" seems to be specious.I don't care about 14 titles.If he shows up at another club next year,I will root for his unmitigated failure.I also don't believe he was burnt out;I believe there were serious issues between he and Rosell.

2013 needs:

Villa and Pedro need to stay healthy and score goals again.Villa was obviously hurt,but aside from the last few games with nothing to play for,Pedro was awful this year.This has to change.

Puyol is not healthy,and Pique was erratic this year.We have serious issues in our back line that must be addressed.

We need to better adapt our flowing football to teams like Chelsea who when they play Barca have no intention of actually participating in the match.Quite frankly,I was embarrassed by the semifinal loss to such a poor opponent.

Posted by Hans Klouwens on 05/28/2012

I doubt whether Tito Vilanova will continue and in fact improve upon the successes of Frank Rijkaard like Pep Guardiola did after his departure. Time will tell though and I wish him the very best in his time in charge.

Posted by Joe on 05/28/2012

Forca Barca. I think Barcelona need Central Defender & Left Back and also The most important things is a central forward. Like Llorente, Falcao or Van Persie.

Posted by de prince Aderemi M.O on 05/28/2012

The future of barca is so bright despite d exit of pep.

Posted by jay p on 05/28/2012

well said little don. The basis is about our philosophy n understanding of times. Change is one aspect of human life and we must embrace whole heartedly, what next on our radar is perfect signings and good tactics. Long live barca, gracias Don Guardiola. May GOD himself bless u. But come back to football cos we will miss u greatly.

Posted by Lance on 05/28/2012

You seem to have learned nothing from this seasons' failures.

Barcelona badly need a world class forward who can score 20-25 goals per season and relying on Messi as the sole goalscorer of the team has proved disastrous. It worked in 2011 with Messi going past 4-5 defenders in Madrid and getting the team to the final, but it was clear at that point that this wouldn't work for the next season and it didn't. You can't have Tello and Cuenca in the starting 11 in the most important matches of the season.

Barca also need a world class defender who can play right back/center back because Puyol is getting old and has fitness issues and because Alves' was sub-par this season. Branislav Ivanovic would be no 1 transfer target if the Barca board had any idea how to move in the transfer market. Unfortunately they don't, and he will probably end up in Madrid.

And we also need an attacking midfielder that can play on all sides since Afellay proved to be a flop. Give Alves to City and get Nasri.

Posted by dancelestine on 05/28/2012

Actually i z really disapointed wit pep,now he is saying he is open 2 any club if he is seduce,y nt juz tell d barca board dat he needs a pay rise dan dis issue of charging my battery.shame if he shud return soon.

Posted by olatunde on 05/28/2012

No one is greater than the club either pep nor any player the key word is unity and the continuity of club philosophy which is the energy that burns and make the club remains competitive.

Posted by kellz on 05/28/2012

Well I believe barca is still the best and with the canibal of players we have we can achieve more than before. Goodluck to Tinto.Still barca 4life

Posted by ARIYO WASIU AYODEJI on 05/28/2012

BARCELONA,A TEAM LIKE KNOW ONE.PEP LEAVE FOR A GOOD REASON,DO RMEMBER A LOT OF GREAT PLAYERS,GREAT COACHES CAME AND THEY ALL LEFT, WE CANT EXPECT HIM TO STAY 4EVER.WAT I TRUELY KNOW IS DAT EVEN IF BARCA DID NOT AV A COACH WE CAN STILL COMPETE TO THE END.PEP NEED REST,WAT HE DID, NO ONE AS EVER DONE IT, IN THE HISTORY OF CATALUYA.PEP IS A GREAT MAN. WE ARE UNSTOPABLE.ALL WAT WE NEED NEXT SEASON IS FOCUS,DETERMINATION AND GOD OF SOCCER TO BE ON OUR SIDE AGAIN.GOD BLESS BARCELONA.THANKS.UP BARCA,4LIFE.

Posted by rose on 05/28/2012

i totally agree with u...i have been saying the same thing..i wonder how they thought or came up with the idea & theory.the core of the barca team are still very young(cesc,pique,sanchez,messi,)then u have the iniesta,alves,maschreno,(who are in their late 20's..wat dis tells us,is they can still perform at a high level 4 some years 2 come..wat they need do is just 2 add some 3 or 4 players 2 the squad,,,besides messi is 24 not 34...bcos madrid won the league doesn't mean,barca is over...even when barca plays badly,madrid still find it difficult 2 deal with them...A TEAM LIKE CHELSEA NEEDS SERIOUS CHANGE BCOS THE CORE OF THE PLAYERS ARE IN THEIR 30'S..ALL they (barcelona) needs 2 do is 2 keep this players motivated,hungry,spirited & willing..they will continue 2 dominate..THEY MAY NOT ALWAYS WIN 6 TROPHIES BUT CAN GUARANTEE A TROPHY A SEASON & THATS THE BEST A CLUB CAN ASK 4.

Posted by Jon Glass on 05/28/2012

For the next season, A good chunk of the players need to spend a lot of time at the beach just to rest up. Despite not having a full team preseason and the players barely getting any rest, a CDR title, Club World Cup title, both supercups, runner up in La Liga and a semi final finish in the Champions League isn't as bad of a finish that people make it out to be.

In terms of personnel changes, Barca just need to deepen their back line and keep the forwards and midfielders healthy. A left back is an absolute must given Abidal's health problems and the fact that Adriano and Puyol aren't real LBs. Barca also just need a cheap CB like Botia or build up Bartra, Muniesta and Fontas (when he gets back healthy). An out an out striker would also be really nice, but isn't a dire emergency. Other players need to step up with the goals instead of Messi scoring 70 goals to carry Barca deep in competitions.

Posted by Paschal on 05/28/2012

Great article.
Tito will no doubt perform very well next season.
My only worry would be for the UEFA champions' league. Barca may need to go back to the system of strong wing play(read Figo and Rivaldo times). In that way we shall be able to overcome teams like Chelsea that tend to pack the bus. A fancy wing player with intelligent dribbles would add a new dimension to the game. thankfully Barca already has players who can play that role very well. It's just the attacking philosophy that should be altered a bit. Good luck to Tito. Forca Barca.

Posted by Lateef on 05/28/2012

Get david luis, alaba n jordi alba for defence. No need for additio in midfield. Get gareth bale to support the messi for transition work in the attack. Release keita, adriano and affelay. And encourage batra, muniesa, montoya, rafina, gerald etc. With this we wil 6 trophies again in a year againg.

Posted by Jose Gonzalez on 05/28/2012

I would like to let everybody to know,a very important point,because it seems,almost has gone unnoticed,that one if not the most relevant issue
in respect to F.C.Barcelona,not achieving titles:La Liga,UEFA Champions Ligue...,has been the cruel plague of injuries that it has suffered all in the just finished season.And I do not want people,to think of this like an excuse.Those injuries have been there,for sure.Here:Villa,out since last December;Alexis Sanchez,out for 2 months;Fabregas out for several weeks,like Pedro,Puyol,Pique,Iniesta,Xavi,even D.Alves,
Adriano.All these players,sometimes in combination with one onother.Apart from the lost
of Abidal for the most crucial part of the season
when the titles were on the line.I just want people to at least recognize,the odds that the
F.C.Bercelona had been fighting all season long.
I am sure,this was 'The' reason,among the reasons.
Hope next season things are more normal.Injuries
are way of life in sports.But so many,no.

Posted by olabossman on 05/28/2012

This barca team will at least still dominate for 10 years no doubt. the earlier they get over the loss of Pep the better for them.

Posted by mfon on 05/28/2012

Barcelona has what it takes to rule the world again and again and again..... Real madrid has to watch out. we have the best players in the world for now and their lousy coach can go and sit down. Nothing for him next season. UpBarca

Posted by fredick puyol on 05/28/2012

4 seasons 14 trophies is so Fantastic i wish him all de best of luck!! Gracies PEP.

Posted by abdul lateef on 05/28/2012

I think d pattern of play has to b a little change by allowing d central defender 2 stay behind especially in a crucia mach as madrid did in second leg of laliga

Posted by andrew kiken on 05/28/2012

Pep has contributed so much to barca as a player, and even more so as a coach. Pep is one of the greatest athletes/coaches to play in the history of all sports. Even if Pep went to a coach another team barca fans should be appreciated of how Pep has advanced a playing style that is almost impossible to duplicate.

Barca may change coaches, but it seems likely that the playing style of short passing, emphasis on possession, and pressure on defense when the ball is lost are going to be Barcelona core goals regardless of who coaches.

Whoever said injuries as a reason that is never an excuse for a top team. It is part of the game in a contact sport players get hurt. Although, he got it wrong losing Abidal was the most difficult loss.

What to do with Pedro is interesting as he can score, but is a player needed who is more complete? With Messi, almost any team with pro players is amongst the best in the world, he is that good.

Posted by Mukarung on 05/29/2012

Spot on! Foundations for further success have been solidly laid. Barca now have a distinct identity. The whole world recognizes the unique FC Barcelona brand of soccer. My only worry is that nobody besides Messi is scoring. Barca need to be more clinical in their finishing. As in 2010, the last season's UCL trophy was a missed opportunity.

Posted by Arijit on 05/29/2012

Yeah why not...buy Bale, Ivanovich, Luiz, Alba who not...actually barca's school failed after the golden generation og xavi iniesta, puyol....
How much money will you spend in the market?Do you have the money? As I remember you had tot ake loan to play for wages....

shame on Barca... play actors of the higest class... if you want any dignity stop doing that.

Posted by langalakhe on 05/29/2012

according to my obsevation real madrid will dominate la liga thorugh the depature of pep, mourinho go to win all game against barca.tito will taketime the reach level of pep may be two season, the weahness of barca the lack of powerful strike and only rerable to messi to score goal, if team close down messi no win, barca need add 3 quality players include powerful strike.from need central defender like thiago silva and macherona in the centre.last see barca total week chelsea derseved that win.technical for barcelona beware mounhino he going to dominate laliga for second time if u are sleeping idon,t tito can manager real madrid but pep do it for several time.

Posted by karen on 05/29/2012

i agree with those saying that baca does not belong to an individual but individuals.legends like ronaldinho, eto among others left and many thot that was it but it even becam more stroger

Posted by Baby G on 05/29/2012

I want everyone to note that FC Barcelona has really done well in the past years not only with the support of Pep Guardiola but with the contribution of so many players including the new head coach Tito and i believe he can go as far as the former coach did because he knows everything about Catalunya and Guardiola's tatics to Football,as a matter of fact i would like to see Tito's and Guardiola's Team in the future playing against each other.Yes,we need to reshuffle our defence line because of Team like Chelsea who park the Bus at the goal and Teams who depend on Counter-Attack to win...Players like Messi,Xavi,Iniesta,Fabregas alongside with Alexis and Thiago can still bring Barca more trophies in the future because they have the charisma and ability to perferm wonders on the pitch..Villa will surely come back fit again so central defence isn't a do or die affair for Barcelona now but the most important is the defence line because most of our defender are ageing and prone to Injuries.

Posted by rabi peroz on 05/29/2012

will this was crystal clear that pep was out standing leader .player and a coach that barca really need it espicialy at this season . but this time this team was no longer lucky as before as i have no doubt in this team competency .espcialy at the skills of messi and xavi .iniesta . others.
but the new coach should be much more competative than pep he should show the world and his rival that barcelona team was good and will remain excellent ..... long life barca ..
cheers...

Posted by Rumon on 05/29/2012

Barcelona will come back by its own philosophy of playing and we hope best is yet to come except Pep in next season. I think Barca should think about its defense and need 1/2 creative striker with Leo and that will be OK for next season to retain liga, CL and many more. Best wishes for Barca....We will be with u forever whatever the achievements lying in future.............

Posted by Rotimi on 05/29/2012

i believe Tito we bring the glory back to barcelona, we are steal in our traditional style of playing....

Posted by Razali on 05/29/2012

Barcelona will do fine. Didn't understand though why they sold Yaya Toure. And Samuel Etoo. But that was years ago.

Moving forward, Barcelona should get Patrice Evra, David Luis, Branislav Ivanovic and a good centerforward, maybe Falcao.

Posted by charls on 05/29/2012

Barca will continue to compite..though care should be taken when judging Tito next season as most of the team are now signing big names so dont expect 100% success to Tito, even Pep would find it very hard next season..we can see how chelse did to barca so they must have plan B game style rather than only possession

Posted by nick on 05/29/2012

Remeber how Pep looked when he started this job compared to now. He lost a lot of hair, got grey hair...he was aging fast and stressed to capacity. Managing Barcelona is NOT easy. Ask Rijkaard. Young man when he started but overworked himself to a point that he looked dehydrated after 4 seasons. Barcelona is a big club and you need a big manager to handle that position

Posted by Mauro Da Costa on 05/29/2012

Hello Francesc,first of all i´d like to congrats u for da ideia,and i think u really need to clarify some people dat doesnt understand about football,i just wanna thanks for it,its clear what else to do??

Posted by comfi on 05/29/2012

I agree but Barca will need to make a few signings this summer to give the team depth. They are occassions along the season where Barca will be playing a lot of important matches for example in April when they had to play two champion league matches against Chelsea and an El classic against ReaL Madrid. The players were brilliant but they lacked the sharpness they normally possess. Unfortunately those matches were to define Barcelona,s season and as a matter of fact Barca lost

Posted by Gabriel Taiwo on 05/30/2012

I think dat it nt ova 4 barca cos great player and coach has come and left and i c no reasn y it shul end nw. A tree dey say can't mak a forest.wat we need is motivation,unity and devision to the team,wit dis we are"UNSTOPPABLE". Barca till i die.

Posted by Pamwe on 05/30/2012

the only players that Barca needs are (David Luis or Tiago Silva; David Alaba) Since Puyol and Xavi are old.
Players like R.Van Persey and Gareth Bale will wast their time in Barca just like T.Henry.

Posted by ahmed. on 05/30/2012

Well I think those madrid fans saying it was the end of barca should keep quite.we were here when Morinho said Copa is something worth the league.now he has the league and he now thinks the league was better.But how many times have we met ever since his arrival at madrid and how many times has he won us.when he won the copa final he over joyed that he will beat barca at the champions league semi final but he could not.so if beaten barcelona ones and won the league,does that means he has know the secret of barca.Well am glad that we will meet in the opening of next season and we shall see who is who.Remember we beat them last year in the opens and we beat them again during the copa semi final.so he really has alot of work to do.Love barca for real.

Posted by steve okeke on 05/31/2012

barcelona will always excel no matter what they think or say,baca forever,,,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by Auwal ismaila tuta leaving in yola nigeria on 05/31/2012

Educationist are saying dying is inevitable un avoidable so'o for guardiola's departure we can say nothing rather we pray for him all the best of luck. And for the new coach lets hope he going to achieved more than what pep has achieved thats all for now up barca,,,,,,,,,,,,up barca,,,,,,,,,,,,

Posted by Bashir ibraheem on 06/01/2012

Great to all barcelona fans.as we all know's that tito vilanova is our assistant coach before and now a manager of a term we don't need to be worried all we need is to support him financially and allowed him to carried out his own talent to enable the club to be successful at the end of a season.let forget about pep let believe that without him the club will be progressive &befor he came the club as been well organize and if he left the club will still be organize.great barcelona fans thank's so much

Posted by Paurakh Joshi on 06/02/2012

Pep - Barca= Continue Wining. The resignation of pep should not be a problem to Barca. For me he never was a manager in Barca, he was a very talented coach who could get the best out of his players.
Tito is just very capable of doing what pep did, because like pep he too is gifted with a world class squad and the best player in the world. But the real credit goes to Rijkaard. He is the one who brought those youngsters like Perdro, Busquets and others. Had he been around I am sure he too will have used the same squad.
Even with pep Messi will continue scoring goals, Replacements for Xavi is found in Fab and other youngsters like tello, Cuenca are coming. So, tito wiil continue the Barca tradition like pep did and Barca will continue being the best team in the world.

Posted by Okunade habib oyo on 06/02/2012

I have no doubt in Tito Villanova cuz i believe he was with Guardiola during his time and they have both worked together for a long time,so, i see no big deal in Guardiola's exit and Tito's takeover.......Up FC Barcelona!!!

Posted by Anamika on 06/17/2012

I watched it too! This week I have been wonirkg with a guy from western spain and needless to say, he was rooting for MU... he was torturing himself with the highlights over hostel breakfast this morning.

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About
Francesc Tomas Hola! I am Francesc Tomas. Barcelona is my passion and home-town team. I consider myself lucky to have regularly attended matches at the Camp Nou since the early 1980s. My cousin played for the Barça youth academy, sharing the team with Don Andres Iniesta, which gave me a clear inside view of how our club works behind the scenes. I am also the founder, editor and columnist at Barcablog.com.

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