In a piece for The Guardian, writer Sid Lowe enlightens readers about Tito Vilanova, FC Barcelona’s manager from July 1 onwards and Pep Guardiola’s assistant for five years. Lowe says that while Guardiola’s departure left the club’s supporters, directors and players sulking, the announcement that Vilanova will take charge has made everyone feel reassured that the future is in safe hands. Read excerpts from the piece, which covers Vilanova’s career so far as well as quotes from Barca players about their opinions of him, after the jump. The full piece can be read here.
“Under Guardiola, Vilanova’s role has been fundamental. Sergio Busquets described him as “like the manager but calmer”; Andrés Iniesta says he is “like a book, he teaches you so much”; and Puyol described him as “discreet and hard-working”. Guardiola dedicated the coach of the year award he received at the Fifa gala this year to him, delivering part of his speech in Catalan to the friend who had undergone a procedure to remove a tumour from his mouth. The sense of optimism at his appointment on Friday was enhanced by the simple fact that Vilanova has made a full recovery.
Barcelona had turned a crisis into a succession. “Guardiola was Shankly,” one Catalan journalist noted, “let’s hope Tito is Paisley.” Guardiola would not continue but his philosophy would. Vilanova has been an even more bullish advocate of the Barcelona approach. “For us, winning alone is not enough,” he told El País’s Lu Martín in 2009, “we have an ideal of youth team players and attacking football, as Barcelona’s culture demands.”
Source: The Guardian; Image credit: FCB Archive