Sean Dyche Takes Over Barcelona On Football Manager
Posted by John Smith | Published on March 28, 2017
Football can be a strange game and there have been some very weird managerial appointments to support this, the inexperienced Avram Grant was chosen as the successor to José Mourinho, virtual unknowns Arsène Wenger and Christian Gross were appointed at North London’s finest clubs, and the unqualified Les Reed was given the keys to Charlton Atheltic before facing the sack six weeks later.
Albeit all of these appointments have been very unusual to say the least, we decided to take this one step further. We asked and you delivered. Imagine the scenes if current Burnley manager Sean Dyche was given the chance to manage FC Barcelona. Let’s take a look:
2016/17 La Liga Season:
Inheriting Luis Enrique’s quadruple winners of 2015/16, all eyes were on Kettering’s finest to see if he could deliver on the big stage for Barcelona, and he certainly didn’t disappoint the Culés. In the transfer window, little activity occurred with no new faces arriving to the Camp Nou. In regards to departing the club, there was once again little activity from the English manager with the only absentees being Barcelona B players Borja Lopez and Wilfrid Kaptoum.
Albeit unable to as much success as Enrique did in the season prior, Dyche was still able to deliver an illustrious treble in his first season in charge. However, the same amount of success can’t be said in the Champions League, with the Spanish giants going out embarrassingly in the last-16 to Portuguese side SL Benfica, 1-4 on aggregate.
Back at Turf Moor, the Claret & Blues finished in their highest league position since the 1973/74 season, finishing at a surprisingly high 9th place. Roberto Di Matteo was given the duty of succeeding the former manager. It seems as if Dyche’s move to Barcelona was the best move for both parties.
In regards to Dyche’s tactics, he would typically utilise an attacking 4-4-2 formation across his tenure at FC Barcelona, creating a formidable partnership between Luis Suarez and Neymar in attack whilst Lionel Messi and an Arda Turan occupied the flanks. Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic would typically occupy the centre of midfield whilst the defence would alternate with varying partnerships.
(Following displays Dyche’s team selection in the Copa Del Rey final, there were many absentees due to injuries and/or suspension).
2017/18 La Liga Season:
In his second season in charge of FC Barcelona, Dyche was once again able to silence the critics who doubted his side and brought more success to the Camp Nou. In the La Liga, Barcelona were two points shy of setting a new points total record, nearly beating Real Madrid’s 100 point tally in the 2011/12 season along with their very own record set at 100 the season following. The English manager was successfully able to win back-to-back league titles that was also 14 points clear of rivals Real Madrid.
However, in other competitions, the former Burnley boss wasn’t as successful as the season prior. Although clinching another Supercopa de España, Barcelona were unable to defend their Copa Del Rey trophy as they were knocked out by eventual winners Atletico Madrid and also failed to win a 6th Champions League trophy, losing in the final to José Mourinho’s Manchester United side 2-0.
In the transfer market, Dyche made his first signing since being appointed as manager by bringing Villareal right-back Mario to the club. Another noteworthy arrival came in the name of versatile forward Vitolo from Sevilla for a fee in the region of £30 million. Just like the season prior, there were once again no noteworthy departures with a majority being Barcelona B youngsters.
2018/19 La Liga Season:
In his third season at the club, the English manager put his doubters to shame by bringing a third successive La Liga title to the Camp Nou (overall their 5th consecutive title). Across the season, Dyche’s Barcelona were able to outperform from the season prior by a single point as they too matched the record for point total across a single season in Spain.
Away from league competition, the former Burnley manager experienced his worst feat yet since taking realm of the Catalan giants. The Madrid clubs were certainly doing better away from the league, as fierce rivals Real Madrid knocked Barca out of both the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey whilst Atletico Madrid clinched the Supercopa de España.
In the transfer market, Dyche made some of his most impactful signings, bringing in solid defender Kostas Manolas from AS Roma for a fee around £31 million along with exciting midfielder Karol Linetty for a total of £23 million. In regards to leaving the Spanish giants, Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta departed the club following the expiration of his contract whilst Sergi Roberto was sold to Manchester United for a total amount of £37.5 million.
2019/20 La Liga Season:
After three years of success at the Camp Nou, Dyche succumbed to pressure and experienced his worst season at Barça since departing the north of England for Catalan’s finest club. Albeit achieving a promising 87 points in the La Liga season, it wasn’t enough to win a 6th successive title as Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side pipped Barcelona to the title by two points.
However, the Cules were able to celebrate minor success as they saw their side beat fierce rivals Real Madrid 3-0 to clinch the Supercopa de España, the third of Dyche’s Barcelona career. Nonetheless, Barcelona were unsuccessful in their attempt of winning a major competition, going out to Atletico Madrid in the Copa Del Rey semi-final, and, Liverpool in the last-16 of the Champions League, respectively.
The transfer window was the most interesting it has been for Dyche since replacing Luis Enrique as manager of Barcelona. In a bid to strengthen the overall XI, just under £80 million was splashed out on top players like Mitchell Weiser and Ricardo Rodriguez, whilst notable players like Aleix Vidal and Denis Suarez left the Camp Nou.
2020/21 La Liga Season:
In his final season on the save, Sean Dyche was once again able to finish off in style by winning his 4th La Liga title in 5 years at Barcelona. Regardless of the increasing age of his players, the famous trio of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar once again played a crucial part in bringing home the La Liga title for Sean Dyche. Atletico Madrid were especially close to destroying Dyche’s dreams, though, as they were only two points short of clinching their 2nd league title in three years.
Outside of league competition, there was no Supercopa de España to be contested for considering Barcelona’s failings in the season prior. In addition to this, major competitions including the Champions League and Copa Del Rey were once again unpromising as Barcelona were knocked out of each competition in the semi-final to Manchester City and Atletico Madrid respectively.
In his final transfer window, there were no major transfers arriving or departing the club with Dyche having a small -£21.25m net spend for his final season in charge. The most notable transfer came from the arrival of prolific forward Balde Keita for a total of £24 million, replacing the near-retiring striker Luis Suarez.