Tito Vilanova begins Barca mission
Tito Vilanova is not worried about being compared to Pep Guardiola after being officially presented as the new Barcelona coach yesterday, although he admits it will be tough to match what his record-breaking predecessor achieved.
Vilanova has signed a two-year contract that ties him to the Catalan giants until 30 June, 2014 and he now begins the daunting task of replacing the hugely successful and popular Guardiola.
In just four years in charge Guardiola led Barca to an unprecedented period of dominance with 14 trophies, including three Primera Division crowns, two Champions League titles and two Copa del Reys.
The 42-year-old Vilanova, who as Guardiola’s assistant played a big part in those triumphs, knows comparisons between himself and his former colleague are inevitable as he embarks on his first post as a first-team coach, but he is not letting that bother him.
“I’m not scared of there being comparisons between his Barca and mine. I’m going to lose all of those comparisons, I know that. But I’ve not come here to be compared to him, I’ve come here to do my job,” Vilanova said.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have won all those titles in four years. We’re going to have the opportunity to repeat that, but it’s going to be very difficult.”
In appointing Vilanova rather than looking outside the club for a new coach, Barca are aiming to remain faithful to the style of play that has served them so well in recent years.
Vilanova said: “Pep and I worked closely together and we made many of the decisions together. Therefore, I’m not now going to try and change just to differentiate myself.”
Barca looked a little thin in attack at stages last season with David Villa, Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez all being sidelined for varying periods through injury, but Vilanova said the club’s main focus was the defence.
“We want a left-back and a centre-back. Up front we don’t expect to bring in anybody else,” he said.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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