Luis Enrique must choose his next destination wisely for his managerial career. . .
Following FC Barcelona’s 6-1 victory against Sporting Gijon on 1st March, manager Luis Enrique announced he was to leave the club this summer once his contract expires. It may not have come as a surprise to some; however, many at the club wanted him to stay which makes this a hard pill to swallow.
Enrique was very successful during his first two years at the club, winning 7 trophies and completing the sacred treble in his first season-in-charge. The first recorded treble (winning the league, European cup and domestic cup in the same season) by a European club was Celtic during the 1966/67 season.
Only six other European clubs have completed a treble; Ajax, PSV, Manchester United, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich. This made Barcelona the only club to have completed a treble twice.
Luis Enrique has only ever enjoyed an extended period managing while at Barcelona. His 3 seasons at Barca B and 3 seasons with the senior team are the longest he has spent as manager of a club. His other managerial exploits came at AS Roma and Celta Vigo where he spent a season each.
Despite all the success he has had, he found the job came with a lot of pressure and that pressure got to him. While this gives FC Barcelona the worry of finding a new man to manage them next year, we are going to explore the possible destinations for Luis Enrique once his journey at Barcelona ends.
With all the rumours of Allegri being set to join Arsenal in the summer, if Wenger decide to end his stay at Arsenal, Enrique would be another candidate to replace him. Arsenal have shown that they are willing to stay committed to their manager for long periods and therefore the pressure he experienced at Barcelona would not be the same at Arsenal.
However, the pressure of being a manager in England and all the media baggage that comes along with it may deter him from choosing Arsenal as his next destination.
2. Sporting Gijon
Luis Enrique was born in Gijon, trained at their academy and played two seasons with the first team of Sporting Gijon. Gijon is struggling this season and has just recently hired a new manager. However, if they are able to stay up in La Liga this season, it may be something for Enrique to consider.
After all, he did take Celta Vigo from 17th to 9th in La Liga during his one season in charge. If there is someone who could do it, it would be Luis Enrique.
Luis Enrique during his days at Sporting Gijon
The Italian club has seen wholesome changes in the last few years and another such change can see to-retire Barcelona manager Luis Enrique come to the Blue and Whites. The club is on the lookout of a high-profile coach and the name of Diego Simeone has been attached to them even before the Argentine’s end of tenure at Atletico Madrid.
If in case they do not get Simeone, Enrique can be a real strong consideration as the manager has experience at the highest level, has won everything there’s to be won in Spanish club football and is known to be tactically aware.
The MLS is not a bad idea if Enrique wants to continue managing but does not want the spotlight and the pressures that come with being at a top European club. If we look at Patrick Viera, he seems to be enjoying his time there and he can hone his managerial skills until he is ready for the big leagues. Enrique can similarly continue to ply his trade and stay sharp for when he is ready to return.
5. Chinese Super League
Who doesn’t feel the aura of the Chinese Super League? Managers such as Sven Goran Eriksson, Marcelo Lippi, Gus Poyet, Andre Villas Boas and others have gone to China to manage. Recently Enrique was found defending players who chose to move to China to play.
He compared it with anyone in any profession who looks for a pay-rise. With the CSL about to start, maybe come June there will be a team keen to take Enrique on as manager, with a big pay-day one would imagine.