Luis Enrique on the rocks at Barcelonaby Jack Kitson / 07 January 2015, 08:46Tweet
Luis Enrique's job at Barcelona is under-threat following a chaotic start to the New Year during which Sporting Director Andoni Zubizarreta (sacked) and former skipper Carles Puyol (resigned) have left the European giants. The Catalan club began 2015 on a sour note after learning that their appeal on FIFA's ban on them signing players for the next year had been rejected. Back on the pitch the shock 1-0 defeat to David Moyes' Real Sociedad certainly didn't improve the mood, while the subsequent sudden departures of two club legends has whirled the club's problems into a full-blown crisis.
Inevitably the future of Enrique has been propelled into the spotlight, with numerous reports speculating that the Spanish Coach now has only two games to save his job: Thursday's Copa del Rey match at Elche, then Sunday's titanic clash with defending La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, with whom they failed to beat in six meetings last season (L1 D5). Anything other than two triumphs could have severe consequences for Enrique, with the likes of Ronald Koeman, Frank de Boer and Jurgen Klopp waiting in the wings in the Next Barcelona Manager Market.
Consistency and familiarity have become a major problem of Enrique's time in charge. Since his appointment in the summer the 44-year-old has yet to name an unchanged team, while he has been heavily criticised for leaving out EUR300m worth of talent on the bench last weekend, including the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Ivan Rakitic. Reports are also rife that the former Barca player has had spats with each of those players, which is a cause for huge concern at such a pivotal stage in the season.