Mid-season appointments are by and large only the last resort football clubs have to salvage whatever there is to salvage from their campaign. Or at least they should be. Why? Well, because generally speaking, there is little the new coach can do to immediately rectify the damage that had been inflicted beforehand.
Usually, there is no time to implement new structural and tactical changes, there is no pre-season to test it out and no necessary period of getting to know the players, the hierarchy and the staff. All of that plays a big role in any new coach’s success, Xavi Hernández not being the exception to this rule. However, there is a difference here.
Xavi is not stepping into the unknown; yes, it’s been five years since he’s set foot at the Camp Nou and a lot has changed in that period. Sadly, most of it has changed for the worse. Barcelona are now, for all intents and purposes, a faltering giant struggling to stay afloat. But they are also his home and he knows what ingredients they’re missing to climb back to the top of the mountain.