Questions remain for Barcelona

Barcelona begin the defence of their La Liga crown on Sunday amid doubts over the strength of their backline, Neymar’s adaptation to European football and how new coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino will perform.

Argentine Martino was a surprise choice to replace Tito Vilanova, after Pep Guardiola’s former assistant suddenly announced he was to step down due to ill health just before the start of the pre-season a litle over three weeks ago.
The 50-year-old moved from Lionel Messi’s former club Newell’s Old Boys to his first European post as a disciple of the club’s possession-based style of football.
Although relatively unknown in Spain, his low-key approach appears to have won over the senior figures in the dressing room.
“He is a leader, capable, well-prepared and experienced,” midfielder Xavi told newspaper Sport this week. “He has very clear ideas and is very precise in what he wants.”
Martino takes charge of a settled and experienced side who equalled the league record points haul of 100 to win the title last season, their fourth in five years, and little has changed in terms of personnel.
Striker David Villa has left for Atletico Madrid and midfielder Thiago Alcantara for Bayern Munich, but the 57 million euro ($75.45 million) capture of young Brazil forward Neymar promises plenty of excitement up front.

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