Ernesto Valverde earns relatively high mark despite narrow Levante loss: coaching rating
We rate Ernesto Valverde's decisions in Barca lost their first match in the Copa del Rey 2018/19 with Messi and Co watching the game at home.
Blaugrana lost the first leg of the Copa del Rey round of 16 tie 2-1. The second leg will be played at the Camp Nou on January 17. Barcelona need to win 1-0 or with a two-goal difference in order to advance to the next round.
Ernesto Valverde has decided to give rest to five first-team players against Levante while Jeison Murillo, Juan Miranda, Jasper Cillessen, Chumi, Carles Alena and Malcom were among the starters at the Ciutat de Valencia.
And we believe that the Blaugrana boss deserves a rather high rating for his bold decisions and in-game management: 6 out of 10.
All things considered, this is by no means a bad result for Barcelona with chances to advance to the next round quite high.
In fact, Valverde managed to complete several important tasks at a relatively low cost. First of all, he rested several important players, giving La Masia talents a chance to prove themselves at the higher level. Secondly, he gave a debut to Murillo allowing the Colombian to further develop an understanding with his new teammates.
At last, his in-game management was also on point with timely substitutions of Miranda and Chumi and introduction of Denis Suarez, who eventually changed the game.
The only thing that comes into question is Valverde's seemingly futile attempts to find a suitable role for Coutinho. The Brazilian's position on the field in the game against Levante was quite ambiguous as he was operating all over the left side of the pitch. But with the player's confidence levels hitting an all-time low the blame for his underwhelming performances couldn't be put exclusively on the coach.
How would you rate Valverde in Levante clash?