Barcelona coach Martino under fire

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 26, 2014 at 10:05 am •  Published: February 26, 2014
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — As if the off-field saga surrounding Neymar's transfer wasn't providing enough of a distraction, now even Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino is being questioned.

Catalan sports daily Sport reports Barcelona is already looking to replace the Argentine coach before next season despite a generally positive start with the Spanish champions, who trail leader Real Madrid by three points.

Barcelona's play has been irregular at times, especially in the 3-1 loss at Real Sociedad on Saturday when Martino's tactics were exposed. His frustration boiled over as he was sent from the touchline and, on Wednesday, he was banned for the upcoming league game against Almeria.

Even Xavi Hernandez had to contain his frustration after being left on the bench against Sociedad, when the team looked as if it could use the captain's direction.

"I'm angry that I couldn't participate and I hate not being on the field of play. But you can never be above the coach," Xavi said on Wednesday.

"Everyone is making the coach to be 100 percent at fault. That's not fair. We're all guilty, in victory or defeat. We all made mistakes."