Does Luis Enrique have the tools to be a success at Barcelona?

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When Luis Enrique took the reins at Barcelona over the summer, it's fair to say that the club's fan base was fairly evenly split as to whether the appointment was the right one or not.

A sound knowledge of the politics and inner workings of the institution was tempered by his management record at senior level.

His tenures at both AS Roma and Celta Vigo, both lasting just twelve months, were unspectacular and it's perhaps the experience at the former that plays most on the mind of Barca's demanding band of supporters.

There was a very real sense in Italy that Enrique struggled to get the best out of his highest profile stars. That his style (or Barca's style if you prefer) just didn't work in the much more defensive Italian league.

His departure became inevitable once Roma had finished a place lower than the previous Serie A season.

Celta Vigo were renowned for playing a more attractive style of football with Enrique in situ, but the question still lingered: Was that enough for Barca?

Two games into the 2014/15 La Liga season and a lot of the initial worries have been dispelled.

Clear Ideas

Enrique has been clear in his ideas and instrumental in their application on the training ground.

There is clear evidence that the playing staff are already buying into the project. Sessions are sharp, intense and interesting.

"Train as you play" is a mantra that Pep Guardiola lived by, and it appears Enrique is cut from the same cloth.

Where Enrique is also winning, is because of the aformentioned knowledge of the club per se. That and a fabulous grounding as coach of Barca B.

Barca B

Let's not forget that whilst Pep's vintage were taking all before them in La Liga, Lucho was restoring the reserve side to the league below (Segunda) for the first time in a decade, and then guiding them to their highest ever finish.

So high in fact, that if the rules in Spanish football were different we might have seen Barca B in La Liga!

Many of the players from that youth squad now pepper the first team picture. Marc Bartra, Martin Montoya, Sergi Roberto et al. Advantageous for the new man in charge.

So, unlike his time in Italy, certain squad relationships already endear him to the playing staff which in turn allows him to impose his ideas a little more easily.

Motivator Supreme

His motivational skills have never been in question with stalwart Xavi Hernandez just one to eulogise on the subject via

"He spoke very clearly to me and made it clear that I was starting anew, just like everyone else and that I had to show what I could do in training, just like the rest of the squad.

I like to feel that way. I know him from way back and I have a good relationship with him. I am starting again, feeling strong and excited."

The acid test of his managerial skill set will come at the end of October, against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, and then, one would assume, in the latter stages of the Champions League.

Marriage Made in Heaven?

The playground of Europe's elite is essentially where the Catalans position themselves, and being thrown off of the merry-go-round at the first time of asking won't please the masses.

Will his relative lack of experience come back to haunt him, or will being back in the bosom of the club he served so well as a player and captain be a marriage made in heaven?

Time will tell.

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