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BARCELONA | MARTINO

Tata: "There's more debate if you're not Dutch or Catalan"

"I haven't come here to make any changes, and if you want to question our possession, then last year the average was 66% and this year it's 65.8%."

As.com

Gerardo 'Tata' Martino has defended the style of football Barcelona have played since he took the reins of the club in the summer,

The Argentinian coach pointed out that his team have had just 0.2% less possession than under Tito Vilanova, in response to criticism from journalists, and said he was being questioned because he was not a Barcelona man, like Pep or Tito, or Dutch, like Cruyff and Van Gaal.

Strong start to the season: “I would prefer to win the league than make a good start. I'm interested in how the season finishes, not breaking records at this stage of the season, but if we can keep winning then that's no bad thing."

Debates about style: “I don't get annoyed by the debates. Whenever you have a team that has been as successful as this side, these debates will occur, especially when the coach isn't from Catalonia or from Holland. But my main concern is how the players are performing and at the moment the team are solid and the players are happy, so that makes me relaxed."

Possession against Rayo: "The importance of possession depends on the team. For Barcelona possession is vital, but you have to bear in mind the characteristics of the opponnents too and recent games. Last year Barça only had 55% possession against Rayo, which was less than this team is used to."

Change in style: "I haven't come here to make any changes, and if you want to question our possession, then last year the average was 66% and this year it's 65,8%. If because of that 0.2% you want to say we have changed everything, then go ahead. And with regards to us playing long passes, I remember that Rafa Márquez used to play here, so it's not as if the club hasn't seen that before."

Iniesta: "No-one could suggest Andrés isn't a regular starter, of course he is. But because of how intense the summer was, with so many players involved in the Confederations Cup, some players need time before they return to the ideal level of fitness."

Neymar: "The press judge how he has adapted by asking whether he has scored goals or not, but he does a fantastic job in creating chances and recovering the ball. He has adapted very quickly and I'm very happy with what he has done so far. Don't forget that he had a long summer with the Confederations Cup, his hectic transfer to the club and the long trips he has had to make which have prevented him from training properly. We are very satisfied with everything he has offered us."

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