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Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Posted on September 29, 2020 at 09:11 PM.
September 12, 2019: Mercier In High Demand Internationally

Rumors are circulating that Joanne Mercier is attracting a lot of interest from international teams who are in search of a new manager. The FC Barcelona boss is one name that has cropped up time and again in press reports and it looks like she may well be making the jump to international management.

The favourites to lure Mercier onto the international stage are France who are on the look out for a new boss, considering they have philosophical differences with their current manager Didier Deschamps. The French Football Federation are reportedly eager to give the exciting manager her first introduction into the world of international management with the hope that she can impose her successful style of play on the French team. A former French women's national team player herself, this move could help both parties welcome her back into the FFF fold.

A number of other international teams will also be on the hunt for a new manager after recently parting company with their respective managers. One of these is China PR, who are emerging as one of a number of destinations for Mercier. They already made themselves known to be big admirers of the FC Barcelona boss and a move from Chinese Football Association looks likely.

India have been manager-less for some time now and are still looking fo fill their vacancy with a new face, and it looks like Mercier's face might make a good fit. But the All India Football Federation k now that competition for Mercier's signature will be fierce and the offer they make will have to be a good one.

Also in the managerial hunt are Canada who currently look like outsiders for the services of Mercier but the chance to take up such a leftfield role may be one that appeals to the FC Barcelona boss. The Canadian Soccer Association have recently come out in the press that they are in need of a change in direction and that Mercier would fit the bill perfectly.

Lastly a job that might take the eye of Mercier is the hot seat at Venezuela where the potential is there to mold a really useful side with the potential to take her onto bigger and better things. The Venezuelan Football Federation themselves are willing to be used by Mercier as a career stepping stone in a move that could be beneficial for both parties.

September 14, 2019: Mercier, Barcelona Pulls Out All The Stops Before Showdown With Valencia

FC Barcelona manager Joanne Mercier set her expectations high publicly before, now with the winning record she has that to back it up. While Barcelona's excellent run of form in the league has fans excited, the first team will be battle tested against their rival Valencia CF. But as Mercier said about their previous match against Osasuna and the state of Valencia, she said; “The players need focus on their training, not on the opponent's state.”

Barcelona has had a good run so far, putting them in a great position to challenge for the LaLiga Santander title. She has the team to do just that. and with the transfer window closed until January, the boss made her intentions known that she has built the winning team and everybody must be committed.

“We couldn't have hoped for a better start. It's been fantastic so far and I'm hoping the whole squad is going to play a role in carrying this form over the season,” Mercier said. “We've built a winning team. All players must be committed and must understand they have a responsibility to perform to the best of their abilities will get to be a part of it.”

She also congratulated Ousmane Dembčlč on his Player of the Month award for August, continuing his form right from the pre-season. Ever since, Mercier made him an everyday starter until Lionel Messi returns from Injury. Time will tell if Dembčlč will be the heir apparent to Messi once he leaves the club.

September 14, 2019: ter Stegen Own Goal A Non-Issue As Barcelona Wins Late

Marc-Andre ter Stegen made one mistake. An Own Goal. It turned out to be a small problem as Barcelona beat rivals Valencia CF 4-3 on the heels of Paul Pogba's late game winner.

Valencia's Maximiliano Gomez scored two goals on his side, but the scoring power of Anthony Martial, Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba could not be stopped. Griezmann received Man of the Match honors.

Clement Lenglet is continuing his hot run of form, which is impressive. But manager Joanne Mercier downplayed it as if it was just an another day at the office.

“Let's not get carried away as we still have a long road ahead of us,” she said. “He performed well today but it takes a lot of hard work to keep up this momentum until the end of the season.”

It was a very tight match right until the end. Pogba managed to score the winner in the last minutes of the match. “We were clearly the better team, we created chances throughout the game, and we won the match," Mercier said. “Luck had nothing to do with it. We were unlucky for not scoring earlier!”

But beating Valencia, as Mercier says herself, is sweet enough to taste victory. But was she worried that they would close the gap?

“No, not at all. I knew we'd hold our nerve and see it out,” she said. “Beating them is always sweet.”

Barcelona will face off against Dortmund away from home in the first match of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

September 18, 2019: Suarez Brace Helps Secure Barcelona Win In On Mercier's UEFA Champions League Debut

It's the kind of game that FC Barcelona would love to win every now and then. Turns out, they were right. In a tense match, which looked evenly matched on paper, it's Barcelona who were victorious in their latest match in this year's UEFA Champions League by triumphed over a better disappointed Borussia Dortmund, 2-0. Luis Suarez was in superb form for the club, scoring a brace which guided his side to the victory.

“I'm very impressed with the way Suarez played today, it was a world class performance,” says Joanne Mercier.

Antoine Greizmann is on a tear with his current hot run of form. Mercier was satisfied with his performance today and it shows.

“We need Griezmann to keep this good momentum going for as long as possible,” she said. “He did good today but being able to keep this form going is what separates the great from the good.”

Coming into this one, there wasn't much between Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund. But wins matter to the manager, the question is by how much goals can they can take.

Joanne Mercier says, “I always expect a win...the only question is by how much.”

The squad will be back in LaLiga action against Granada.

September 20, 2019: A Grand Homecoming: Mercier Accepts France Top National Team Role

France has found their new football Svengali in Joanne Mercier, who has been announced as this year's national team manager. It serves as a homecoming of sorts for Mercier, who has spent the last 3 years with the women's national team as assistant manager and scout before joining FC Barcelona. The French Football Federation unveiled Mercier as their new boss after she accepted their offer of a new contract.

“It's a great honour,” she says. “Something like this doesn't come along every day.”

The current FC Barcelona manager will be looking to bring success to the biggest stage in football as she goes out to grab some of the biggest prizes in world football. Perhaps the bigger challenge a manager can have laid at her feet is to have the fate of national pride in her hands. Fans around France expressed delight in their new woman and applauded the FFF's decision to go for someone who was seen to have been the people's choice.

When asked about possible squad selections, Mercier was in no hurry to reveal any of her candidates. “This isn't something I plan to rush so don't expect an answer from me anytime soon.”

September 21, 2019: de Jong Scores as Barça Wins Again

Coming off of a UEFA Champions League win and Joanne Mercier's appointment as the new French National Team manager, FC Barcelona wins against Granada 1-0 off an only goal scored by Frenkie de Jong. Clement Lenglet receives Man of the match honours.

With such a tight score, Mercier believed they were the better team, but was amazed that Granada put up such a fight.

“I think we deserved to win based on how we played. We created enough chances, and the score could have been bigger,” said Mercier after the game. “They surprised me, maybe all of us, today. They had plenty of fight in them and made sure we earned it every step of the way.”

Rui Silva shined in goal for the Granada despite the loss. But the FC Barcelona boss was impressed with his performance. “You've got to give credit to Granada for the way they set their stall out. It wasn't easy to outpace them and Silva's performance made it even harder.”

With that win, Barça has won five straight matches. Villareal is up next.

September 25, 2019: Mercier, Barcelona Look To keep the Momentum Going Against Villareal

With five straight wins to their credit, FC Barcelona has the excellent run of form in the league has fans excited for another LaLiga title on their trophy case, the squad will be going to battle against Villareal CF. Joanne Mercier said about their current form and expectations couldn't be any higher.

“We've had a great start, but the season is far from over and there's a long way ahead of us," Mercier said during her press conference. “Anything can happen.”

With a collection of wins to her credit, Barcelona is on a tear with their current form.

“It's a pleasure to manage players in such good form. The way we play, I can see our run continuing,” she added.

As in their previous match against Granada, Barcelona only had a one goal victory. But wins matter to Mercier. The only question however is by how much.

“A win is a win, a goal is a goal. We'll do the same against Villareal CF,” she said.

September 25, 2019: Barcelona Continues The Streak, Beating Villareal 5-0

Arthur, Anthony Martial, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez put up goals on the score-sheet, with Suarez scoring a brace for himself as Barcelona defeats Villareal en route to their sixth consecutive victory. Griezmann received Man of the Match honours.

“The entire team deserves the credit for the victory. It's clear that Suarez stood out today, but Barcelona is a club that always puts the group before the individual,” Joanne Mercier said after the game. “I am so fortunate to be managing such a talented group of players, all credit goes to them.”

Jordi Alba is on a tear with his form so far into the season. He has played in every LaLiga match in the season and has been a vital part of the Barcelona defence.

“Jordi is like a machine, he just keeps this good momentum going for as he can,” she said. “He did good today and I can't argue with that. But being able to keep this form going even after playing six games is incredible.”

Getafe CF is next on their docket.

September 28, 2019: Getafe CF No Match For Barcelona, 3-0

The Streak lives on.

Luis Suarez scored two goals including Man of the Match honours, as well as Antoine Griezmann as Barcelona rolls past Getafe CF 3-0.

“Luis Suarez had a great outing, and he always puts the group first before the individual accomplishments,” Joanne Mercier said after the game. “Rather than put too much emphasis on our next match as I am focused on building long-term success at Barcelona.”

Any advice for Getafe after giving up 3 goals? Mercier says keep trying.

“We at FC Barcelona work hard and this result is just another confirmation of that. I can only suggest they do the same,” she said.

The next time Barcelona steps onto the pitch is against Inter Milan in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
Posted on September 29, 2020 at 12:29 AM.
August 16, 2019: Mercier Bangs Drum Ahead of Opener

FC Barcelona manager Joanne Mercier wasted no time in setting high expectations publicly during her first press conference as manager. While Barcelona's excellent run of form in the pre-season has put fans in a state of constant euphoria since her appointment, the first team has a lot of quality that will impact them ahead of their first competitive match. “We have a lot of quality in this squad, more than I was expecting to be honest. This season's going to be interesting and hopefully a lot of fun,” Mercier said.

Mercier stated that the talent level in Barcelona is high enough that Blaugrana should fight for the league title, saying it is the expectation. “With the players we have at this club, winning the league is what we should be aiming for every year. We're all looking forward to getting started,” she added.

And while the club has been quite busy on the transfer market so far with no more than 4 players bought (Including the biggest signings of the summer, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba). Mercier said she is building a winning team and those committed to winning should be a part of it. “We're building a winning team and only committed players who understand they have a responsibility to perform to the best of their abilities will get to be a part of it,” she said.

She also added that Antoine Griezmann will return to the lineup, also Ousmane Dembčlč will be inserted into the starting lineup based on his performance in the pre-season.

Excitement is brewing in Barcelona as fans from across the city are expected to attend the first match of the season against Athletic Club Bilbao.

July 16, 2019: FC Barcelona Dominates in Mercier's First La Liga Victory

FC Barcelona kick off the new campaign looking like the Blaugrana of old, as they walk off the pitch with their first victory in the books. Barcelona were comfortable from start to finish, making sure Athletic Club Bilbao never posed much of a threat.

Joanne Mercier is off to a good start recording a clean sheet win on her competitive debut at the helm of Barcelona. But it was also an extension of the quality preseason the team enjoyed in the United States. Mercier was buoyed by this result and this shone through in her post match interview.

"That's exactly what we were looking to do on the pitch. Dominate the opposition and make sure they crumble,” said Barcelona's new boss Joanne Mercier. "We couldn't have played much better. The defence was spectacular and we were creative with every opportunity. Just a great all around performance from the lads.”

Anthony Martial picked up right where he left off, scoring three goals and earning his first La Liga Man of the Match honours, with Ousmane Dembčlč adding another goal to the club's decimation of Bilbao.

“What a perfect start. There's still more to come from this team. We have a great group of lads here and we're eager to show what we can do,” commented Mercier. “I like our focus for sure. But, it's one win and there are many more to go.”

Heading into the pre-season, few supporters of Ousmane Dembčlč would have expected that they would be praising the performance of Barcelona. But after some eye catching displays in the games leading up to the season opener, the winger kept his place on the team and impressed again with composed display. He took everybody by surprise in pre-season and he's kept his form right through competitive matches. Even after his goal, the sky is the limit to make him an everyday starter until Lionel Messi returns from Injury. “While others worry about falling behind or getting injured in pre-season as is the case of Lionel Messi, players like Dembčlč keep their cool and prove their ability. This is how winners are born,” said Joanne Mercier after the match.

Paul Pogba is continuing his hot run of form. Since joining the club Pogba has been the workhorse in the engine room with Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets he still put up good production. Says Joanne Mercier: “Pogba is a fantastic player and he deserves all the praise he gets. I hope he can continue to amaze us with performances like these.”

Antoine Griezmann is a man who is very happy with his current run of form. “I'm playing really well at the moment, and really enjoying my football at Barcelona,” he told the reporters after the game against Athletic. It certainly seems the forward is in the team for the foreseeable future if he keeps his level of play up.

August 25, 2019: Barcelona Continue Hot Start Under Mercier

The Blaugrana have two wins in two matches thanks to another dominating performance, this time at the expense of Real Betis, 4-0. Clearly, Real Betis was not on their level. By scoring 4 goals FC Barcelona demonstrated that today.

“It's obvious Real Betis is not at our level. I'd suggest they spend a little less energy trying to be giant killers,” commented manager Joanne Mercier. “Both the result and the score-line were well deserved in my opinion. We gave Real Betis no chance and could have easily scored more.”

Four players put up one goal on the score-sheet (Ousmane Dembčlč in the 12th minute, Frenkie de Jong in the 41st minute, Anthony Martial in the 72nd minute and Paul Pogba in the 86th minute) and it turned out to be one dominant force. Dembele received Man of the Match honours and Marc-Andre ter Stegen put up another clean sheet.

“It's really impressive how well we are playing this early in the season,” commented manager Joanne Mercier. “Ususally it takes some time to mesh these lads into winners, but these guys are playing great. Hopefully, we can keep it up.”

Antonio Barragan was one of the best players on the opposition today. But Barça found a way past Real Betis's defensive lineup by playing the Barça Way.

“We just played our game. We believed in our own ability and we didn't make any special plans to deal with Barragan,” said Mercier after the game.

While the home opener was something to be proud of, they will return to action against Osasuna on the road.

August 31, 2019: Three Goals For Dembčlč as Barcelona Dominates Osasuna

This here is all about domination. FC Barcelona proved that Osasuna needs to get their game in gear as they put on a 6-0 victory for the visitors. This team is currently in first place at the moment with lots of momentum on their side.

“Well you hate to say it sometimes, but honestly FC Barcelona is second to none right now,” said Joanne Mercier after the game. “I'm not sure there is a side out there that can beat us, at this moment.”

Ousmane Dembčlč put on a clinic, scoring 3 goals. Anthony Martial finished the day with 2 goals while Frenkie de Jong put up one. “It was a breathtaking performance. Dembčlč was unleashed today. A player like him can single-handedly dictate games. Today was a good example of that,” Mercier said of Dembčlč's performance.

While CA Osasuna had flaws as does Barcelona in the game, there were still positives and negatives from this one. “We were the better team and deserved to win, but I still think in the end of the score-line was a bit unfair to CA Ouasuna,” Mercier said. “There's lots for us to take away from this one, both positives and negatives.”

FC Barcelona will have few players on International duty next week. Their next game will be against Valencia.
Monday, September 28, 2020
Posted on September 28, 2020 at 10:33 PM.
Founded in 1899, FC Barcelona have been a fixture of Spanish football for over a century. They are still among the top tier of European clubs, having lifted the La Liga trophy 10 times since 2005. In the same period, the Copa de Espańa has been claimed six times (including the last four), and the Champions League four times. That said, the Catalans have not topped Europe’s premier competition since 2015. But recently things start to slide, domestic and continental, as Barcelona captured another La Liga title but lost in the Copa de Espańa final against Valencia and were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League thanks to a 4-0 comeback from Liverpool in the Semi-Finals.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez ageing, time is ticking on whether Barcelona can lift the Champions League again. In two seasons time, the squad will be completely rid of the old guard that endured so much success under managers such as Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique.

June 15, 2019: Barcelona Sacks Valverde

Just three weeks after FC Barcelona's stunning defeat at the hands of Valencia in the Copa de Espańa, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu announced that effective immediately manager Ernesto Valverde will no longer serve as Barcelona's manager. Valverde joined as manager of FC Barcelona in May of 2017 and led the club's back to back La Liga titles. The Barcelona board of directors released a statement thanking Valverde for his time as manager, announcing that the search for a replacement would begin immediately. The board stated that their ideal candidate will have great experience developing youth, and and have a reputation of building relationships with players. No timeline has been released officially, but the feeling in the Catalan capital is that a new manager could be appointed as early as next week.

June 20, 2019: Barcelona Have Their Man...Make That Woman

FC Barcelona has found their man. Make that Woman.

It took just 8 days for FC Barcelona to replace Ernesto Valverde. The Club today unveiled the new manager, Joanne Mercier, to the press. Speculation surrounded various candidates for the job but it seems that Ms. Mercier was the best choice in the eyes of the club's board of directors.

A statement from the FC Barcelona board about the hiring of Ms. Mercier says the following; "We are here to help support and build the club. From all the candidates that were on our shortlist Ms. Mercier was the one we really wanted. She is simply the right person for the job."

Born on September 25, 1982 to mother Marie, a former dancer, and father Albert, a wine merchant, Joanne crafted her style of play by learning at Camp des Loges, the Paris Saint-Germain academy, during her youth. Her style is reminiscent of legendary Ajax and Barcelona player Johan Cruyff, whose style of play and football philosophy has influenced managers and players alike, including Joanne.

As a player, Ms. Mercier spent 7 years playing as a central fielder/striker for Paris Saint-Germain Féminine, the women's section of PSG, from 1999 to 2006. Over her 7 year career she earned 208 caps, scoring 30 goals, and added 41 assists. Ms. Mercier also had a solid national career as well, earning 58 caps for the French women's national team, scoring 11 goals and adding 17 assists through her career. She even got to participate in the 2003 Women's World Cup. Her teammates and coaches can tell you, on the pitch she is a hard worker and disciplined enough to be a coach one day.

When she suffered a knee injury in 2006 that ended her career, Joanne remained with PSG as a national scout for the Paris Saint-Germain youth academy beginning in 2007. Along the way, she learned valuable experiences from coaches and players by being resourceful in the heat of the moment. Highly regarded as a youth scout and developer of top talent, rumor has it that Ajax were attempting to hire Joanne as director of their famous youth academy back in 2017, but that fell through. In 2016, she rejoined the French Women's National team as a scout for two seasons before becoming assistant manager in 2018. But there's also a little known second occupation most fans don't know about Joanne Mercier; She is also an accomplished belly dancer, learning from her mother at an early age. She said belly dancing helped her get into shape for football season. Joanne is always dancing up a storm at home or at the local clubs in France.

Once she got her coaching card, Joanne began researching on different tactics, different systems to make a team better. A Cruyffista at heart for to her being an alumna of the Johan Cruyff Institute, Joanne began utilizing the lessons she learned from graduating from the Institute as well as her playing days with the French women's national squad and PSG.

Ms. Mercier comes with minimal management experience, but the club's board of directors were impressed with his interview. Club President Josep Maria Bartomeu didn't reveal the transfer budget that would be availiable to the new manager, however he suggested that he would make available funds for the club to be competitive in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.

Ms. Mercier shares the ownership's vision of developing a core group of youth players to carry the club forward while at the same time building relationships with the veteran players on the squad. In her introductory press conference, Ms. Mercier stated her intent to help the club to not only win the league title, but also the Copa de Espańa and set her ambitions on the winning the UEFA Champions League in the long term. And once she was hired by FC Barcelona, she started working hard by building a better culture for both players and staff. A youth scout at heart, she began plans to utilize La Maisia, FC Barcelona's legendary academy, better than any coach before her.

"She shares our vision for the future and wants to help us succeed in any way," the board's statement continued.

A student of Total Football, the football philosophy which former FC Barcelona manager and legendary Dutch player Johan Cruyff was a proponent of, Ms. Mercier earned praise from pundits and fans alike. With her arrival at FC Barcelona some football pundits consider her to be one of the most promising managers in football. She was confident that despite being a newcomer, the club would not regret giving the job to someone with so little experience. But her appointment will no doubt bring confidence, ambition and fearlessness to the Barcelona locker room. Joanne Mercier is more than a manager, she is an amazing woman looking to give FC Barcelona supporters more success in the years to come.

June 30, 2019: Barcelona Season Preview

FC Barcelona, the defending La Liga Santander champions, are looking to avenge last season's loss in the Copa de Espańa final against Valencia and looking to move past the semi-finals in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2015. With the arrival of Joanne Mercier at FC Barcelona, she will a new level of confidence, ambition and fearlessness to the club. She may only have one or two seasons to win one or two more Champions League medals with club legend Lionel Messi, but that could be the something fantastic in Catalonia.

With young players like Clement Lenglet, the newly acquired Frenkie de Jong, Arthur and Ousmane Demble at the club, there is enough there to continue and keep fighting for European titles. With Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to contend with in Spain, can she keep them at bay and stay on top? only time will tell.

Barcelona have lined up in a 4-4-3 for the last decade or more, and Mercier wouldn't make any unnecessary changes to the formation. She will however switch up with the tactics with each player.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the second best goalkeeper on the game, and in front of him will be Nelson Semedo, veteran Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and the pacey Jordi Alba. Midfielder destroyer Sergio Busquets sits behind Arthur and Frenkie de Jong in the middle of the park. The goal packed front three consists of captain Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and new signing Antoine Griezmann. On the bench is Neto, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Sergi Roberto, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembčlč.

July 1, 2019: Pre-Season Starts as Teams Battle for the American Challenge Cup

FC Barcelona are the latest club to confirm their participation in this year's American Challenge Cup. In what has become the norm in world football in recent years, managers from different clubs from all over the world are re-grouping to compete in front of capacity crowds before their domestic leagues even begin play.

The United States will host the friendly competition this year, which will consist of two groups of four teams, with the top two in each group making it to the semi-final stage. Everton, Colon, and Toronto FC are the other confirmed clubs that will be joining FC Barcelona in their group. The other group will consist of Ajax, Leicester City, Atlanta United and Chelsea.

When asked about the increasing importance of pre-season tournaments, FC Barcelona manager Joanne Mercier said, “It's true that these tournaments mean we have to regroup earlier and the players have less time to rest, but it's a great opportunity to try different line-ups and tactics, and ultimately get the boys ready for the season ahead.”

She also added, “It's also important for our football club to treat fans that don't get the opportunity to see these top players from the stands. These tournaments really are special these days.”

July 3, 2019: Mercier Seeks to Impress on Pre-Season Debut

The pre-season never usually comes with much pressure or expectation. But this isn't the case for Joanne Mercier, who will be under scrutiny in her first appearance as FC Barcelona's manager. The former PSG and French national women's team player has experience in friendlies before and this is no exception. Fans will be keeping a close eye on the result and her team selection.

July 3, 2019: Mercier Gets First Victory; Barcelona Squeaks By Colón

It's doesn't get any better than this for a managerial debut.

FC Barcelona's new woman in charge Joanne Mercier has hit the road running after her club secured a small but favorable 1-0 win against Argentinian side Colón in her first match in charge on the opening day of the American Challenge Cup hosted by the United States.

“I got to give the boys a lot of credit," Mercier commented afterward. "We took a little time to get going, but once we did, it was a beautiful display of technical football.”

Mercier started her younger players to start the tournament, and it paid off in spades. The first half saw Ansu Fati score in the 14th minute, and that was all she wrote. Defense won in the end as Barcelona kept the possession game going.

People shouldn't get too carried away however as clubs tend to experiment a lot in friendly games usually rendering the results irrelevant. Nevertheless if Mercier keeps the wins coming there's no doubt she'll be loved and adored by the fans of Barcelona.

July 6th, 2019: Mercier's First Signing...A Big One

Joanne Mercier have signed her first player. And it's a big signing.

FC Barcelona representatives have confirmed that they have signed 23-year old striker Anthony Martial from Manchester United for Ł51,100,000. He signed a 4 year deal on a weekly wage of Ł250,000. The France-born player has spent a majority of his career with Manchester United and started his career with the Lyon B Team in 2012, but he has made 20 appearances for France national teams (From U16 to senior team).

Mercier hopes Martial can shake up the squad and become a huge contributor to the squad. That would have a few players looking nervously over their shoulder. “Every club needs competition for places and ours is no different,” Mercier said. “I want to keep pushing my lads to give one hundred percent every match and to do that they need to know their places are always under threat. The signing of Martial is a signal of my intent.”

July 7, 2019: Dembčlč's Hat Trick Secures Win For Barcelona

New boss Joanne Mercier was able to enjoy another sweet taste of victory in their second of the American Challenge Cup, thanks to FC Barcelona defeating Toronto FC 4-3. Although Jozy Altidore opened the game with the first goal in the 3rd minute, Riqui Puig tied it up 11 minutes later. Ousmane Dembčlč put up his first of three goals in the 36th minute.

The second half started ugly. Serigio Akieme put the ball in his own net, giving Toronto a 2-2 tie. But Toronto and Barcelona traded goals late, with Patrick Mullins scoring in the 72nd minute and Dembčlč completed the hat-trick, scoring the second in the 61st and 88th minutes, the latter the game-winner. Dembčlč received the Man of the Match award for his play.

“We wanted to get out on the right foot, and I think we did just that,” Mercier said in a press conference. “I know it's the pre-season, but it still feels good to get that out in the open. The boys played well and we had lots of chances and some mistakes. More positives than negatives, I would say.”

Mercier said she will be saving her top squad for Everton, matching wits with legendary manager Carlo Ancelotti.

July 8, 2019: No Sign Of Martial Against Toronto, But Will Be In Action Against Everton

After the recent purchase of former Manchester United striker Anthony Martial, Barcelona fans have been eager to see him as a regular first team player. They were disappointed by Joanne Mercier's decision not to field her newest acquisition in the match against Toronto FC. But Mercier said she will be saving her top squad for Everton on Wednesday, and will be giving Martial solid time on the pitch with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.

“I understand the supporters frustration, but I had planned to use the reserves against Toronto FC,” Mercier explained. “But rest assured, I will be starting the first team for the rest of the American tour and give Anthony playing time than what occurred last weekend. I will make sure the players are well rested in the days ahead.”

Barcelona supporters may have to take her word for it, as she will indeed play the starters against Everton Wednesday. Anthony Martial will be on the team sheet by then.

July 10, 2019: Martial Puts Three In Debut

Joanne Mercier is a woman of her word.

The FC Barcelona boss said she will be saving her top squad for Everton, and she did just that. She also said she will be giving Anthony Martial solid time on the pitch with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, and she did. How did her new signing repay her faith in him? Scoring 3 goals in his debut against Everton, earning him Man of the Match honours.

Martial was keen to talk about putting his name on the scoresheet for the first time since joining Barcelona. “It's great to get off the mark, I'll love to get more but you know it's about team performance first and foremost,” said Martial. “I know Ms. Mercier wanted to save me for games like this and I know she has a lot of faith in me, so I decided to repay that faith with a hat-trick. I hope the supporters enjoyed the victory.”

“The Barcelona supporters wanted to see Anthony play once we acquired him,” said Mercier in a press conference. “I wanted to save the first team for the rest of the American tour and it turns out it was successful. I hope I satisfied the supporters after today's victory.”

This is also the first time Mercier matched wits with legendary manager Carlo Ancelotti, one of the most celebrated managers in football. “I remember reading stories about Mr. Ancelotti as a player and manager, but it turns out I outclassed his Everton squad today,” Mercier said. “I respect him as one of the best managers in European football, and this match was just a test of my coaching abilities. Turns out I passed with flying colors!”

July 14, 2019: FC Barcelona Makes Final, With A Price

The pre-season can be tough and unpredictable, but FC Barcelona fans will have reasons to be worried after yesterday's match against Leicester City. Although will advance to the final of the American Challenge Cup by beating Leicester City 5-0, the victory will have to come at a cost. It is confirmed that Lionel Messi will not be available for FC Barcelona for approximately 7 months as he recovers from a ACL injury that he picked up during the Leicester City match.

“The pre-season is totally unpredictable and anything can happen, but Leo will be out for some time, possibly longer,” said Joanne Mercier. “I wish him nothing but the best in his rehabilitation and hopefully I hope to see him back on the pitch real soon. Meanwhile, we are still looking for emergency replacements through the reserves and the transfer market in the short term.”

In addition to Messi, Luis Suarez and Anthony Martial found the back of the net with Martial putting up another hat trick, earning him Man of the Match honours for the second straight match.

“I know it's still the preseason, but these matches and our success matter to supporter and players,” added Mercier. “If we continue to do well it helps build momentum and breed some newfound confidence. That's why it's important for us to keep playing.”

Up next for Barcelona is a showdown with Chelsea and their new manager and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard.

July 16, 2019: Mercier Signs Another Manchester United Player

FC Barcelona have completed their second signing of the summer. This time, 26 year old Central Midfielder Paul Pogba. Pogba comes from English side Manchester United, same as Anthony Martial. Pogba joins an already stacked FC Barcelona for Ł85,200,000. In the wake of Lionel Messi's injury, manager Joanne Mercier will have plans for Anthony Martial as she plans to move him to the wings on a temporary basis, with Pogba playing central midfield alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets.

July 17, 2019: Mercier, Barcelona Win First Trophy

FC Barcelona and it's new boss, Joanne Mercier, couldn't have hoped for a better pre-season. The Blaugrana earned some silverware by defeating Chelsea 5-0 to hoist the American Challenge Cup in Los Angeles.

"The boys played wonderfully against the competition," commented an overjoyed Mercier. "The veterans are rounding into form and getting their footing early, and the youngsters got plenty of experience. I couldn't be any happier. The win today is for all our supporters but especially the squad who played well and were the better team today."

Barcelona fans may have a new favorite in Paul Pogba as he managed to find the back of the net three times in his first match under Mercier's management, giving the club it's fifth straight win. Antoine Griezmann and Anthony Martial, playing the wing for an injured Lionel Messi, got in the score-sheet with one goal each.

"It's great to be out there and play with the best players in the world, but when it comes down to it, it's always about the performance of the team first and individual achievements second," said Pogba.

Lionel Messi's injury opened up an opportunity for Anthony Martial as Mercier moved him to the wings on a temporary basis, and it turned out to be successful. Martial, after 3 appearances with the club, earned Player of the Competition in the American Challenge Cup. With 7 goals and 1 assist to his credit, it's a no brainer that Martial deserved the honor.

"There was opportunities for me to get some time in, and with Lionel out I took it, " said Martial. "I hope Leo returns soon so he doesn't miss out on this season."

Barcelona has had a potentially vital player emerge during pre-season as Ousmane Dembčlč used the pre-season matches to make a name for himself. Joanne Mercier will have to give him serious consideration for the opening game of the La Liga Santander season. "Ousmane will be a key fixture for us, said Mercier. "If he continues his run of form, we'll be in top shape going into the season."

Antione Griezmann will sit out for three weeks after suffering a knee injury in the final of the American Challenge Cup. But hopefully he won't miss the season opener.

July 25, 2019: Barcelona Signs French Youth Duo

Today FC Barcelona have announced on their website that they have completed the transfers of two French youth national team members Georgino Rutter and Yann Gboho from Stade Rennais. During her time as a scout with the French national team, Joanne Mercier scouted both players. According to sources, Mercier pitched the idea of bringing both players in during her interview.

Georgino Rutter comes to Barelona from Stade Rennais in the French Ligue 1. The 17-year old striker is touted for his creativity on the ball and could be Luis Suarez's successor in the future.

Yann Gboho also comes to Barelona from Stade Rennais. The 18-year old attacking midfielder enjoyed a fruitful spell at his former club and joins his new teammates with glowing reputation as a player who can add a little something exrra to any team he plays for. Analysts are touting this as a great deal for Barcelona, as the player cost Ł1.7 million.

Mercier was over the moon with her new signing. "I can't wait to get him in the team and start working with him. He is going to give us a big boost and the extra motivation that we have been sorely laking in recent weeks," she said outside La Masia.

Mercier added in today's press conference that she believes Barcelona will not buy any more new players in this summer transfer window, but did hint that some players could leave the club via sale or loan. She did not mention any of those players by name.

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