The (slightly) mysterious case of Domènec Torrent

“New York City is my team now”- Torrent at his unveiling as the new NYCFC head coach in June 2018

Not a typical statement you would expect to hear from a coach on his first day but Doménec Torrent has worked under the best coach in the world for the last 11 years so maybe its not that surprising after all.

Towards the end of last season everytime i was in the process of taking in the footballing splendour that Manchester City were serving up on the way to winning a record points total Premier League title i was aware that one man, one very important trusted man, was absent from Guardiola’s band of brothers on the City bench.

A trusted right hand man

Most people probably wouldnt have noticed Dominec Torrent’s absence but as a self confessed sporadic follower of Guardiola’s career throughout the years, i did, and Doménec Torrent has been by his fellow Spaniards side right from the days when the pair took over the reigns of the Barcelona B team in 2007 winning their first league title that same year.

Guardiola & Torrent at Bayern Munich

Winning 24 trophies together at Barca, Bayern Munich and Manchester City over an 11 year period the friends formed a formidable partnership with Guardiola trusting Torrent to get across his ideas and game plans in training.

“We went to Germany (after leaving Barcelona) and immediately we realised we had to deal with counter attacks and that the football was much more physical” Torrent on his and Pep’s observations on German football.

The statement above gives a good insight into Torrent’s and Pep’s relationship. Name a time when you have heard an assistant manager speaking in this way and for the both of them? The trust between the two is clear to see. They dined outside of football together, plotted, planned and kept winning trophies with the teams they had took on.

“Its a simple drill, you play like a game when you lose the ball react. If not fall back, the first months of training were like this at City” – Torrent on one of Pep’s training ideas at Man City

These kind of ideas and the changing and trying of different formations all came from Pep and Torrent’s relaxed office at the City training complex with music on constantly and Pep sometimes barefoot the two would plan and conconct some of the greatest tactical ideas the EPL has ever seen.

An appointment with the city that never sleeps

Torrent it shouldn’t be forgotten has managed before. Spells at Segunda Catalonia side FC Palafrugell, Palamós who play in the Tercera Group 5 division in Spain and in 2006-07 newly promoted La Liga outfit Girona who are now part of the CFG (City Football Group) of course. Coincidentally as are New York City FC.

Conspicuous by his absence I wondered where Torrent had disappeared too. City fans I spoke to hadn’t got a clue and some hadn’t even noticed he had been absent pitchside during games. Manchester City were quiet media wise and nothing was being said on social media. As it turned out NYCFC fans were none the wiser either.

It came to light that Torrent had departed Manchester in the middle of May to attend a meeting in New York with a view to taking the job that Patrick Viera had vacated after leaving to take over at Ligue 1 club Nice. Torrent never returned. Well not to Manchester City anyway.

So it came to pass in late June that Torrent was announced as the new head coach with barely a mention on Manchester City’s media outlets which to this day i find strange. Only the briefest of pieces appeared in online newspaper websites.

Torrent has started well in New York including an excellent recent 2-3 win away at Toronto and fans seem more than happy with his appointment. Only those with a keen eye and good tactical knowledge will have seen offensive characteristics of the Barca, Bayern and City playing styles of the Guardiola and Torrent era’s.

Torrent takes training in New York

The future

I have always admired Torrent and his dedication to Pep and the way he is able to put his managers ideas into practice with such ease and also the continuity at the clubs they have worked at together. So i was pleased to see him back into a head coaches role and with him essentially still being employed by the CFG there is every chance we will see the two Catalans back together at some point at a big club somewhere near you in the future.

Gareth Cooper

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