Ronald Koeman has been fired as FC Barcelona´s head coach after 14 months in the job where there have been more shadows than lights. The Dutch coach, hired by Bartomeu to redirect a decomposing team for the last lustrum, has been just a band aid for a too deep wound that he has been unable to heal.
He was the one tho show his thoughts to his team by his famous quote into the start of the season “It is what it is”, but the reality is that Koeman managed to make an acceptable season last year thanks to savior Messi that covered the tactical deficiencies of a coach that loves the club but not its philosophy.
Koeman survived and lifted a meritorious Spanish Cup trophy, apart from putting the spotlights on ‘The Great Pedri’ in order to lead the transition of the roster towards the new generation of talent from the academy. However, he never pulled off to make the most out of his squad. No doubt that it is not the best possible one, but it certainly has enough elements to practice a more attractive football style and battle for the national titles.
The exit from the Argentinian star ended with the smoke curtain of all this past time and left the coach as the only responsible person to get the full potential of his players. There is a lot of talent still under development and enough raw material to not make constant excuses on injuries and absences, as nobody requires him to win the Champions League but just battle for LaLiga.
A long list of nonsenses from the sporting management, including Koeman, such as Suárez´s gift to Atlético; investment and waste on Griezmann returning home; the sign of Luuk de Jong to head out all the crosses while other real strikers like Falcao are doing their job. These are some of the administrative decisions that the board of directors can be blamed for with Koeman as party.
If we take a look from the field perspective, there are several fissures to fix: the lies of Eric García as central defender or Dest as winger; the fraud of Sergi Roberto, always out of a natural position where no one has seen him shine; Busquets unprotected without the ball due to the fact that Nico, who could add a lot to this team, plays less than he should; crosses, crosses and more crosses for poorly prepared games.
Barça have a good team in the wrong hands: an acceptable defense with Dest and Jordi as full backs plus Piqué and Araújo as central defenders; a midfield to play football with Busquets, Gavi, Nico, Pedri and Frenkie, ‘the real de Jong’; a forward formed by Memphis, the heir Ansu, Agüero and Dembélé.
Koeman has invented a ‘Tiki-Taki’ unacceptable style that just his high contract held. Laporta made the wrong choice when keeping him and now has fired him too late as the gap with top teams is getting bigger. 9th in LaLiga (15 points out of 30), and almost knocked out from the Champions League. Five games on the road, zero wins, one goal scored and lack of self-criticism from the coach.
More can be done with what’s in place and whoever comes (Xavi) will prove it.
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