Thursday, September 23, 2021
Knockout for Koeman in the evening?
The embarrassing new world of FC Barcelona
By Tobias Nordmann
Showdown in Cadiz? This is how it should be for Ronald Koeman and his FC Barcelona. The coach is down and could lose his job this week. With a curious appearance at a media round, he not only surprised the journalists, but also his boss.
It is quite likely that Ronald Koeman will still be FC Barcelona coach at 10 p.m. that Thursday night. But does that still apply when the sky is steeply approaching midnight? Nobody would like to make this forecast at the moment. It is probably not an exaggeration to say that the traditional Catalan club is currently on the move. This Thursday evening the table eighth of the Primera Division has to play at Cádiz CF. The team from the Andalusian coastal city is seven places down. The team is estimated to be worth around 47 million euros. That’s equivalent to a Memphis Depay. The Dutch striker plays for FC Barcelona. And should actually help to somehow replace Lionel Messi.
So the roles in this duel are very clearly assigned. The only problem is that such laws are no longer valid in the new world of Blaugrana. Everything is different in the new world without Lionel Messi. Everything desperate, everything somehow dreary and very threatening. In the past few years, the club has made massive efforts to extend its luck (and success) with the little Argentine again and again. You have to imagine it a bit like in a corner pub. The regular guest ignores the fact that the wallet is completely empty and the cover for the cover is overly full. But because the regular guest has always thrown local rounds, he continues to do so. But then a new landlord comes along and demands the bill. That is bitter and impossible because there is nothing left to get in your wallet.
Somehow, FC Barcelona managed not to crash completely after the departure of its superstar to Paris St. Germain. Despite the heavy burden of one billion euros in debt, the club continues to play football. In the domestic league and also in the Champions League. Actually, that’s pretty good news. And one more message should actually make people happy. The potential in the squad with the super talents Pedri and Ansu Fati is great. A new team could emerge in the medium term that will shape the club and lead to big titles. Just like the generation around Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Messi. The composition of the squad is actually still so good that it should be enough for a solid to good season. But that’s not the club’s claim. It is still based on Messi standards. The short version: great football and even greater successes.
Spectacular coaching candidates
The hard truth is these days but far from your own claim. The footballers of FC Barcelona stagger acutely helpless and uninspired through the games. After 0: 3 without a chance against FC Bayern Munich at the start of the new season in the premier class, the hand of the concerned was already on the panic button. After the laboriously saved draw against Granada CF on Monday, he was pressed. Coach Koeman, who is currently unable to implement a sovereign game idea for his team, was able to read in the media that his time as a coach is actually over. He was also allowed to read who could inherit him. Joachim Löw and Inter Milan’s former master coach Antonio Conte. Or the Italian player legend Andrea Pirlo, who most recently failed as a coach at Juventus Turin. There is also speculation about club legend Xavi, who is currently preparing to return (as a coach) in Qatar. A few other less spectacular names were traded as well.
Koeman didn’t like any of that. Of course, you don’t have to be surprised. But probably about how the Dutchman reacts to all the rattle. Before the game against Cádiz, he read a three-minute statement and then left the room without admitting questions from the perplexed journalists. Koeman asked for “patience” in rebuilding the team. Given the difficult situation of the club, this must be achieved without major financial investment, i.e. without expensive acquisitions by experienced players. But there is also hope. “Today’s young talents can become the new world stars in a few years,” he emphasized.
Such bizarre appearances by coaches in front of the press have happened quite often. The result: They almost never went down well with the club. And that’s probably also the case in Barcelona, even if President Joan Laporta was still diplomatic in a first statement. He told “Marca” about Koeman’s lightning performance: “He has an obligation to attend the press conference and can express himself freely. Express as he sees fit. We respect the coach’s decision, but we and the captains have only noticed it shortly before. ” Between the lines you can see a little (or a lot) of discontent. Especially since the relationship between coach and boss should be anything but good.
What actually seemed richly bizarre was not only the appearance of Koeman, but also many a sentence he said. “The process that our team is going through needs to be supported in word and deed. I know the press recognizes this process because it is not the first time this has happened in the history of FC Barcelona.” This recognition is not to be found in the written truth in most of the media. Some media prefer to scoff at the fact that the 58-year-old last referred to the sacred passing game “Tiki Taka” as “Tiki Taki”. An embarrassing faux pas. Or an affront.
And the following sentence also lacks reference to the experience: “We as a team and players are very happy about the support we received from the fans in the game against Granada.” In fact, the displeasure in the stands became increasingly vehement and louder. Meanwhile, the Dutchman is also trying to dwarf the club’s goals in such a way that they are adapted to the current situation. He would already rate it as a success if Barça could stay in the upper part of the league. In the Champions League, however, anything but “miracles” are to be expected this season. Is that enough to get more patience on his way? Probably not. Should the team fail to improve their performance in the game against Cádiz, Koeman’s days at FC Barcelona could be numbered, writes the newspaper “La Vanguardia”.