Ronald Koeman arrived at a critical moment and is leaving at a critical moment, without having been able to lift the team, dragged by the crisis that Barça is experiencing, not only sporting as Josep Maria Bartomeu claimed when he signed him, but general and complete, at all levels: the institutional with the change of president and distant relations with Joan Laporta and the economic, with the departure of veteran players last year (Luis Suárez, Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal …) and the scorers this year : Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
The team has this season 5 victories, 3 draws and 5 defeats.
The results have buried Koeman, who has not been able to provide a level of play that would make the transition to a new era more bearable. Vallecas is the clear summary of what Barça has been: a team without soul or leadership on the pitch, and now no goal. He missed three clear chances, including a penalty, and Rayo’s lone shot on goal, with a steal from Busquets and a dribble from Falcao to Pîqué, served to defeat him. The team adds five wins and five losses and three draws, and he has scored fewer goals (16) than he has conceded (17), proof of Barça’s football degeneration.
Koeman leaves leaving a title in the museum: the Copa del Rey of 2021, with a thrashed over Athletic (0-4) in La Cartuja de Sevilla, perhaps the team’s brightest game in 14 months. The only victory of merit and memorable, which barely served the Dutch coach to reach a season finale in which Laporta already wanted to fire him. He even asked him for two weeks to find him a replacement.
Laporta wanted to fire him for the second time after losing to Benfica: his patience ran out in less than a month
From third to ninth
The president let the first outburst pass, in June. And he let the second pass at the beginning of October, after the defeat in the field of Benfica (3-0) how much conditions the future in the Champions League. With Vallecas’ stumble, together with the disappointment of Sunday’s classic, Laporta has been loaded with reasons. He did not want to wait for all the injured to join: Ansu Fati and Frenkie de Jong caused loss to go to Madrid and Ousmane Dembélé has yet to reappear.
Barça finished third in the last League, seven points behind Atlético, after wasting their options with a defeat against Granada at home (1-2), plus two draws later (Atlético and Levante), and ninth gear in the current one , six points behind Madrid despite the fact that the whites did not know how to beat Osasuna at the Bernabéu (0-0).
Humiliated in europe
Koeman arrived after 2-8, but afterwards his team was beaten with Juve, PSG and again with Bayern.
The worst, however, has been the image of Barça in Europe. Neither the team nor the club have been able to compensate for the humiliating debacle against Bayern in Lisbon (2-8). The complexes have been maintained ever since. The victory in the Juventus field (0-2) in the second day of the previous league, two months after that, was a mirage that lasted less.
In December, on the return leg, Juve, with all its troops (Cristiano Ronaldo in front), swept the Camp Nou (0-3). He surpassed him in the golaveraje and condemned the Catalans to play the second leg of the eighth away from home. Nyon’s hype added more seriousness to the matter: he paired him with Paris Saint Germain.
The first leg match (1-4) was enough to certify the collapse of Barça before the elite of the continent: Barça was still in Lisbon. At the beginning of this campaign, chance sent another confrontation with Bayern, and history repeated itself (0-3), undermining the continuity of Koeman, the footballer who with his Wembley goal had placed Barça at the top of Europe.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.