A year of Koeman at Barça: living dangerously

Since its presentation, on August 19, 2020, it has gone through Messi's burofax, Suárez's settlement, a motion of censure, Bartomeu's resignation, the elections and the Argentine's goodbye. His post was jeopardized in the summer.


Ronald Koeman turns one year at the helm of Barça this Thursday. Landed in full turmoil after 2-8 in Lisbon, it was Bartomeu's last letter as president after the Setien disaster. Koeman, who had resigned from Barça's offer months before to lead the Netherlands team, changed his mind with the postponement of the European Championship and fulfilled a dream. He signed a two-season deal - it was the Wembley hero's way of closing the circle.

Koeman knew there were curves coming at Barça, but maybe not so many. He landed with no other signing than Sergiño Dest (the economic situation prevented Depay, Wijnaldum and Eric Garcia from coming, in the middle of Messi's burofax mess, which exploded on August 25, so if you thought about a team in which The Argentine would have a place, then he had to rethink it when Rosario had no choice but to stay.

Sportingly, Koeman complied. He won a title with a team in renovation that had lost one of its leading scorers (Luis Suárez) and, beyond tactical debates with 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 or 3-4- 2-1, recovered the good atmosphere in the dressing room and competitiveness. The team was excited with some comebacks in the Cup and only fell short on the big days (Clásicos, Atlético and PSG). He pulled with pride to fight LaLiga with a great comeback, but he ran out of steam since the defeat of Granada.

The great merit of Koeman this year has been to protect the locker room from a crazy social reality: the motion of censure, the resignation of Bartomeu, the delay in the date of the elections during the government of the Management Board, the electoral campaign, the situation of technical bankruptcy of the club, with a new salary cut .... And even so, lift a title. Koeman also knew how to make a name for himself in the dressing room. His relationship with heavyweights was, and is, optimal. Also with Messi, who observed changes that he liked in the dressing room and that invited him to make the decision to want to continue, although it was not finally possible.

All that was not enough for Laporta to show him all the confidence. In fact, he played with his continuity in a bad way this summer. The president showed that he did not believe in him and, little less, transmitted that if he continued it was because he had accepted the footballing guidelines of the future Barça, the famous "conversations" .

For the Dutch, the most difficult still starts in year two. With Messi in Paris, few signings and problems to give the casualties he wants, he will try to return to build a team of guarantees. Last year, Koeman spoke of a team "halfway there." Without Messi, maybe he has to start from a little further back this time. However, and as a good club man, he has not put many buts. He has closed Messi's book and got to work. He has directed 55 official matches, of which he won 35. He raised the Cup and thus avoided the second blank season for Barça. Pedri has been the player who played the most games under his command, 53. But the one who started the most times with Koeman was De Jong (49). The year that Koeman lived dangerously threatens with more shocks.

Photos from as.com
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