We’ve been here before, Ronald! Koeman getting rid of experienced pros at Valencia proved disastrous… now he’s been given the same task at Barcelona, can he get it right this time?
It didn’t take long for Ronald Koeman to get his new nickname. ‘Sergeant’ has already appeared in the Spanish sports media and Marca claims some in the dressing room have begun to use it for the new boss.
Earlier this week Diario Sport splashed ‘Koeman’s 10 commandments’ across its front page. And those that want a new broom to sweep the club clean have put their faith in him to manage the change.
Valencia did pretty much the same in 2007, hiring him to break up a dressing room cabal of experienced and decorated players. It’s well documented that it did not end well.
The team won the Spanish Cup but he cut an oddly detached figure at the end of the team photo on the pitch with the trophy. And five days later he was sacked with an 18 percent win rate in his 22 games in charge. At that time no one in the club’s history had left with a worse record.
The club felt they had to make the change to avoid relegation. Koeman’s last game was a 5-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao – Valencia’s worst in 25 years.
Just as one of Koeman’s first acts at Barcelona was to tell Arturo Vidal, Luis Suarez and Samuel Umtiti they were not wanted, so at Valencia he told captain David Albelda and other senior players Migue Angel Angulo and Santi Canizares that they had to leave the club.
At Valencia in 2007, Koeman was hired to break up a dressing room of experienced players. Continue reading