Barcelona’s horrid start to the season continued on Tuesday against Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo came back to haunt Barca as Juventus won 3-0 at Nou Camp
After a summer of discontent, performances so far have been well below par
Barca, who are in financial turmoil, have lost five times in 16 matches this season
Barca are 12 points off the top in LaLiga having only played 10 matches so far
‘Will Koeman keep his job?!’ shouted a Spanish television reporter at the fully wound-up car window of the club’s caretaker president Carles Tusquets as he was driving away from the Nou Camp.
He motioned the zip closing across the lips indicating that he was not going to say anything. He has said enough recently causing controversy, suggesting the club would have been better off selling Lionel Messi.
In normal times: ‘Is Koeman going to be sacked?’, would have been the obvious question. Barcelona have lost four at home and had now surrendered top spot in their Champions League group losing 3-0 at home. But these are not normal times.
For a start there is no one really with the authority to sack the coach. Tusquets is in temporary charge and he is supposed to simply hold the fort until elections take place. And is it really Koeman’s fault anyway? Probably not.
He has inherited an even worse squad than last season’s. Philippe Coutinho is back from his loan spell at Bayern Munich but making no impact, new signing from Benfica Francisco Trincao is looking like £27m (€30m) that would have been far better spent on Ferran Torres who went for less from Valencia to Manchester City, and Miralem Pjanic is offering no improvement on the player he swapped places with in the summer, Arthur Melo.
On top of that Koeman had to lose Luis Suarez for financial reasons and has since been deprived of the brilliant Ansu Fati and the hugely important Gerard Pique through injury.
All this might not stop some of the players blaming him for the current situation. Marc Andre ter Stegen said in his post-match interview on Tuesday night: ‘There are individual mistakes in defence, and there is also the way we defend.’
The second part of that analysis seemed to be a dig at the way the team have been set up and there are suggestions the players don’t like the 4-2-3-1 that has replaced Barcelona’s customary 4-3-3.Continue reading