Sports

In praise of Ronald Koeman, the man responsible for Barcelona’s recent form

Disorganising an organised arrangement is a fairly simple task to get ones head around. However, making sense of a heterogeneous group in disarray is a nightmare, moreover in the world of football.

Turning the clock back by a few months, Barcelona’s dressing room seemed at a similar dead end. If only Football worked as simple as arithmetics and a group of players played as well as their individual talent summed, Barcelona would have still been wreaking havoc. However, Barcelona lacked cohesion. The squad was split, scattered and in absolute disarray in the field. To compound onto the hill of problems, the side were mentally fragile. As is well known in Europe, the Catalans struggle to perform under pressure, and a large part of this is attributed to the mentality.

When Ronald Koeman took over the reins of Barcelona, the situation was not pleasant. The side harboured a permanently injured Ousmane Dembele, an unmotivated Phillipe Coutinho. The incoherent midfield was filled with deadwood, Antoine Griezmann could just not find his Niche. And the most worrying sign of them all, an unhappy Lionel Messi talking his way out of the club is the clearest sign of the shambles the Catalans were in.

Disorganising an organised arrangement is a fairly simple task to get ones head around. However, making sense of a heterogeneous group in disarray is a nightmare, moreover in the world of football.

Turning the clock back by a few months, Barcelona’s dressing room seemed at a similar dead end. If only Football worked as simple as arithmetics and a group of players played as well as their individual talent summed, Barcelona would have still been wreaking havoc. However, Barcelona lacked cohesion. The squad was split, scattered and in absolute disarray in the field. To compound onto the hill of problems, the side were mentally fragile. As is well known in Europe, the Catalans struggle to perform under pressure, and a large part of this is attributed to the mentality.

When Ronald Koeman took over the reins of Barcelona, the situation was not pleasant. The side harboured a permanently injured Ousmane Dembele, an unmotivated Phillipe Coutinho. The incoherent midfield was filled with deadwood, Antoine Griezmann could just not find his Niche. And the most worrying sign of them all, an unhappy Lionel Messi talking his way out of the club is the clearest sign of the shambles the Catalans were in.

At one point in the season, Barcelona were a loss above the relegation zone. And if today they are ahead of Real Madrid and the closest side to Atletico Madrid on the table, surely Ronald Koeman does deserve a huge round of applause. We have not just seen a turnaround on fortune. We have witnessed a return of the fighting attitude on the pitch, stepping up of the youth, revitalising the mainstays and resurgence of those written off. It seems a miracle, but Barcelona today is a full 180 around what they were a few months ago.

As many will argue, Koeman has not been the best tactician or the most receptive to new ideas. However, most mega-clubs require a manager that can get behind the squad and inspire the biggest of names to create perfection. The players play for him, determined to produce good results, and it was best projected in the win against Granada. There is finally order in the dressing room, an imposing personality whom even the senior players look up to.

If today Antoine Griezmann looks like he is back to his imperial best, Koeman is the man that deserves a major share of the credit. Undoubtedly, the Frenchman has been persistent and relentless in his efforts every time he takes the field. Koeman has somehow kept his word and found the world cup winner his best position in the squad. Continue reading

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
Feb. 08, 2021

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