Ronald Koeman’s first season at Barcelona hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been a rollercoaster, but the Dutchman, a club legend due to his exploits in Catalonia as a player, seems to be beginning to get things right as detailed by Diario Sport.
One of the first things Koeman did upon his arrival at Camp Nou was get rid of Luis Suarez, as well as bringing in two key members from his coaching staff at the Netherlands, Alfred Schreuder and Henrik Larsson. One of the primary things they identified as a problem was a lack of physicality, something they sought to remedy by raising the intensity of training.
They also worked on limiting overloading their players with information, instead focusing on key insights so as to avoid cluttering minds before games. Lionel Messi was dealt with carefully, given space to cope with his failed exit. The Argentine is said to have valued Koeman’s direct manner.
As soon as Messi clicked after returning from his extended Christmas break in Argentina the game changed. Matches Barcelona were failing to win they were securing victory in, aided by Koeman’s decision to switch to 4-3-3 and his occasional use of a three-at-the-back system. Continue reading