After masterminding a 2-0 win against Juventus in Turin, Ronald Koeman lost against the same team 3-0 at home. The Dutch manager’s side has displayed some horrific football recently. His Barça side has already lost many big games and even some smaller ones. Koeman spoke in the post-match interview and explained his thoughts on the game and recent issues within the team.
“If they whistle for the first penalty, they must whistle for that on Messi too.”Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference
Even though Koeman showed criticism on the referees, it is quite obvious that the result wouldn’t have changed with a penalty call on Messi at all. Juventus was simply superior throughout the game, and its his own tactics that should be open to criticism.
“The biggest part of our defeat came in the first 25 minutes of the game. We had a bad start, but later, we improved. In general, our path in the Champions League has been good.Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference
“I’m worried about seeing the team without confidence and aggression, with fear. We have to show more character, as Juventus did.”
Again, Koeman hides behind a small part of the game. Barcelona had a horrific start, but it does not mean that they had a much better second half. They did not create anything, neither in the first nor the second half. It looks like Koeman has to ask the appropriate questions.
At least, the Dutchman claimed that the game was a ‘lesson’. However, Koeman has pointed towards improvement many times this season, and there is no leeway left.
“It’s a lesson for us. There are things that need to be improved, we have to start the games strongly and with a lot of focus.”Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference
“With the players we have, 4-2-3-1 is the best system.”
Considering the fact that his system has failed to bring results lately, it is ironic that the coach does not start to question his system. Koeman seems to not have a plan B, but could at least try. Also, he should implement Riqui Puig in his side. The youngster was the best Blaugrana player on the pitch and proved Koeman wrong once again.
“Due to injuries, we have lost some strong players. We’ll get back to compete for everything when we get them back as well. We can beat any team with the right conditions.”Ronald Koeman | Post-match press conference
Koeman does have a legitimate point here. His side has been depleted recently. However, every manager suffers from that problem since the restart. One just has to take a look at Jurgen Klopp’s decimated Liverpool defence and their recent performances in England and Europe and conclude that Koeman is still hiding behind excuses.
It looks like Koeman’s time is getting to an end at Barcelona, but at this point, he cannot be sacked — simply due to the fact that the Catalan club cannot financially afford one. Koeman’s future will depend on the next president at Barcelona.