The seven deadly sins of Ronald Koeman committed against Barcelona.

Ronald Koeman‘s future as Barcelona coach is

hanging by a thread with Joan Laporta and the rest of

the club’s board considering just what to do.

The latest embarrassment came in the form of a 3-0

defeat to Benfica in the Champions League and

with Koeman‘s competence already in question by

some within the club, that was perhaps the worst

result the Dutchman could have had.

Koeman has been criticised and judged for many

different reasons, but the crucial seven which have

led him to this precipice are impossible to ignore:

1. Attacks on players

The coach had no qualms about stating publicly that

his squad was weakened during the summer,

highlighting the fact that some of the younger players

were more committed than the veterans.

He was critical after games, reproaching his players

for missed chances and lapses in concentration and

he did it again in Lisbon on Wednesday evening.

“We also have to demand more from the players, in

the first goal we can’t let the opposing player enter so

easily, the Barcelona of today is not the one of eight

years ago.”

These comments haven’t endeared him to the players of late.

2. Changing system and

going against Barcelona’s

natural style

The 4-3-3 hasn’t been untouchable to Koeman who

has often opted for the 4-2-3-1 system or even one

which utilises five players in defence.

The combination play of previous years has

disappeared in some matches, most notably the draw

with Granada where Los Cules put in 54 crosses.

Once again, the Dutchman blamed his players:

“There weren’t the players for tiki-taka.”

3. A lack of harmony with

Joan Laporta

Right from the beginning it has been clear that the

president and coach have a difficult relationship.

In his electoral campaign, Laporta hinted at doubts

over the Dutchman’s suitability to his position and

this came to a head in the summer when the

president told Koeman he was looking at alternate

coaching options.

The inconsistent start to the season hasn’t been

helped by the constant leaks and interference

from Laporta.

4. Koeman’s defeatism

The coach assures fans that he is realistic with the

ambitions his team has, but his prudence when

setting these objectives has been received very

poorly by the board and the players.

In the Champions League you can’t expect miracles,

to retain a high league position would be a success.”

5. Being a club man

Koeman accepted all the restrictions and limitations

of the club due to the disastrous economic situation.

He understood that he had to sell players and any

signings were to be made on free transfers.

He meekly accepted the departures of Messi,

Griezmann, Emerson Royal even though those

decisions had left him with an infinitely weaker team.

6. He didn’t bow to interference

Despite pressure from some, including Laporta, on

how he should coach the team, Koeman has

remained firm. He has considered that there are

players more deserving of minutes than Samuel

Umtiti and Riqui Puig, despite the encouragement

from above to play them.

7. He has made unsuccessful gambles

The signing of Luuk de Jong was a personal gamble

on Koeman‘s behalf and the Dutch forward isn’t

performing at anywhere near the standard expected of him.

Koeman has given him a lot of confidence and

minutes without reward but has also made

questionable tactical decisions during matches.

Putting Eric Garcia as a right-sided central defender

against Benfica which he then had to change was

one example, as well as the reshuffling of Frenkie de

Jong‘s position.


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