Koeman enters a critical period with a job at stake
Barcelona is ready to start a three-game critical period Both for the club and for the coach under fire Ronald Koeman, as the future of the Dutch icon in the Catalan capital hangs by a thread.
Blaugrana brace yourself for a tough weekend clash with Valencia at Camp Nou before hosting Ukrainian giant Dynamo Kyiv only to then collide with table-top Real Madrid, also in the face of local support.
Koeman will undoubtedly need to score nine points if his tenure in Barcelona is to be extended, as lost points against one or more close opponents, especially if poor displays are a continuing trend, is likely to spell disaster.
With his future at stake and Barcelona regularly tied to interest in other potential candidates to replace the Dutchman, here are five coaches Barça could turn to in the event they part ways with Koeman.
The story of a prodigal son who returns home to save the club from disaster would make its own headlines. For Xavi, the legend of Barcelona and Spain, the opportunity to take his place at the Camp Nou would be a dream.
From 1998 to 2015, Xavi made more than 700 appearances on Blaugrana while helping the club win 25 major trophies along the way. Xavi defined a club on the pitch and could have the opportunity to help redefine it on the touchline.
– Sudesh (@ SudeshBaniya10) October 14, 2021
His record as a manager for Al Sadd in Qatar, to date, is certainly credible and comes with a 66.30% winning percentage in 92 games managed. But managing in Qatar is not La Liga and the gigantic leap between leagues could be a real problem for the great Barça. Still, few know the club better than him, both on and off the pitch; That should count for something.
He may not be a son of Barcelona, but Luis Enrique has already made himself loved by him Blaugrana faithful both as a player and as a coach.
Enrique spent eight seasons at the Camp Nou after moving from Real Madrid in 1996 and helped the club to seven major honors, including two La Liga titles. As a coach, Enrique was highly successful with both Barcelona B and the first team, managing a combined 305 games between the two teams.
Clear difference with the way Busquets is so exposed to transitions (not his strength at 33) at Koeman’s Barcelona, compared to Enrique’s highly organized pressure system. A quality coach at Barça will extend Busquets’ career and allow him to reach the consistent levels he has for Spain.
– Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) October 10, 2021
Barcelona won nine major awards under his leadership, including a Champions League victory in 2014-15. His good record with the Spanish team and his willingness to go to the youth team to The Red could serve you well as Gavi, Pedri and Ansu Fati have served under your command.
One of the headline names for any managerial vacancy at a great club, Italian legend Andrea Pirlo would undoubtedly get a phone call or two from Barcelona president Joan Laporta if Koeman is fired.
Laporta has advocated a lot for Pirlo in the past, and although the president of Barcelona continues to insist that his name be the one taken from a hat, the club’s board does not approve of the selection and a clash between the two entities rumored to be ongoing.
– Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 13, 2021
There have been no official club proposals in Pirlo’s direction, but his good, and unique, stage in top-notch football with Juventus scored. The old woman a victory for the Coppa Italia and a Supercoppa Italiana. I may not have Luis Enrique’s CV, but the way Pirlo reads the game and the seriousness that comes with his name can be intriguing.
Erik ten hag
Already rumored that Barcelona will line him up to replace fellow Dutchman Ajax Amsterdam manager Erik ten Hag would certainly be an interesting date in certain respects.
As Ajax manager, he understands the requirements for a club of size and stature, as Ajax is expected to, at the very least, win the Eredivisie year after year while holding off rivals such as PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam. But the Dutch giants are not expected to compete heavily in the Champions League year after year, nor does he handle a plethora of mega stars.
Ajax are the only team in the top five in Europe and the Eredivisie to have an expected goal total of over 20. Erik Ten Hag’s team is relentless. pic.twitter.com/OJpEZNw16w
– Twenty3 (@ Twenty3sport) October 14, 2021
Still, there is a reason why Pep Guardiola is said to have endorsed Ten Hag for the role on the back of the Dutchman who led Bayern Munich II during Pep’s season in Bavaria at the Allianz Arena. Could Barcelona continue their Dutch connections with Ten Hag? It would hardly be a surprise.
With a resume as credible as any, if not better, Antonio Conte could certainly drive change at Barcelona if the club hierarchy called on him to replace Koeman.
Conte has achieved a considerable amount of success throughout his stints at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan, winning nine major awards, including league titles in all three positions. His dominant Serie A win with Inter last season arguably could be his biggest managerial highlight as I nerazzurri ran away from the clear winners by a 12-point margin.
But their confidence in a 3-5-2 formation is the antithesis of everything Barcelona is on the pitch, and although their success in bringing silver to the big clubs is certainly attractive, a club of the stature of Barça he will certainly prefer a coach who pushes. so that football is played the right way.