Ronald Koeman to Barcelona is actually happening.
Well, that’s what multiple reports from Sky Italy and across Europe are stating as it is believed the current boss of the Dutch national team will take charge of his beloved Barcelona in the coming days once Quique Setien’s firing has been announced.
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Koeman, 57, was a legendary player at Barcelona and he’s been telling everyone for about the last decade (and probably longer) that his dream is to manage Barca and be the main man at the Nou Camp.
He will now get that job. The current manager of the Dutch national team is expected to be announced as Barcelona’s boss as early tomorrow as the board of directors met on Monday after their humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals last Friday.
Quique Setien has been hanging on by a thread for a while now, even though he was only hired in January, and that result and performance was the final nail in his coffin.
Koeman’s first task will be to restore pride and an identity in this Barcelona team as current president Bartomeu has lurched from Ernesto Valverde to Setien and now to Koeman over the past 12 months as well as sanctioning huge transfers which haven’t worked out.
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Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele all cost huge sums and all three have failed to deliver with the ageing core of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba left to try and plug the gaps as best they can.
The main problem at Barcelona is that there doesn’t seem to be a legitimate plan for a playing style, recruitment direction or just any direction at all. Koeman is one of the few
Bartomeu is expected to call an early presidential election as it was due to take place in the summer of 2021, but it may be sooner than that. Having Koeman, an experienced head and a Barca man, in charge will settle things down as a new president will usually want to bring in their own manager as Xavi has been lined up as the new boss by presidential candidate Victor Font and former president Joan Laporta has also suggested he will run for the presidency.
Koeman is a hero among the fans and has put together a largely impressive managerial resume in recent seasons after doing good jobs at Feyenoord, Southampton and the Dutch national team, but less so at Valencia and Everton. This is a risky time for Koeman to take this job as he had Virgil van Dijk, Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay and many other youngsters purring with the Dutch national team who are among the favorites to win EURO 2021 next summer.
It will be intriguing to see if his status as a Barcelona legend will knock a few of their stars down a peg or two and if he can dominate the star-studded dressing room. We know that Barcelona have quality players but they need structure, discipline and defensive solidity and Koeman can bring that. His name resonates with players and he will be able to attract top defenders to the club. That, and rejuvenating their attack, must be his main aim.