SportsThe paralysis of Barça

The paralysis of Barça

Ronald Koeman watches the match between Atlético de Madrid and Barcelona.SERGIO PEREZ (Reuters)

In the absence of goals and football, Barcelona’s matches are explained by the gestures of their protagonists, very illustrative against Atlético.

The meeting began with an astonishing statement from Rafael Yuste. “We have never considered removing the coach,” said the vice president to reinforce the previous announcement by president Joan Laporta: “Koeman will continue, he deserves a margin of confidence.” The board of directors declined on Saturday the announcements of Thursday, when he was betting on the change of coach, and the coach accepted the withdrawal of the board after he officiated his goodbye on Friday with a memory of the farewell of Louis Van Gaal.

At 25 minutes into the game, Koeman’s fuss in the booth from which he witnessed the game next to Jordi Cruyff, sanctioned as the Dutch coach was, alternated with the discussion that Busquets and Piqué had on the field for the goal conceded to Lemar.

And, after the contest, Koeman pointed out in the press room Nico as responsible for the 1-0 loss for losing the mark in midfield in an action that allowed him to justify why he sometimes uses a defense of three centrals in a used team to 4-3-3.

There is no self-criticism nor responsibilities are assumed at Barça, but rather that one and the other pass the ball and agree that the precariousness of the squad, the fragility of the team and the critical economic situation of the club prevent any maneuver at the Camp Nou. The scenario would demand the intervention of the president, and more so after he announced at the beginning of the mandate that the defeats would have consequences, but Laporta postpones the sports decisions, which are supposed to be his greatest concern, and keeps Koeman as an umbrella.

It is not easy to find a coach in a moment of so much trouble, the season already started and with such a bleak outlook at the Camp Nou. The most interesting also have a contract in force and the club cannot pay more than 3.9 million if the financial fair play of LaLiga is attended to. Koeman’s settlement, on the other hand, is 12 million and money is still owed to Quique Setién. “If you don’t love me, fix it,” Koeman snapped at Laporta in June and, as the president has not solved it, the Dutchman could continue even in the three games after the break for the national teams, all at the Camp Nou: Valencia, Dynamo of Kiev and Madrid.

The pressure on the coach is maximum while waiting for the injured Kun Agüero and Dembélé to recover. The squad is unbalanced, the tactical work and the reading of the matches by the coach are discussed and they begin to ask about their harmony with the squad after the captains are often singled out: Busquets, Piqué, Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba . The destabilizing performances of Rafa Silva in Lisbon and João Félix in the Metropolitano revealed the team’s clumsy movements, their recurrence of individual errors and the lack of collective solutions, an aspect that compromises the players and Koeman.

The team does not fold well, it does not have a goal and it is fragile defensively, defeated at the first setback as seen in the Metropolitano and in the Estadio da Luz. Although the structural deficiencies and the vices of the dressing room are difficult to fix with a change of coach, a starting point is needed to come back, especially in the Champions League.

Wear increases daily and can reach a presidency that on the 17th will face a decisive assembly of partners before the game against Valencia. Laporta’s leadership has been compromised by his changing discourse on Koeman and Messi’s departure. Like the coach, the president seems paralyzed and resigned while Piqué closed his speech at the Metropolitano saying: “We could spend three hours playing and we wouldn’t score a goal (…). The subject is complicated ”.

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