Barcelona Football Club today, put an end to a prolonged drama over who replaced sacked manager, Quique Setien, by appointing former defender and Netherlands boss, Ronald Koeman.
The Dutch tactician may be highly regarded in the Spanish city for his exploits during his six-year stint at the club, but he wasn’t the only prominent figure linked with the role.
Mauricio Pochettino and former Barça midfielder, Xavi Hernandez had been linked with the role but Koeman snatched a two-year contract following agreements made by the board.
With the decision already made, IBrandTV takes a look at the decision to put Koeman at the helm of affairs of a sinking ship.
– Transfers –
The job description could not have been given better than Pique did when he called for self-reflection of everyone at the club shortly after an 8-2 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League.
Pique’s damning verdict of the playing staff, while offering to sacrifice himself for new blood if necessary, hands Koeman the license to rip the team he is inheriting apart, and build something similar to the Johan Cruyff teams he won a European Cup title with.
Koeman’s freedom in the market will be further strengthened by Club President, Josep Bartomeu’s declaration that only Lionel Messi, Marc Andre Ter-Stergen, Frenkie De Jong, Nelson Semedo, Clement Lenglet, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele are unavailable for sale.
He will have to decide what to do with long-serving players like Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitic.
There is also the idea of a potential return for Phillips Coutinho from Bayern Munich, the scorer of the last two goals in the 8-2 drubbing has failed to find his feet since a move to Spain from Liverpool.
– Messi –
For every manager taking the main job at Barcelona, there always is a Messi factor.
The Argentine legend has been rumoured to be considering moves to Manchester City and Inter Milan due to administrative issues rocking the club.
Appeasing Messi may just be the Dutch manager’s first task as he would have to sell his ideas to the six-time balon d’or.
Messi has been vocal in the past about his desire to have Neymar back at the club to help compete for the UCL and regain the club’s dominance that has waned since his exit, but a deal for the Brazilian may prove difficult given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a push for a squad overhaul.
– Elections –
It wouldn’t come as a surprise to many that Koeman was given just a two-year contract given that board elections have been scheduled for March 2021, meaning he may not be at the helm of affairs as soon as next season if a new President is elected.
Koeman will know that Bartomeu’s reelection bid hangs on performances on the pitch, which put a ton of weight on the Dutch.
He will not only be fighting for his own future at the club, but that of the board.
Whether he handles the pressure well enough or not, he has earned himself a spot in Cule folklore, and has two more years to add to the story.