Today we received the confirmation that we all expected to get for the last days. Ronald Koeman will stay in Barça for another season. Moreover, he agreed to reduce his salary, and in return got another optional year in his contract. With this update we can expect him to approve the signings of Wijnaldum and Depay. According to recent rumors, their signings will be official by next week.
Wasn’t the first choice of Laporta
Koeman is a signing of the previous board, and if his contract would end now, there’s no way Laporta would renew his contract. However, considering the fact that firing him will be very expensive, and the lack of alternatives on the market – It’s logical.
If Koeman’s continuity was a sure thing, he wouldn’t need his agent to arrive last week to the appointment with the president. So it’s pretty obvious that firing Koeman from Barça was on the table. And I’m sure many fans feel angry with Koeman would like to see him out. But part of being a president is to take hard decisions, and this one was a pretty hard one.
Koeman did receive the club in an awful moment, didn’t receive the players that he asked for, and was forced to be the club’s spokesman. Moreover, as a club legend, he does have the respect of the players. But that won’t change the fact that Koeman failed all the decisive moments last season. Furthermore, the treatment of some players, especially Riqui Puig, made many fans dislike him.
Can Koeman do better next year?
Few days ago Laporta said that it was a time for reflection to make sure that the board and Koeman “Want the same Barça”. But as time went by it seemed more and more likely that the Dutch coach will stay for another season.
According to recent rumors, Laporta asked Koeman to make changes in his approach in order to keep his job. First, to ditch the 3-5-2 formation and to make the team as “Cruyffista” as possible. And with Jordi Cruyff as part of the technical staff, this request should be clearer.
The second request from Koeman is to give players like Riqui Puig more opportunities to prove themselves.
Koeman said many times that the squad lacked a center back and a striker. Moreover, he wanted Depay and Wijnaldum to arrive. Now that he actually gets what he wanted for the squad, he’ll have no more excuses.
The problem with Koeman was his tendency to be stubborn and his personal agendas against players. Can he change his approach now that the president specifically ask him to do that? Time will tell.