Ronald Koeman will direct the game that Barcelona plays against Levante on Sunday. He will not sit on the bench due to his expulsion in Cádiz and, unless the club’s appeal is attended to, a box will be set up for him from which he can communicate with his assistants at the Camp Nou. It is even possible that he will appear today in the press room in the preview of the match corresponding to the seventh day of the League. It is not known what will happen on Monday or Tuesday when the team travels to Lisbon to face Benfica on Wednesday in a decisive Champions League match.
- Barcelona neither knows nor answers
- Piqué: “Friction doesn’t help anyone”
Barcelona lives by the day and looks for the ideal moment to replace Koeman. The decision has been made and if it is delayed it is because there is no consensus in the board and the technical team on his replacement after agreeing that the chosen one could not be provisional but rather has to lead the sports project of Joan Laporta. Although there are several candidates, the best placed at the moment are Robert Martínez, Belgium coach, who has a good relationship with Jordi Cruyff, head of Barça’s international observers; Xavi Hernández, who is identified as the guardian of Barça’s essences; and Erik Ten Hag, from Ajax.
The president, however, is considering more options in his attempt to find a coach as exciting as he is surprising to maintain his bet that Barça can play very well and compete to win titles, a bet with which Koeman does not agree after denouncing the staff limitations and remember the list of casualties headed by Ansu Fati, which is expected against Levante. Even a footballer with Sergi Roberto’s sense of teamwork also disagreed with the coach in Cádiz: “You have to win the League, it’s not worth that to enter the top four. We are Barça and we have a very good squad to fight for the League ”.
The speech of the third captain was more concrete and resounding than that of the second, Gerard Piqué, who agreed with the need to fight for the trophies while asking for peace of mind “because friction does not help anyone”, after Barça tied at zero in Cádiz. Laporta and Koeman appealed for détente on the expedition’s return trip to Barcelona. Both talked for a quarter of an hour on the plane after avoiding each other at the concentration hotel, both of them angry, especially the president for the statement read by the coach at the sports city Joan Gamper.
Although there has been no trust between the parties for a long time and the coach’s position has been further weakened by the statements of the players, Laporta and Koeman try to gain time: the president needs to choose and negotiate with who will be the coach and the coach aspires to claim the most immediate results after being aware that the club does not have a substitute in its sports organization: Sergi Barjuán has made his debut with Barça B, Albert Capellas has joined the Danish federation and García Pimienta was fired from bad way despite having been at Barcelona for 19 years.
No one guesses for now the footballer or the play that can prevent Koeman’s fall as happened on December 20, 2018 when a goal by Xavi in Valladolid allowed Louis Van Gaal to continue. The calendar does not help either because after the matches with Levante and Benfica comes the visit to Atlético, the break for the national team’s matches and the confrontations with Valencia, Dinamo Kiev and Madrid. And, on October 17, a decisive assembly is held for Barça’s roadmap. The 0-3 against Bayern and the draws with Granada and Cádiz weigh on Koeman’s backpack.
Once the guarantors have given permission to pay Koeman’s settlement – about 12 million -, it is a matter of agreeing on the replacement because there are different opinions at the Camp Nou. The figure of Xavi gains importance and in several levels of the club he is the number 1 candidate. The problem is that they have to convince Laporta. The president went so far as to say on the bell that the Al-Sadd coach should take his time at Barça B. Xavi was paired with Jordi Cruyff in the technical organization chart of Víctor Font’s candidacy. Of course, by then no one doubted that Messi would continue at the Camp Nou. Accustomed to improvising, the day to day is a life without living at Barça.