Barça’s transition from the last regime to the new regime under Laporta is off to a horrendous start. Poor performances and results in La Liga and in the Champions league along with the loss of Messi has not made the Blaugrana faithful happy. Things were supposed to improve but instead, things are getting worse with no optimism on the horizon as long as Ronald Koeman remains.
Barça’s elections were supposed to usher in a new era under President Laporta. What we didn’t expect was for Barça to hang on to Koeman and lose Messi. Back in November, I wrote that
“Elections can’t come soon enough. The longer Koeman stays in charge, the more hopeless this season feels for the fans, and for the players. A fresh start is needed with a new board and a new manager because the results are not there to save Koeman. Koeman was presented as the solution, but he’s become part of the problem.“
Almost a year later, and Koeman continues to be part of the problem. Koeman has an abysmal record in big games while subjecting us to horrible football. Laporta should have fired Koeman during the summer but he did not because firing Koeman would result in Barça having to pay him €12 million. Nonetheless, this is the same club that haven’t paid Koeman’s predecessors Quique Setién and Ernesto Valverde after they were fired. Because money is tight, Laporta stuck with Koeman and informed the fans “Ronald Koeman will continue as Barca coach. We feel he deserves a certain amount of confidence for many reasons.”
Well, nothing has happened that reinforces that confidence or justifies holding on to Koeman as a manager. Barça have been awful in La Liga and the Champions League under Koeman. Last month, Koeman said “Thanks to me, this club has a future.” Well, if he meant an uncertain future, then he has done a marvelous job.
After Laporta won the Barça presidential elections, he promised us things will be different. “Before, if we lost, nothing happened, but with me there are going to be consequences.” Well, the consequences thus far have been that we lost Messi and replaced him with Memphis Depay, Kun Aguero, and Luuk “more dangerous than Neymar inside the box” de Jong. Well, things sure are not different, things are worse and we have yet to see any consequences; just videos from Laporta asking for support from us.
The transition from the rotting decaying Rosell/Bartomeu era to the Laporta era is one mired in confusion and frustration. Are Barça afraid of firing Koeman because of money? That didn’t stop them with Valverde and Setién, so let Koeman get in line and sue. Eventually Barça will be financially settled and can afford to settle those cases out of court. It sure beats hanging on to Koeman and risk early elimination from the Champions League and make it harder for his successor, Xavi or Francisco Javier García Pimienta (whose firing from Barça B is still a puzzling decision) or anyone else, to help this club finish in La Liga’s top four and qualify for the Champions League. There has been enough damage done under Koeman and this transition will never launch if he stays in charge.