Ronald Koeman was the coach Barcelona needed. He was when Bartomeu chose him to right the ship he himself was sinking. He is also the coach now that the club is drifting economically and sportingly. Koeman and Laporta are the two captains Barça needs to refloat.
Koeman's "tiki taki" at the press conference after the 1-1 draw with Granada is the height of desperation. The bombardment of questions about the team's play was a humiliation for the Dutchman, who saved every question as best he could. Part of the Barcelonistas laugh at the Spanish spoken by their own coach and the "tiki taki" was the culmination. Behind those two words that the late Andrés Montes started in 2006 together with Julio Salinas, we have gone on to demand that the Barça coach play what that squad cannot and does not know how to play. The term that defines the football played by Guardiola's Barça or the Spain of Luis Aragonés and Vicente del Bosque will not return to the Camp Nou for several years. The soçi and the journalist who support the colours demand it innocently. Some, at last, in the stands and others in the press room. They need to believe that this style has not gone, that Koeman, as a good Dutchman and disciple of Cruyff, will know how to impose it... but the reality is much harsher. So much so that one of the answers was to remind one of the journalists that the team could not play what it played eight years ago.
If Xavi Hernández was complaining from his Arabian retirement that Real Madrid didn't bring the ball out of play, now he will have to change the channel if he doesn't want to see Piqué coming on in the 80th minute as a centre-forward. Yes, it's something Cruyff did with Alexanco but it's not the same. If the Barça captain now goes out to finish off balls to try to tie a game it is because, after Messi's departure, he has become the team's top scorer. It is the sad reality of a squad managed by Koeman with the permanent obstacles of the board of directors.
When the dressing room door closes, the team and the coaches have the same objective. Without Messi, with Dembelé, Agüero and Ansu Fati injured, the style suffers, and they have to win no matter what. That serves as an excuse in the Camp Nou offices because they need a scapegoat for their sins. They have rejected LaLiga's money, they have not renewed Messi and they have failed to sign their coach. The player who delivered them their first European Cup on 20 May 1992 at Wembley is now a nuisance. Laporta made it public that he wanted to pay him his severance. There was no money in the till, and he had to maintain a guy he didn't like. It even cost him a hospital stay due to the coronary problems he suffers from, aggravated by the tension of those days. Now, after Griezmann's departure and the salary cuts, he could pay him and put him out on the street. The problem will be his replacement, his salary and his conditions because the squad is more than closed.
Koeman unleashed on Dutch television. "Laporta talked too much, thanks to me this club has a future". It's normal that he wants to take aim at Barça's sporting stability. It should be remembered that when he was just signed by Bartomeu, Koeman had to call Luis Suárez to tell him that he did not count on him when, in reality, it was the club that did not want the striker. Enric Masip, a former Barcelona handball player who currently works alongside the club's president, earned his salary with the president's blessing and took to Twitter to say that "if the club has a future, it is thanks to the change of board and president who changed the mess". Masip was shameless enough to clarify that these statements were not in response to those of the coach. What he did was add fuel to a fire that is already smouldering with no one to stoke it.