You can’t deny that finishing second in their Champions League group was a bit of a disaster for Ronald Koeman and Barcelona this year, but it genuinely looks like he’s doing a good job.
Atletico Madrid look like they are starting to choke so winning La Liga isn’t out of the question, while they’ll also fancy their chances of the double by winning the Copa Del Rey too.
On top of that you have to applaud his work to introduce some of the younger players into the team, as previous regimes had panicked and tried to plug gaps with veteran players and it did leave Barca in a mess.
Pedri, Moriba, Ansu Fati, Mingueza and Riqui Puig all look like solid building blocks of the future, while Dest and de Jong are still young players who will be around for years.
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Initially there were fears that Koeman may lose his job when the new President was announced, but a report from Football Espana has indicated that won’t be the case.
They quote Joan Laporta from his inauguration speech today, and you can’t be saying things like this if you are actually planning a change in the dugout:
“We’re aiming to win titles. Ronald, you already know you have the confidence of this new board of directors. What we want to see is that the team is improving and we are happy and hopeful that it will continue to grow.”
Those comments suggest that Koeman will be in charge for next season at least, and it will be interesting to see how he copes this summer if Messi does leave and he’s forced to rebuild his strike force.