Barcelona to keep Koeman until the international break

Barcelona's Dutch coach Ronald Koeman. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's Dutch coach Ronald Koeman. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images) /

Another catastrophic Champions League night for Barcelona is still not enough for Joan Laporta and his board to sack manager Ronald Koeman.

The Catalan side were completely out of their depth against a well-managed Benfica who won 3-0 but who could have scored more. It was almost a repeat performance as the one against Bayern Munich.

Laporta held a late night meeting with his inner circle after the game to discuss the Dutchman’s future. Another meeting was held where a decision was going to be made and the decision seems to be to keep Koeman until the international break.

Despite the club’s decision, Koeman has sat at the Barcelona bench for the final time

According to Marca, if there are no surprises, Koeman will be in charge for the match against Atletico Madrid. However, he will be managing from the stands as he is serving his suspension following the game against Cadiz.

His assistant, Alfred Schreuder, was in charge for the match versus Levante and will do so again against the Colchoneros.

No matter the result, all signs point to the end of the Koeman era and the club is going to use the two-week break to find a replacement. The same names keep popping up with the majority of the board in favor of Xavi Hernandez but with Laporta now favoring Andrea Pirlo.

Back-to-back defeats in the Champions League, sitting bottom of their group and dismal displays in LaLiga has sentenced Koeman. Shifting the blame to his players or comparing this squad to those of years past has also not done him any favors.

"“I feel backed by the players, but I can’t say anything about my future because I don’t know what the club thinks,” Koeman said after the match.“It’s not in my hands. We will see. At the end of the day, the coach carries the blame, but in many phases of the game the plan was good, we were superior to Benfica. After the second goal we had more problems, but we had chances to score two goals. We weren’t inferior to them except in terms of being effective in the box.”Source: ESPN"

There are many who would disagree to his analysis of the game as Barcelona were disorganized in all facets of the game. Frenkie de Jong, the player who was creating the opportunities in the first half, was moved to center-back when Gerard Pique was taken out. They lost their driving force which is no surprise as to why they mustered only one shot on target.

Koeman shoulders a lot of the responsibility for the team’s lack of success — but so does Laporta.

The Barcelona president had the opportunity to sack him before the start of the season but didn’t. He then was given three matches to save his job and drew the first two. The loss to Benfica should have been the final straw but it’s not going to be.

Judging by how he sets Barcelona when facing a big opponent, there is little hope the team musters anything more than a draw against Atletico Madrid.

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Whoever the new manager is going to be after Koeman will have their work cut out for them. This all could have been avoided if Laporta had done the sensible thing and brought in his own choice at the start of the season.