Does Ronald Koeman deserve a new Barcelona contract?
However, while the club may have signed replacements to step into the gaps in the team, this transitional season will only work if the man on the sidelines can make the correct selections and pick the right tactics to get the best out of this new team.
As such, all eyes will be on Ronaldo Koeman to prove that he can make the most of this difficult period in Barcelona’s history. And if he can do exactly that, the Dutch head coach may cement himself as a long-term manager at the Catalan side.
Indeed, reports in Spain suggest that the 58-year-old tactician is keen on expanding his current deal with Barcelona, which expires at the end of the season. But does Koeman deserve a new contract? Let’s look at the stats to find out.
How well has Koeman done at Barca?
After being jettisoned into the club a few weeks into last season’s league campaign, Koeman’s reign at Barca didn’t exactly hit the ground running, as the club won just four of the manager’s first 10 games and at one point the side were sitting as low as eighth in the league table.
However, Koeman did manage to turn the team’s form around and by early 2021 Barcelona were back in the title race and even spent one week top of the table, before eventually being beaten to the title by Atletico and pipped to second place by Real Madrid.
Of course, third place certainly isn’t good enough for Barca and with an average of just 2.11 points per game since he took over the reins in Catalonia, Koeman’s record is worse than all of the four managers that came before him, aside from Quique Setien.
A tough gig to take on
Of course, unlike his predecessors in the job, Koeman has had to inherit a complete mess of a team and then watch key players be sold off in a bid to keep the club above water.
Not only have Messi and Griezmann departed, but the club also sold Luis Suarez to direct rivals Atletico last season in a move that undoubtedly played a huge part in helping the capital side win the league title.
As such, Koeman’s job at Barca has been as much about putting out fires as it has been about building a successful team that can win games and trophies.
Perhaps comparisons to previous Barca managers isn’t a fair way to judge Koeman and gauge whether he deserves a new contract but there’s no doubt that the Dutch manager will have to make the most of the situation and get the Spanish giants back on track on the pitch if he hopes to stick round.