Ronal Koeman's Barcelona won only Copa del Rey last season and squandered a number of chances to win the La Liga title.
Barcelona’s president confirmed that head coach Ronald Koeman will stay at the club for another season. There were speculations that the Dutchman could be replaced after Barcelona faltered in the final stages of the La Liga title race with a draw and a loss to Levante and Granada respectively. But, overall, Koeman had a decent first season at the club as they won the Copa del Rey and finished third in La Liga. Therefore, after analyzing the Dutchman’s last season the board has decided to keep him for another season.
The decision was announced after a meeting of the club’s board of directors and ended the uncertainty that clouded the club for the last two weeks. “I’d like to announce that, after a period of reflection, we have decided to continue with Koeman,” club president Joan Laporta said. “We are very satisfied with how everything went during this period. We had some very direct conversations. Koeman’s behavior was impeccable. He showed that he is a great professional.”
Laporta had earlier said that they were looking for another coach as Koeman didn’t have the best seasons considering the high standard of Barcelona. The Blaugrana were knocked out in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League and squandered the chance to win the Spanish league.
“We needed this period to get to know each other, we needed to find solutions to whatever disagreements we might have had,” Laporta said. “We reached the conclusion that this is what is best for Barcelona and for Koeman.”
Barcelona did search for a new manager in the market. The names of Xavi, Roberto Martinez and Hansi flick were doing the rounds as a possible replacement for Koeman.
“We could have ended the contract if we wanted to,” Laporta said. “He has been reinforced. We are very satisfied to be able to continue this relationship. We see a coach who is very motivated and who already has a year of experience with the club. I think that he comes out of it reinforced. He is the coach we want.”
The former Barcelona defender was in charge of the side for 54 games, with 34 wins, 11 losses and 9 draws. The team scored 122 goals and conceded just 58 during his first season incharge of the club.
Koeman arrived at a time when the club was going through one of its worst phases, having gone trophyless for the first time in a decade and thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munish in the Champions League quarterfinal.
“I hope Barcelona will be a more competitive team, with a winning mentality and a style of game that is more attack-minded,” Laporta said.
Barcelona are also dealing with some financial constraints therefore can’t really flex their muscles in the transfer market. However, they have made some smart signings to bring in Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia from Manchester City as free transfers. Dutch midfielders Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay are also close to joining them. Meanwhile top scorer and talisman Lionel Messi’s future at the club is still uncertain as his contract expires on June 30.