Koeman, on the tightrope, Cruyff as a replacement and Bob Martínez on the horizon


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Ronald Koeman he was never Joan Laporta’s coach. The candidate Jan would never have announced him as a future star signing and the newcomer president would have replaced him after the disastrous end of last season if he had had the money to sign the new one. It is true that the Dutchman softens the presidential heart for being one of the most outstanding disciples of Johan Cruyff, the axis of the Dream Team and author of the historic Wembley goal that marked the first European Cup for Barcelona on May 20, 1992.

But by no means do Koeman’s tactical approaches appeal to Laporta, which has been explaining for a long time, to anyone who wants to listen to him, that he does not like what he sees on the pitch. A little over a week ago, the president was sincere, in this sense, in an ‘off the record’ with some journalists. Such was his harshness that an employee of the club cut off the informal chat telling Laporta that he had to answer an urgent phone call, which of course was false.

Two decisive weeks

ABC published it exclusively after the team’s calamitous game against Getafe: the Dutch coach faces his most decisive two weeks. If he chains a couple of bad results, or a depressing game along the lines of the one he presented at the Camp Nou in his last league game, Joan Laporta has the decision made to replace him with Jordi Cruyff (recently appointed as head of international talent recruitment), with the added idea that players hitherto marginalized by the Dutch, such as Coutinho, Umtiti and above all Riqui Puig, have your chance.

The president considers as temporary, at least for the moment, the position of coach for the son of his idol. To define the sports project of his second stage as president, he would have agreed to Roberto ‘Bob’ Martinez, current Belgium coach. Laporta feels identified with the football concepts of Balaguer’s coach, and the only drawback is that, in principle, he could not count on him until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which will also be held in November and December of the next season.

Another technician that Laporta could contemplate is Xavi Hernandez, who supported Víctor Font in the last elections. But this is not his greatest sin, but rather he intends to link his hiring to that of several members of his family, to place them in key positions in the club’s sports structure. The president refuses to give up control of this significant area, and Xavi sees it as essential in order to fully develop his project. The agreement seems far away for the moment, although it is true that the need and the lack of better options could force it.

Guardiola’s bet

The last candidate was the one Pep Guardiola He suggested him when he refused to leave Manchester City to coach Barcelona for free. ‘Open Arms’ Pep, who charges more than 27 million euros per season for training the English club, did not heed the request of the president who gave him his first opportunity as an elite coach (Laporta really believed that the spirit of solidarity and leftism that So many times he has proclaimed that Guardiola would decant his decision in favor of romanticism to return to Barcelona), but he recommended that he sign Luis Enrique, current coach of Spain.

The president of Barça sees Luis Enrique as somewhat rude, not very fine in his footballing detail and in his personal treatment, and he fears that due to the strong character of both the clashes would be continuous. It is not in their plans to hire him in the short term, but as in the case of Xavi, you cannot rule out eventualities and even caroms that end up leading to his signing. The daring and commitment to young people are points in favor of the Asturian.

Koeman is on the tightrope, his discomfort with the president’s continuous scorn and warnings is notorious, although he first expresses it crudely and then tries to qualify it; and Laporta seems to have already turned his page, just waiting for some bad results to give him the alibi he needs to start it. His dream of having a Cruyff back on the bench seems close to coming true, with the horizon always open for what may happen.

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