Barcelona: Koeman defiant over Super League plans
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Barcelona chief Joan Laporta doesn’t think Ronald Koeman is fit to lead the team but is sticking with him because of a lack of alternatives, reports in Spain have claimed. The Dutchman has overseen a problematic start to the new season. And Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid has raised yet more questions over his long-term future.
Before Barcelona faced Atletico, Laporta insisted Koeman would be staying.
“No matter the result, Koeman will continue to be the coach,” said the president.
“He is a Barcelona legend and fan. We have to show some confidence.
“He became coach during a very difficult institutional and sporting moment.
“We all hope the situation can improve.”
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However, the situation at Barcelona has now worsened after Atletico put them to the swore at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Thomas Lemar opened the scoring, with the France international scoring his second goal from five matches this term.
And Luis Suarez then struck to consign Barcelona to defeat, with the Uruguay international then refusing to celebrate as a mark of respect towards his old club.
It was, yet again, a shambolic Barcelona display.
And Sport say that Laporta, privately, knows that keeping Koeman is detrimental to his side’s chances of silverware.
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However, with a lack of alternatives currently on the market, the Barcelona chief feels he has no choice but to stick, rather than twist.
They have been linked with a range of different managers in the past week as the turmoil around the club grows.
Roberto Martinez is one, even if the Spaniard had indicated he’s happy being in charge of Belgium for the time being.
Marcelo Gallardo is another, having worked wonders during his time at River Plate.
And Barcelona have also been linked with Andrea Pirlo and Xavi, while Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp are also admired.
Speaking after Saturday’s defeat to Atletico, meanwhile, Gerard Pique opened up on another bad day.
“It is a complicated situation,” he said.
“We’re suffering, I have to be honest about that.
“It is just not one problem, there are several.
“Despite this, I think we will recover.
“These are difficult times, we have not experienced them before. The atmosphere in the dressing room is very good and we want to turn it around.”
On Joan Laporta backing Koeman, he added: “Laporta and Koeman? As players we cannot get involved, there is little we can do.
“We have to go out to the pitch and do our best and there are days when it turns out well and others where it does not.”
Goalscorer Suarez also faced the media, and insisted his ‘phone’ celebration wasn’t a dig at Koeman, who sold him last year.
“It was for the people who know I have the same number, so they know I’m still on my phone,” he said.
“It was something I had agreed on with my kids.”
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