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Could Koeman be the reason Messi leaves Barcelona?

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Coach keeps reverting to type

FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Being a club legend - if indeed he is that - doesn’t give Ronald Koeman a free pass at Barcelona. Far from it in fact.

For someone who will always be associated with the blaugranes because of that sensational free-kick at Wembley, he should know better than most what works for the club in terms of their formation, and what doesn’t.

Equally, when things aren’t working, he needs to be level headed enough, rather than bloody minded, to change it around.

I’ve not seen an awful lot of that in any of the games that the Dutchman has taken charge of this season.

He’s certainly not a tactical genius on the evidence that he’s supplied to us already either, though should we really be surprised?

FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

At every club he’s been at, by and large his tenures have been awfully uninspiring. That’s probably quite an apt description for Barca at the moment - uninspired.

When they need guidance from the bench it appears to be woefully lacking. When the team needs freshening up, the same few players come on in the same positions.

Football by numbers if you prefer, and that’s not Barca. Where’s the spontaneity, the artistry...

Leo Messi for one looks utterly dejected and forlorn each time he takes to the pitch, dragging the team to ever greater heights when possible, along with Pedri who, again, must be handed the plaudits for a composed performance.

The rumours continue to swirl around Messi. Will he go, will he stay, will he wait until the new president is installed before making his decision... so many questions.

Perhaps by the opening of the transfer window they’ll already be answered if Koeman hasn’t got his act together.

FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

We’re consistently led to believe that Messi wants to see a younger team but one that will be challenging for honours.

This team is a long way away from that at the moment, and if Koeman is allowed to see out the season, the damage for the club could be irreparable.

When Victor Font announced that Koeman would go as soon as he was elected president, were that to happen, culers were split on his honesty, going as far as feeling sorry for the Dutch coach.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone sorry for him now, and that’s perhaps the biggest indictment of his reign to date.

No one would bat an eyelid if he were dispensed with for the sake of someone else.

That someone else, however, has to make keeping Messi in situ as his priority, as long as it’s not too late by then.