Picture the scene...
Laporta: “Ronald, remember 4-3-3, expansive pass and move football, play Riqui.”
Koeman: “Sure boss, no problem.”
Well, the conversation would never really have gone like that, but the directives from the president have been clear and concise enough.
What Barcelona served up against Granada was as far removed from what the club is about as it’s possible to be.
Even taking injuries into account, that was the single most disgusting 90 minutes that Barca have played at the Camp Nou in years.
Incredibly, the team pumped 54 crosses into the box during that period. FIFTY FOUR!
54 - @FCBarcelona have made 54 total crosses vs Granada CF, their second highest tally in a single LaLiga game since, at least 2005/06 (after 55 vs Málaga in Novembert 2016). Bombing. pic.twitter.com/WwegUTpT33— OptaJose (@OptaJose) September 20, 2021
If the idea of that was to service Luuk de Jong, then why did most of the crosses come in the first half when he wasn’t even on the pitch?!
He did nothing of note - again - when he played the second 45. Outmuscled far too easily for the most part, and when a gilt-edged chance fell his way, he somehow contrived to head over.
An upgrade on Braithwaite? I don’t think so.
The only player that can stand tall after that debacle is Ronald Araujo. Never has there been a more deserving man of the match in a game like the one we witnessed.
When all around him were dilly-dallying, the Uruguayan was the driving force. Both in defence and attack.
His equalising header changes nothing as far as Koeman’s appallingly bad tactics are concerned, but at least he can hold his head high. Most of his team-mates ought to be ashamed of themselves though.
The narrative pre-match was that Philippe Coutinho can now take on the mantle of being the team’s most important player, given that the squad is now sans Messi and Griezmann.
What?! Are you kidding me? Was that a one hour cameo performance worthy of a player that cost €160m?
There were far too many negatives to go into in just one article, but bringing on Gerard Pique to play as an emergency centre-forward really shows just how far Koeman has fallen.
Chasing a game against a team that hadn’t won in La Liga since the last time they played Barcelona at the Camp Nou back in April.
It shouldn’t matter if we beat Cadiz and Levante.
That performance alone should be enough to see Koeman ushered out of the exit door. Completely unacceptable in every way.
That’s not the Barca I grew up and with and not the Barca I want to see moving forward.