Ronald Koeman admits to facing an uncertain future as Barcelona boss, with the Dutchman aware that there “is always a lot of pressure” when filling the most demanding of posts at Camp Nou.
The Blaugrana legend returned to familiar surroundings during the summer of 2020 as the Liga giants sought to establish some much-needed stability off the field.
Things have not played out as planned, with Barca sat third in the Spanish top flight and trailing 4-1 on aggregate in a Champions League last-16 encounter with Paris Saint-Germain, and further change in the dugout has been mooted.
What has been said?
Koeman told reporters when quizzed on his future ahead of a meeting with Sevilla on Saturday: “I know that there is always a lot of pressure being a Barca coach. If you don’t win, it’s the manager’s fault.
“I don’t know what could happen in the future, there is time to talk about that, but I’m optimistic.”
Koeman’s record as Barcelona boss
A man who spent six memorable years in Catalunya as a player has taken in 37 games as head coach.
He has collected 23 wins from those fixtures, but it is the eight defeats that could prove costly.
Barca also find themselves trailing 2-0 in a Copa del Rey semi-final clash with Sevilla – who they are about to face in back-to-back outings – and there is no guarantee that major silverware will be secured this year.
That is leading to questions being asked of Koeman, with one presidential candidate – Victor Font – stating on a regular basis that he will look to bring Xavi back to the club as manager if elected as successor to Josep Maria Bartomeu.
What else has Koeman said?
The Dutchman is doing all he can to establish the consistency that Barca need in order to be successful.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, who continues to run down his contract, is a major part of those plans – with the mercurial Argentine topping the Liga scoring charts once again on 18 goals.
Koeman is delighted to have Messi at his disposal, but wants others to step up and provide greater assistance amid accusations of the Blaugrana lacking enough on-field leaders.
“Veteran players have tried to take control, but they can’t do it alone either,” Koeman added.
“Messi has 17-18 goals, the same as everyone else put together. Responsibility must be shared.”
Koeman’s press conference on Friday was cut short, with the 57-year-old having to depart for the second time this season after suffering a nosebleed – with those unfortunate breakouts being put down to the blood thinners he takes to manage a heart condition.