Just 11 games into his managerial career at Barcelona, and Ronald Koeman is already sounding like he’s expecting to get the sack.
That’s no real surprise given that the team have had their worst start to a league campaign in 49 years.
Not since 1971 have Barca begun so poorly, and four defeats in his opening 11 games has seen Koeman’s odds to be given the old heave-ho when a new president comes in slashed.There’s a question as to whether he’s the right man at the wrong time, but he’s never been an inspirational type as a manager as those at his previous clubs would attest.
Even one of his former players at Valencia tweeted that he couldn’t wait to see Koeman coaching at Barcelona because it would give someone else a chance to win LaLiga.
Although the sentiments are a little over the top, Barcelona would still have known that he hadn’t won a major title in over a decade, and even then it was only the Copa del Rey whilst with Los Che.
He hasn’t won a league championship for 15 seasons, coming as it did whilst he still coached in the vastly inferior Eredivisie.
The fact is that the Dutchman was only ever earmarked for the job because the club knew he wouldn’t turn them down a second time – having done so at the start of the year when they eventually plumped for Quique Setien.
It was the disastrous half a season at the helm for the Cantabrian which paved the way for Koeman to be approached again, but it’s worth noting that he’s already lost more games than Setien in much less time.
To that end, and if managers/coaches are judged solely on their ability to get results, then he’s statistically the worst they’ve had for an age.
His press conferences have been the most refreshing part of his tenure. At least in Koeman Barca have a manager that tells it like it is rather than looking to dress everything up in soundbites.
A few players at the club won’t like being dealt with in such a direct manner, but that’s precisely what the team have needed for some while now.
If results over the next five weeks prove to be more positive, there’s a chance, albeit a small one, that Koeman gets to extend his stay.
If not, he’ll be gone by the end of January, and the fact is that he appears to be mentally preparing himself for that fact already.