There’s never a dull moment at Camp Nou these days.
If it’s not on-pitch issues that are causing heart attacks for Barcelona supporters, it’s the in-fighting behind the scenes.
Given how the season began, the club have to be happy with the job that Ronald Koeman has done to this point, however, it appears that he’s on a collision course with new president, Joan Laporta.It’s not an exaggeration to say that he could even be replaced before the start of next season either.
The issues appear to stem from the team being in charge of their own destiny in terms of winning the league title, to throwing it away time and again, and now relying on Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to drop points.
Had Barca beaten Granada at Camp Nou a short while ago – a team that had been defeated on all 24 previous 24 – then Barca would still be top of the table now, with three winnable games left.
The question marks over Koeman’s suitability have therefore reared their ugly head again.
Does he really have what it takes to manage at the top level, given that he has failed in every big game during the 2020/21 campaign, bar the Copa del Rey final?
Furthermore, Koeman’s insistence at giving Barca’s first-team a more Dutch flavour isn’t winning him any friends on the board.
Whether it’s to pacify Lionel Messi or not, it seems that the club want to bring in Sergio Aguero for next season, however, Koeman is steadfast in his belief that Memphis Depay, a player he coached whilst with the Dutch national team, is the better option.
There appeared to be a similar school of thought when wanting to bring in Liverpool’s Gini Wijnaldum, though Ilaix Moriba’s emergence seems to have put paid to that move now.
Perhaps things will come to a head if the Catalans are unable to secure the league title, given that Xavi might well be available to take the reins.
It isn’t the best recipe for success, given the amount of upheaval there’s already been at the club over the last 12-18 months.
Laporta at least seems to be dealing with all matters – including those left over by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu – head on, and with full transparency, which is something at least.
With Messi’s final contract approaching, the president needs to make sure everything is exactly as the captain requires if the club are to have any hope of keeping him.
If that means putting the manager’s nose out of joint regarding signings, or replacing him, so be it.