After the end of the 2020-21 season, Barcelona who ended the previous season trophyless on the back of an 8-2 humiliation, who then sacked Quique Setien and appointed club legend Ronald Koeman, won just the Copa del Rey.
In fact to expose the amount of weakness in the team Barcelona could have won two Spanish cups in 2020 in a span of two days but they claimed just one.
Barca win copa del rey
At the beginning of the 2021 season, Barcelona lost their talisman Lionel Messi which means a total of 40+ goals left the Camp Nou with him. Earlier they sold Luis Suarez, who also took his 20+ goals to Atletico Madrid and gave the Rojiblancos a clear path to be crown La Liga winners.
So it was clear to every Barcelona fan, well some, that Ronald Koeman was not going to start the season with Barcelona. After a meeting held in May 2021 between Barcelona's board and Ronald Koeman's agent, Rob Jansen said that "the feeling is positive".
"He could even stay beyond 2021-2022 season but we are not this far yet, more conversation to follow," he told Telegraaf.
Then Koeman stayed as Barcelona's coach.
In the first La Liga game of the season Barcelona defeated Real Sociedad 4-2 in a free-flowing game, most of the fans around the world felt maybe Barca would survive and even do well without Lionel Messi.
The next few games ended in one draw against Athletic Bilbao then a win against Getafe.
Barcelona returned from Internation break to face Bayern Munich who humbled the Catalonian outfit 3-0 at Camp Nou -- the same scoreline they defeated them with 6 years ago.
Koeman thinking during match
From then on, it has been a landslide for Koeman's side with two draws, three wins and four losses in all competitions.
In three games of the Champions League, Barcelona managed to win just one which means they need to win the next two games or hope Benfica drop points to be able to qualify from the group stage as a runner up.
After an away defeat midweek in La Liga to Rayo Vallecano, Barcelona handed Koeman his marching orders but there are two sides to his dismissal.
1. New Ideas Needed In Camp Nou
With the dismissal of Koeman, Barcelona is keen on getting back their identity with Xavi Hernandez the main target for Catalonia which would rejuvenate the fans love and maybe, just maybe give them the necessary tactics moving forward.
Other candidates could also move to Camp Nou with more potential of resuscitating Barcelona's season example include -- Erik Hen Tag (Ajax Coach), Marcello Gallardo (River Plate Coach).
These individuals have shown their ability not only to coach but also manage a team, so they would be better additions to the Barcelona team.
2. Winning Fans Interest Again
The COVID-19 has given us a taste of what football is like without fans and it is evident that one can not survive without the other.
Barcelona's fans are losing interest in the club and they are also turning on the coach, Koeman faced an angry mob after the El Clasico which is something not peculiar to Catalonia fans.
So bringing a new face could bring back the love of the fans and the Camp Nou grounds can witness more roars that made it a fortress both domestically and Internationally in the past.
3. Maximum Utility of the Youths
Barcelona no doubt is no longer a home of oldies -- it was indeed a clear out during the 2020 season, though the loss of some of these veterans still hunts the club. at least there are some hopes for the future.
Ansu Fati Celebrates Goal For Barcelona for 2021-22
Gavi, Ansu Fati, Frenkie De Jong, Sergino Dest, Demir, Alex Callado, Nico Gonzalez, Riqui Puig, Araujo, Mingueza and Eric Garcia are the new young faces in the Barcelona team.
A coach like Xavi or Eric Ten Hag can give these youth players maximum utility to bring out the best in them.
1. Maybe Too Late
The dismissal should have come earlier in the season so that the new project the new coach will be bringing can kick start sooner.
The truth about football is that it is a result of business, you are as good as your last match which means a streak of losses should have spurred the Barcelona board into decision making.
The new man coming now will be under undue pressure to deliver quickly given the dire state the club is --they will face Deportivo Alaves in three days time. After which they would travel to Dynamo to the second round of the Champions League.
2. Financial Implication
The club might not be at the brink of bankruptcy as cleared out by the former President, Bartomeu but they would need some amount to clear off Koeman's contract and signing another coach.
Given their immediate need for replacement, Barcelona would need to buy out the coach. The three (3) names on the list are presently in contract with their respective teams.
This means the same reason Koeman was retained is now invalid and even less wise -- because they would be spending more to sign a new manager than they would have at the beginning of the season.
3. Possible Split In The Dressing Room
Barcelona's main men, Frenkie De Jong and Memphis Depay were drawn to the team by Koeman, who was their former international coach in the Netherlands national team.
Koeman and De Jong
Frenkie De Jong's best season at Barcelona was under Koeman and he said earlier in October that sacking Koeman is not the solution to Barcelona's problems, which means the dismissal of his fellow Dutchman would not sit well with him.
Depay on the other hand knows his move to Barcelona was facilitated by Koeman and not necessarily because the club needed him -- meaning Koeman's departure would not go well with him as well. The same could be said of Luuk De Jong who might have never worn a Barcelona jersey if not he didn't buy it at a store.
So a split in the dressing room because of the decision is possible.