Barcelona confirmed the appointment of Ronald Koeman as their new head coach on Wednesday. The veteran Dutchman left his post in charge of the Netherlands’ national team to sign a two-year contract, which runs until June 2020, with the Catalan giants.
Koeman’s predecessor, Quique Setien was sacked last Monday in the wake of Barcelona’s humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Ronald Koeman will be the third man at the managerial hot-seat of Barcelona this year and will have his task cut out as the Catalan club endured one of their worst campaigns in recent times, having failed to win a single trophy in 2019-20.
So, with Ronald Koeman all set to take charge of Barcelona next season, we take a look as to why the 57-year-old’s appointment could backfire.
#1 Lack of experience in managing top European sides
Since starting his managerial career back in 1997 as an assistant coach of the Netherlands’ national side, Ronald Koeman has managed nine clubs in total, winning eight trophies in the process.
Although he has been in charge of clubs like Ajax, PSV, Valencia and Benfica in the past, they are not counted among the European elites anymore.
Starting from his Vitesse days in the Netherlands to his more recent stint in English soil with Everton, Koeman has been asked to do specific kinds of roles, which are very different from what Barcelona strives for.
In addition, the Dutchman has under-performed on multiple occasions in his managerial career and failed to man-manage properly, leading to several dressing room problems.
So, at an ambitious club like Barcelona, where the demands are sky-high, Ronald Koeman is not tasted enough to comply with such a high-profile job.
#2 Failure on the European stage
Ronald Koeman’s record in European competitions as a manager isn’t extravagant either. The 57-year-old tactician has thus failed to light up the European stage in his two-decade-long managerial career.
His best run in Europe as a manager came with Benfica and PSV Eindhoven of Portugal and the Netherlands, respectively. However, he could only manage to take the two teams to the quarter-final stages of the Champions League.
In 81 matches as a manager in European competitions, Ronald Koeman has just 23 wins to his name.
At a club like Barcelona, where a season is defined on how well the team perform on the continental stage, Koeman’s track record is far from ideal.
Although he did manage to deliver Barcelona their first taste of European success back in 1992 as a player, his credentials are below average in this regard as a manager.
#3 Poor track record in La Liga
In his 20-year managerial career so far, Ronald Koeman has only managed in Spain once. The veteran manager took charge of Valencia in the 2007-08 season only to be sacked after six months.
During his managerial stint at the Mestalla, Koeman didn’t exactly hit the ground running. Despite guiding Valencia to a Copa del Rey triumph, the 57-year-old’s time in Spain’s south-east coast wasn’t memorable as several off-field issues lead to his sacking.
In 30 odd matches as Valencia manager, Ronald Koeman only managed to guide his side to victory on 11 occasions, suffering 14 defeats in the process.
Considering the current situation of Barcelona and the amount of rebuilding that is required to get the club back on track, the appointment of Koeman seems to be a big gamble, to say the least.