End of the Koeman Era: Why Was He So Hated?

Barça legend Ronald Koeman was fired after poor results but also after a broken relationship with the fans.

Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman was dismissed as technical director of FC Barcelona, leaving behind an exhausting stage full of chiaroscuro. Photo: Flickr-Ronnie Macdonald

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Angel Hernández Liborio

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Leer en español: Fin de la era Koeman: ¿Por qué fue tan odiado?

Ronald Koeman was dismissed as technical director of FC Barcelona, leaving behind an exhausting stage full of chiaroscuro. On the one hand, a legend who wanted to keep the club in the foreground as a technical director as much as he did as a player, however, things did not go well for the Dutchman and everything got out of control. The pressure for results and the harassment of the fans created an untenable situation that culminated with the end of the Koeman era on October 27, as announced by the club itself.

The numbers against Koeman

On August 19, 2020, Barcelona announced the hiring of Ronald Koeman as its new coach, with a contract that would expire until 2022. His main objective was to lift the team after the Setién era that culminated in the historic 2-8 against Bayern in Champions. But things were not easy for the Dutchman, in his first season he had to deal with Messi's first attempt to leave the club, which created a tense atmosphere.

Koeman achieved the Copa del Rey as a coach. This title, for teams not so big would be a fantastic achievement but for Barcelona used (and forced) to win everything it has been disappointing. To make matters worse, at the beginning of August 2021 Lionel Messi left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain and at the end of the same month also Antoine Griezmann to return to Atlético de Madrid. Although Barcelona have been mentally preparing for some time for a post-Messi era, it was ultimately the Dutchman who had the bomb exploded in his hands.

Koeman leaves 67 directed games, of which 40 were won, 11 tied and 16 lost. That is to say, he won 59% of his games in front of Barcelona and only lost 23%, the problem was that the few defeats were painful and decisive like those that occurred against Bayern and Benfica, both with a score of 3-0 against. In addition to losing his 3 "clásicos" against Real Madrid, one of the few things that the fans do not forgive.

You can also read: Soccer Players Who Returned To The Club Where They Were Consecrated

The weight of the crowd

The way club fans show their passion is very similar around the world, regardless of whether it is in a developed or a developing country. Then, signs of harassment and violence occur even in Barcelona, whose fans expect the club to win everything. Social networks, especially Twitter, made the call to dismiss Koeman a trending topic throughout his time on the bench. But going from the mobile keyboard to violence in the streets is somewhat greater, after the last defeat against Real Madrid at the Camp Nou, the coach was verbally and physically assaulted in his car by angry fans who reproached him for the club's situation. To the pressure of having the team on the wrong track and the pressure of the board, is added the weight of the fans that harshly and beyond all justification used the violence as a tool.

Koeman, the legend

Not even being a club legend helped Koeman receive support and patience from the fans. The Dutchman is "the hero of Wembley" who with a historic goal gave Barcelona their first European Cup (now the Champions League) against Sampdoria at Wembley Stadium in 1992. The 58-year-old former player was part of Groningen, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam (before his retirement) of the Eredivisie and Spanish Barcelona. Koeman was European champion with the "Clockwork Orange", twice winner of the European Cup with PSV Eindhoven and with Barça, four-time champion of Spain, a Copa del Rey and three Super Cups with the "culés", four-time champion of the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven (3) and Ajax (1), among other achievements as a player.

As a DT, he has coached Everton and Southampton in the English Premiere League; in the Eredivisie to Feyenoord, AZ Alkmaar, PSV Eindhoven, Ajax and Vitesse, in addition to the Netherlands national team. In Portugal he took charge of Benfica and in Spain of Valencia and Barcelona. On the bench, his record has two King's Cups with Valencia and Barcelona, three Dutch leagues with PSV Eindhoven (1) and Ajax (2), with the latter he also won a cup and a super cup. In Portugal he won a super cup with Benfica, England being the only place where he has not won titles.

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