Ronald Koeman has been a disappointment since taking over as manager of FC Barcelona in August 2020. Koeman's tactical decisions and team analysis have been subpar. Barcelona won the Copa del Ray by defeating Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in the final in his first season as manager, but they were knocked out of the Champions League in the round of 16 and finished third in La Liga 2020-2021 season. According to reports in Spain, Laporta is considering replacing Koeman with a manager who is familiar with Barcelona's style of play and can make better tactical decisions. Let's take a look at four possible Ronald Koeman replacements.
Four Probable Candidates to Replace Ronald Koeman at FC Barcelona
Barcelona's new president Joan Laporta opted to extend Koeman's contract for another season despite his unimpressive style of play. However, he has made little progress in terms of strategy, and Barcelona's recent results have been awful.
Moreover, Koeman has a terrible track record against big opponents. He only won one big game against Juventus in October 2020. Apart from that, he has lost two El Clasicos, yet to win against Atletico Madrid in La Liga, and failed to beat PSG in the 2021 Champions League round of 16. Bayern Munich beat Koeman's Barcelona 3-0 at Camp Nou in a group stage encounter of the 2021-2022 Champions League season.
Barcelona's hierarchy has become frustrated with Koeman's poor performance as a manager. According to reports, they are on the hunt for a suitable suitor for Koeman.
4) Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte is probably the big name available on the market. He stepped down as manager of Inter Milan after winning the Serie A last season. Conte has a proven track record in both the Italian and Premier Leagues. He is quite clear about what he expects from his team.
Conte has a distinct vision and playing style. He has the ability to bring out the best in his players and take the Barcelona team forward. Conte's approach may not be fully compatible with FC Barcelona's philosophy, but he can provide consistency within the group. Barcelona may consider him as a successor for Koeman if they are unable to persuade their other top targets.
3) Erik ten Hag
Appointing Erik ten Hag would be a great replacement given his recent performances with Ajax. Erik ten Hag’s team has been in excellent form in European competition in the previous three seasons and his style of play is well suited to Barcelona's system.
What's more fascinating is that Ajax has stayed tough and attack-minded despite losing some well-known players. They play more aggressively and terrorize the opposing defense. However, Erik ten Hag must be convinced that he would get the best out of the present Barcelona squad after taking over as manager.
2) Xavi Hernandez
One of Barcelona's all-time great footballers Xavi Hernandez will surely take over as manager of FC Barcelona at some point in the future. However, is he ready to take up the post right now? Because he has yet to coach a European club and has been in charge of Qatar's Al Sadd since 2019.
Xavi is well-versed in Barcelona's culture and organizational structure. He might be an instant success at Camp Nou, or he could be a complete disaster. However, it will be a sensible decision to take a chance on club legend Xavi Hernandez.
1) Roberto Martinez
Spanish manager Roberto Martinez coached three English teams before taking over as manager of Belgium's national team in 2016. He hasn't had much success as a manager, but he has done a good job both at the club level and with the national team.
Martinez is an experienced coach who has a clear vision. However, he needs to adapt his approach to Barcelona's style of play. Is he really the ideal coach for Barcelona at this time? Though recent speculations indicate that Roberto Martinez is the frontrunner to succeed Ronald Koeman at Barcelona.
Xavi Hernandez might be a perfect fit considering his Barcelona connections. He knows more about the club than any of the possible suitors. Though Xavi has no managerial experience in European club football, which might be a big block in his path to becoming Barcelona's manager. Roberto Martinez may also be a good fit for Barcelona. However, it's uncertain whether he will be willing to take over as manager given the club's current position. Antonio Conte and Eric ten Hag are two well-known European managers that can offer stability to the Barcelona team. Whoever gets the job will have a huge task ahead of them to make things better.