A 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano in the La Liga has proved to be the final straw in the camel’s back at FC Barcelona and has seen manager Ronald Koeman sacked to end his stint as the manager of the club.
Veteran Colombian striker Radamel Falcao curled home what turned out to be the winner for the Madrid-based club in the 30th minute before Barcelona contrived to miss a number of clear-cut chances, most notably, Memphis Depay missing a penalty in the second half. It was the first win for Rayo Vallecano over Barcelona in 19 years.
Barcelona lost to rivals Real Madrid 2-1 at the weekend in the El Clasico, after which the club’s fans mobbed Koeman’s vehicle on his way out of the Nou Camp, asking him to leave the club. The club promised to take punitive action against the offenders after the incident.
Under Koeman, Barcelona have failed to win a single big match in all competitions, losing four of those so far this season against Bayern Munich, Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. They have only won the Copa Del Rey in his time at the club. They currently sit in ninth place in the Spanish La Liga and are staring elimination from the UEFA Champions League in the face.
Koeman was sacked under similar circumstances in his previous stint managing a club side with Everton in the English Premier League, before a brilliant run with the Dutch national team saw him appointed as Barcelona boss after Quique Setien.
The Dutchman has clashed with club president Joan Laporta already this season for having moved away from the club’s ideals of Cruyffism, referring to himself as a realist as he tinkered the team’s formation to suit the target man he brought in from Sevilla, Luuk De Jong.
Despite receiving the president’s backing only weeks ago, results of recent weeks have been enough to get Koeman sacked. Club legend and Al Sadd manager Xavi has been touted as the club’s next manager by various sources, having already led the Qatari side to seven trophies in his fledgeling managerial career.
The club will look to appoint a replacement swiftly in order to salvage their season as they look like a side bereft of ideas, confidence and the ability to perform.