Barcelona: 3 objectives Ronald Koeman must fulfil at Barcelona next season

Barcelona: 3 objectives Ronald Koeman must fulfil at Barcelona next season. President Joan Laporta announced that Ronald Koeman will remain the Barcelona coach for next season. The Dutchman’s role came under scrutiny after a disappointing end to the 2020-21 season.

Barca finished third in La Liga behind champions Atletico Madrid and arch-rivals Real Madrid. Koeman’s team did have chances to leapfrog the Madrid powerhouses but they failed to capitalize in such situations. This coupled with the failure to progress beyond the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League seriously raised questions over Koeman.

Laporta also mulled over replacements but in the end, the Barca board placed their trust in the Dutchman. Koeman agreed to convert some of his fixed salary into variables while his contract could get extended for another season depending on certain performance-based objectives.

The former Everton boss will also get players that he wishes to have at Camp Nou with Memphis Depay extremely close to completing a free transfer to Barcelona. Gini Wijnaldum was also close and an agreement was in place but PSG swooped in to offer double salary than the Catalans and Wijnaldum changed his mind. With the 58-year-old to continue at the helm, here are three objectives he must fulfil next season.
Three objectives Ronald Koeman must fulfil at Barcelona:

Winning the La Liga and Copa del Rey

For the next season, doing a domestic double is the bare minimum the club must achieve under Ronald Koeman. Barcelona’ hegemony in Spain has almost been unquestionable over the past decade or so, winning nine league titles in the last 15 years along with seven Copa del Rey trophies in the same time frame. Barcelona have also completed the domestic double four times in the last 12 years.

After a premature exit in the UEFA Champions League in the recently concluded 2020-21 season, Koeman and the team were determined to fight for the domestic double. Barca did manage to win the King’s Cup and were running nip and tuck in the La Liga race. Cules thought that a domestic double was on the cards until Barcelona succumbed in the last few games.

Koeman’s tactics of a 3-5-2 or a 3-4-3 have worked well against Spanish sides and have produced fruitful results. If the Dutchman does stick to the same formation next season, Barca should be able to dominate games easily.

Barcelona have gone without winning the league for two straight seasons for the first time since the 2007-08 season. This is a testament to the Catalans’ sheer domination in Spain. After seeing their rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid lift the league trophy in the last two years, Barca will be itching to return to the Spanish throne and Koeman must guide them to it next season.

Going deep in the UEFA Champions League

For winning the UEFA Champions League you need a balanced, stabilized and potent squad with enough depth and quality. Having Lionel Messi in the team does help but sadly for Barcelona it just hasn’t clicked on the European stage recently. The Blaugrana have now gone six years without winning the prestigious European competition.

The miserable quarter-final knockout by AS Roma, followed by a debacle at Anfield and lastly the annihilation by Bayern Munich has left Barcelona fans in a deplorable state. The wounds still seem fresh and the only way to come out of this would be to go deep in the Champions League in the upcoming seasons.

Now, Barcelona cannot be regarded as the favourites to win the UCL in 2022 but Ronald Koeman should aim to take the side as deep in the tournament as possible. Maybe some outstanding show of quality from Messi or some other protagonist on a magical night can do the trick but it’s too early to predict considering the new season hasn’t even begun yet.

Messi also dreams of winning the trophy that has eluded his hands for six years and before he draws the curtain on his illustrious career. Being competitive in Europe next season will be the first step towards it.

Nurturing the youngsters

Barcelona’s philosophy of nurturing youngsters and promoting the gems to the senior team from La Masia has borne sweet fruits in the past. Lionel Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and countless other names can attest to the above notion. Sadly, in the last few years, this ideology based approach was fading.

Barca became just another club that bought top players which has miserably backfired in the sporting as well as the financial sector for the club. Joan Laporta and his board face an uphill task to pull the club out of the financial turmoil while also having several players who don’t fit in the project that were signed by the previous board.

This summer is monumental for the club as the board aims to offload unwanted players and trim the wage bill. Under Ronald Koeman, Barcelona have tried to return to the ethos of trusting in the youth and giving the burgeoning youngsters of La Masia chances in the first team.

The likes of Ansu Fati, Ilaix Moriba and Oscar Mingueza have excelled from La Masia and have left the supporters in awe simply by the amount of talent and skill they possess. Other youngsters like Ronald Araujo and Sergino Dest have also been terrific under Koeman. However, the standout youngster was Pedri who shown unreal quality.

Barcelona, who were once criticized for having one of the oldest squads in the 2019-20 season, recorded an average age of 25.33 in the recently concluded season, having the third-youngest squad in the La Liga.

Koeman has done a satisfactory job in handing out appearances to the youngsters and this should continue going into next season as well. Riqui Puig has not been given a lot of chances by the Dutchman but when he’s on-field, the 21-year-old has looked flawless.

Developing the youngsters should be one of the main objectives for Koeman next season so that Barcelona can have a strong core and rock-solid support cast.

Previous Article
Next Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe in a reader