Words of calm and calls for respect from Jordi Cruyff were what kept Ronald Koeman in a job at Barcelona before the international break. Now the Dutch coach has three games to prove that the decision to leave him in charge was the right one.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta told Sporstmail in an interview last December that he will never stop being guided by Jordi’s father Johan Cruyff – the Barcelona legend who was by his side as an advisor in his first stint as president from 2003 to 2010.
‘Johan, I always have with me, because of everything I learnt from him,’ he said of the late Dutch master in that interview a year ago. When he returned to the club as president after winning the elections last March he appointed Cruyff’s son Jordi to join his team.
Joan Laporta (right) was convinced to keep Ronald Koeman (left) as Barcelona manager before the international break following the pleas of Jordi Cruyff, son of club legend Johan
Cruyff (centre) is said to have made a compelling case to Laporta (left) to stick with Koeman
His role has been a low-key once since arriving in August from Shenzen FC in China but that all changed just before the international break when it seemed Barcelona would be sacking Koeman.
After a 3-0 defeat by Benfica on the last Wednesday of September Koeman was as good as gone.
It was one thing to lose to Bayern Munich – Barca did that with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the team – but quite another to fall to the side that finished third in Portugal last season.
Reporters were briefed that a shortlist including Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, former Barcelona captain Xavi, River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo and wildcard Andrea Pirlo had been drawn up and that what ever happened in the next game against Atletico Madrid Koeman would be sacked.
It would not be easy to replace him because Martinez was about to take Belgium into the Nations League final four, Xavi and Laporta were not entirely convinced about the timing of them…
Source : dailymail