We all went into this season knowing this was a transition year. Of course, it would be awesome if we could once again transition into a treble-winning team, it would more awesome if we could transition into fans that whine a bit less.
After three years of uninspiring leadership and performances, I just wanted to see a team that was not run by the Club De Amigos. To be honest, I‘m okay without a title this season.
Heck, even when we changed coaches while on top of the league my expectations were quite low.
I wanted us to sell Coutinho this summer (didn’t happen) and I wanted us to sell Umtiti (sigh). But we did manage to get Suarez out and that was I must say was awesome. I still don’t understand why people think that just because Suarez scores goals for Atleti, letting him go was a mistake. He scored goals for us as well. We play better without him period! End of story.
Good luck to him at Atleti and you know what I hope they win the league.
Of the young players, I was most excited about, Riqui was number one and I am a huge believer in Alenyà’s capabilities as well. Both have received no starts and hardly any sensible minutes and one is loaned out to Getafe (sigh).
I was also hoping against hope that Dembélé would a) not break and b) not be sold and c) finally, live up to his promise.
Am I getting everything I wanted?
Of course not. Our coach is Ronald Koeman. But we are competitive with him at the helm we are ou three points behind RM and we are in the second round of the Champions League.
We play young players, some of which were not known at the time we saw them called up, that’s the Barca way. Yes?
But most importantly I am looking forward to the matches again, something that was difficult at various points over the last three seasons.
So what are we whining about?
Let me get some of the most common idiotic complaints out of the way:
Koeman is too stubborn to play anything else other than 4-2-3-1
This is false, yes Koeman does love the 4-2-3-1 formation but he is not as rigid as the average fan would like to believe. He has also played 4-3-3, 3-4-2-1, 4-1-4-1, so this is a false assertion that many are using as their basis for the Koeman bashing.
I for one believe that 4-2-3-1 is incompatible with Barça football. Are we going to ignore that the very same fans complaining today were the same ones who admired Ajax’s style of playing and called it the type of football Barça should be playing? Surprise surprise to what Ajax formation they were set up, it was 4-2-3-1, so how then can Koeman be criticized this much?
Koeman doesn’t know how to coach JDP (Juego De Posicion)
Yes, I have heard so many of us say this. It’s ridiculous to fathom that one of the most influential players of Johan Cruyff’s dream team, supported by the assistant to Erik Ten Hag and Julian Nagelsmann, can not coach JDP (sigh). This is a deluded statement and all fans who believe this should be ashamed of themselves. Koeman understands JDP and he has on many occasions spoke at length about it showing that he has a deep love and knowledge of the principle.
Please make it make sense, Barcelona fans, please.
I mean look at our results! We dropped points, sure, but most points dropped were because we missed too many chances and/or made individual mistakes, that can not be down to the manager. And I will be the first to admit that we have had some poor games. So what? We are in a transition year for crying out loud, we all know this.
How you are going to lose it with a club legend who took over a team in transition after a disastrous year and no money to sign any significant players is beyond me. Put some respect for his name and give him some time.
Fans are crying foul when we have this:
Our xG ranks 3rd across the top 5 leagues. We create more scoring opportunities than any other top 5 league team outside of the Ligue 1. Griezmann has been inefficient and Messi is only recently showing signs of his usual murderous form in front of goal. We can’t blame the coach.
In xG difference per 90 mins we rank 6th across the top five leagues, meaning that in scoring opportunities created on both ends of the pitch, only 5 teams put themselves in a better position to win their games than us. Let that sink in
In comparison, Real Madrid has almost half our xGDiff per 90 mins.
I will however critic Koeman for one thing.
For some weird and inexplicable reason, Koeman does not trust Riqui Puig at all. Note that in the two games he got the most minutes (Granada, Juve), the result was already decided. At this point, it is up to Riqui Puig to convince his coach as much as he has convinced his fanbase (myself included!) of his full ability.
I believe in being fair, Koeman has been treated unfairly with unprecedented disdain whereas we should give him time to get things going. Things are not great and they are not as bad as they seem.