Ronald Koeman is already criticized in Barcelona because the team’s game is not convincing and because the performance is not a cover either. Neither good football nor results. 10 points behind Atlético in the League, which could be 13 because the leader has one game less; without the home field factor in favor against PSG in the last 16 of the Champions League for having lost 0-3 at the Camp Nou against Juventus; they recently lost the final of the Spanish Super Cup against Athletic (2-3) in extra time; and needing another extension to eliminate a ‘second B’ like Cornellà (0-2) in the Copa del Rey. Certainly, the Dutch coach has his share of responsibility, a lot at times, but the individual errors of the players are so great that it is difficult not to sympathize with Koeman when he beat them mercilessly in press conferences. Little self-criticism, yes, but there are science fiction situations.
The last two to receive were Pjanic and Dembélé, who missed two penalties against Cornellà stopped by Ramón Juan in regulation time that ended 0-0. And by the way, the stick splashed Griezmann and Braithwaite for being erased after having missed shots in the League. The only one who assumes responsibility without fear of making a mistake is Messi, but he was sanctioned. Nor will he play on Sunday in Elche in the League because the Appeals Committee maintained this Friday the two games were sanctioned by the red card that he saw in the final of the Super Cup. If there is another penalty, it will be interesting to see who shoots it, because De Jong, like Griezmann himself, did not hit the mark in the shootout won against Real Sociedad in the semifinal of the Super Cup. Seeing what Dmitrovic did at Eibar-Atlético, there are already those who visualize Ter Stegen taking care of the shots with his extraordinary good game with his foot.
Koeman’s reflection was hurtful. «We lack effectiveness, it cannot be that in a team like Barça there is no more responsibility to finish the game earlier. It is not serious that we miss two penalties in the same game, it cannot be and it cannot be accepted. I don’t understand it, because normally we have enough players who can score penalties. It may be scary, but I don’t know. We have failed too much lately and above all to calm the game. If you mark one of the penalties, it is on track », launched the culé coach.
As a great penalty taker as a player, he went even further: “There is not so much pressure to score a penalty. There is no audience, you have to keep a cool head and score. It can always be that someone misses a penalty, but in a match like Cornellà’s, for missing two we have had to make a physical effort that is not normal for this type of match. We have to analyze and talk about how we failed and why we had to play 120 minutes once more. Yes it may be that there is now one more fear. Apart from Leo, we do not have a shooter who is showing that he scores a lot of penalties. It is necessary to train more, to speak it and to improve in this aspect ».
Koeman is discussed for targeting the players in such a clear way, but the penalties failures are added to the comic defensive errors that cost points in the League: Neto and Piqué in Vitoria; Lenglet and Mingueza in Cádiz; Ter Stegen at Wanda; Araujo against Eibar … The Dutch coach is fed up and believes that saying it out loud will help the players increase their concentration and take on more responsibilities. We will have to see it.