Barcelona president admits sacking should have come sooner

Barcelona’s Dutch coach Ronald Koeman seems to be anticipating his sacking as he sits on the sideline during Barcelona’s 1-0 loss at Rayo Vallecano.  (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

Barcelona president Joan Laporta held a press conference where he introduced Barça B manager Sergi Barjuan as caretaker until the club finds a replacement for Ronald Koeman.

Laporta called Barjuan a “man of the club” and someone who knows the system as well as the philosophy.

He also took responsibility for the state of the club on the pitch and admitted he might have made a mistake hanging on to Koeman for as long as he did.

The situation for Koeman at Barcelona had become untenable

Laporta had no other choice but to sack Koeman following the 1-0 loss to Rayo Vallecano. The team was, and is, struggling, and the Dutchman appeared bereft of ideas on how to fix. But it was a long time coming and many were bewildered as to why it wasn’t done before the last international break.

“The decision quite possibly arrived late,” Laporta said. “We should have removed him earlier but it’s easier to analyze things with the benefit of hindsight. In September [before the international break], when we backed him, we felt he deserved to be shown some confidence and be given the chance to get the injured players back.”

Source: ESPN

Coming off the break, Barcelona did win at home against Valencia in the league and Dinamo Kyiv in the Champions League. But the Kyiv result was a narrow 1-0 margin with another uninspired performance.

Then came the loss versus Real Madrid before the latest setback at Vallecas.

“I take responsibility for not making the decision before. We beat Valencia and Dynamo Kyiv but then came a series of bad results. We were drifting dangerously and we risked losing touch in all competitions.”

Source: ESPN

The Barcelona president still maintains the club’s goal is to win every competition but they are way behind in all aspects. They’re adrift in mid-table in La Liga and essentially need to win out and hope things break their way to advance out of the group in the Champions League.

As for who is going to be the next manager, Laporta did not want to get into specifics. Former club legend Xavi Hernandez is the favorite to take over, but Laporta neither denied nor confirmed this.

By all accounts it is only a matter of time before Xavi is announced as the new manager. Barjuan will serve as the bridge until that moment comes. For Laporta’s sake, he better hope his decision did not come too late.