FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman faced the press on Wednesday to speak about his future with the club. According to him, club president Joan Laporta has laid out a number of conditions that need to be met before his contract can be extended. The Dutchman's current deal expires at the end of this season.
Just like how it would be for any manager, and more so for the manager of a club like Barcelona, the president expects Koeman to deliver trophies. This is expected, as any coach knows that his job depends on results. However, Koeman is left with an extra complicated task of chasing silverware with a squad that was formed with the salary cap under consideration more than anything else. In other words, Koeman was not able to freely choose the players he wants to work with.
Lionel Messi had to leave as the club could not afford him, and a number of players were sold even though they may have been able to contribute to Koeman's project. Most notable would be Antoine Griezmann, who is also going to make it more difficult for Barcelona by now providing his services back to La Liga holders Atletico Madrid.
Laporta dictates player choice
Apart from being left with the players that he did not hand pick himself, Koeman is apparently required to give Riqui Puig and Samuel Umtiti added minutes this season. Puig is clearly out of favour with the manager , and Samuel Umtiti spent most of his time recovering from injury last season.
The inclusion of both players is unlikely if Koeman had complete control, but now Laporta is encroaching into the manager's duties. It remains to be seen if Umtiti is able to get back to the fitness level required to start for Barcelona. As for Puig, Koeman may have to find a way to compromise with Laporta.
Style of play
Lastly, Barcelona are reportedly demanding the implementation of their signature brand of attacking football. A 4-3-3 formation is preferred, but all this is required even though the manager was left with fewer options up front than he would have liked.
Indeed Koeman has a mountain to climb, and judgement day will likely be bloody at the end of the season unless he pulls of an extraordinary feat.