To the surprise of football fans around the world, FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta has not sacked first team manager Ronald Koeman. Instead, the pair called a truce in order to prepare the squad for the upcoming "El Clasico" where they will face Real Madrid near the end of the month.

Everyone expected Koeman to be sacked immediately after the Blaugrana were defeated 2-0 by reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Koeman had to watch the agonising game unfold from all the way up in the stands after picking up a two-game ban last week.

The headlines had been speculating about Koeman's sacking and potential replacement, especially after Barcelona lost the match against Atletico. However, in an apparent change of heart or perhaps just a delaying tactic while the club looks for a replacement, Laporta has now decided to let the Dutch manager stay on, at least for the immediate future.

Both Koeman and Laporta had been asking fans to remain patient, and they also emphasised how much the players need support in these trying times. Koeman also pointed out the club's injury crisis which is preventing him from unleashing the squad's true potential.

Laporta knows that sacking Koeman will also mean that the club needs to prepare for yet another significant financial blow that they can't afford. Not only do they have to pay Koeman's severance, they also need to sign a new manager.

Koeman's two-game ban has ended, and he will again have a chance to turn things around when Barcelona face Valencia. After that, they have a must-win group stage match against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League. If they fail to win that, it will be another difficult few days before "El Clasico."

It will be unlikely that Koeman will be sacked on the eve of such a big match. If they lose against Real Madrid, it will probably be the final straw. If they win, it may just breathe new life on Koeman's tenure.

Laporta said that the manager deserves this chance after accepting the challenge to take the reigns of a club in crisis, and it remains to be seen if this truce will pay off in the long run.

Ronald Koeman
Ronald Koeman watched on as Barcelona were beaten at home to Granada AFP / LLUIS GENE