Following Barcelona’s 3-0 Champions League defeat to Benfica, Sergio Busquets claims it would be ‘simple’ to fire Ronald Koeman, but thinks the team is also’responsible for the problematic position.’
Sergio Busquets believes that sacking Ronald Koeman following the humiliating Benfica defeat would be ‘simple,’ but insists that Barcelona’s misfiring players are also’responsible for the difficult position.’
Barcelona are now bottom of Group F after losing their first two Champions League matches to Bayern Munich and Benfica, their worst start to the competition since the 1972-1973 season. Barcelona must stay ‘positive’ and ‘concentrate on fighting back’ against Dynamo Kiev, according to Busquets, in order to advance to the next round of the championship. ‘It’s easy to sack the manager,’ Busquets stated after the game. However, the truth is that we are all to blame for this circumstance. To be honest, it’s a crucial one. ‘However, we are just two games into the group and must concentrate on battling back.’ We need to beat Dynamo Kiev twice and keep an eye on our opponents. This group still has a long way to go, and we must attempt to stay hopeful.’ We had opportunities, but I’m not sure whether any of them were on target. Statistics can only tell you so much; just because we didn’t hit the target doesn’t imply we didn’t create nice possibilities.’ Benfica broke and went one-on-one against our centre-halves when we pushed up in the game. That resulted in two goals.’
‘I can’t comment about Koeman, it’s not for me to say,’ Frenkie de Jong said on the Dutchman’s standing at the club. I don’t believe that changing the coach will address the problem. ‘We are trying everything, working hard in training, giving it our all on the field, but today was not our day, that is evident,’ says the 58-year-old coach. ‘We are trying everything, working hard in training, giving it our all on the field, but today was not our day, that is plain.’ I’m still optimistic that we’ll make it. We need to win the rest of our games. We’ve dropped our first two games.’ Koeman, who has previously lost points in LaLiga to Cadiz and Levante, understands the strain he is under and the significance of getting results. ‘This is not the team of years gone by,’ he observed of Barcelona’s latest humiliation. ‘Everything is perfectly clear.’ It’s difficult to accept the outcome. I don’t believe it is an accurate reflection. We responded well after conceding so early, but we couldn’t score.’ They are extremely fast and powerful. There are a number of teams that are more powerful than us.’
The position of Koeman at the club is plainly in jeopardy. However, the club’s budgetary constraints have made finding a replacement more difficult. The club would have to pay the manager roughly £10.4 million (€12 million), and because they are outside of La Liga’s Financial Fair Play rules, they are subject to a specific clause that states that they may only bring in new players (or a new coach) for a fourth of the cost of those who are departing. Although there is some flexibility in how these league rules are implemented, it is possible that if Barcelona loses Koeman, who makes roughly €8 million (£6.9 million), they will only be able to hire a coach for around €2 million (£1.7 million). Nonetheless, Barcelona will return to LaLiga action on Saturday when they visit Atletico Madrid to face Luiz Suarez and Antoine Griezmann, two of their former teammates.
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