“What Barcelona is this?”: Spanish newspapers SLAM Ronald Koeman after Granada draw
‘What Barcelona is this?’: Spanish newspapers lament Ronald Koeman’s men ” appalling ‘performance in home draw against Granada … as Catalan giants accused of’ giving up ‘ their famous style based on possession
- Barcelona saved a point against Granada thanks to Ronald Araujo’s header
- The Uruguayan equalized in the 90th minute after Domingos Duarte’s opener
- Boss Ronald Koeman was forced to defend the Catalan squad’s direct style of play
- But Spanish newspapers criticized the approach and the Monday night posting
The Spanish press criticized Barcelona’s “appalling” performance and tactical style in their draw against Granada at Camp Nou, which increased the pressure on the boss under the late Ronald Koeman.
The Catalan giants needed a 90th-minute equalizer from defender Ronaldo Araujo to save a point at home after Domingos Duarte gave the Andalusian side the lead in two minutes.
The result was not the only aspect of Barcelona’s performance to come under criticism, with Koeman having to defend his side’s straightforward style of play, which saw center-back Gerard Pique playing past Luuk de Jong.
Spanish press criticized Barcelona’s “appalling” display in Granada draw
Catalan giants needed a 90th-minute header from Ronald Araujo to save a point
‘What Barcelona are they?’: MARCA criticizes Barcelona’s ‘appalling’ performance at Camp Nou
It was a marked difference from the possession-based style that was associated with the club, and MARCA in particular was stunned by the tactics employed by the boss under the late Koeman.
MARCA ran with the headline: “What Barcelona is this?”, Calling their display “appalling”.
They also accused Barcelona of “abandoning” their traditional dominant possession-based style of play which has brought the club so much success.
Catalan newspaper SPORT published a slightly more positive headline, praising the performance of center-back Araujo, calling him a “hero” and “key man of the night”.
‘Hero Araujo’: SPORT defender praises after equalizing to save his team from defeat
The Uruguayan hailed 17-year-old midfielder center Gavi for saving the Catalan side from an “embarrassing” defeat, but they also lamented Koeman admitting that “their tiki-taka days are over”.
Equally worrying was the fact that Barcelona once again “demonstrated their helplessness and lack of resources” against Granada.
The Dutchman is coming under increasing pressure as a manager, however, with ex-midfielder Xavi, Andrea Pirlo, Antonio Conte and ex-Derby boss Phillip Cocu being linked at work by reports in Spain.
But when asked how he thought the outcome might affect his chances of staying in the job, Koeman said, “I’m not going to talk about my future anymore.”
He also suggested that with the players he has, it’s impossible to play other than the more direct approach they took on Monday night.
The draw increased the pressure on Ronald Koeman, who defended his squad’s straightforward style
“If you see the squad roster today, do you really think we can play tiki-taki (sic)?” He told reporters.
“Barca are not Barca eight years ago. We play Barca style but we don’t have the speed in the wide areas because we have [Philippe] Coutinho who cuts inside and [Yusuf] Demir who does not reach the signature very much.
‘When Ansu Fati and [Ousmane] Dembele will come back so we will be different but they are not in good shape so we have to find alternatives.
Barcelona now sit seventh in La Liga, two points behind Real Sociedad, fourth and five behind leaders Real Madrid.
Koeman’s men will now be looking for their first win since winning Getafe at the end of last month when they visit Cadiz next Thursday.
Barcelona now sit seventh in La Liga after disappointing draw against Andalusians