Ronald Koeman has one of the most difficult jobs in European football on his hands, as he seeks to make Barcelona a force on the continent once again, perhaps with only 12 months in which to do so.
The Dutchman was announced as the new manager of Barcelona this week after the club dispensed with the services of Quique Setien in the wake of the terrible 8-2 Champions League quarterfinal defeat against Bayern Munich.
Whilst it’s thought that Koeman would like to ensure a more youthful edge to Barca’s first-team, ridding the club of elder statesmen that he perhaps considers too old for the job won’t be an easy process at all.
However, it looks like he’s already worked out how to help Luis Suarez out of the Camp Nou exit door.
“With all due respect, (Antoine) Griezmann isn’t a winger. He needs to play where he has his entire life, showcasing all of his qualities,” he said in an interview with NOS Voetbal, cited by Sport.
“For that reason, I believe it’s important that a coach knows his players and how to get the maximum out of them. That starts by playing them in their right position.”
The inference was clear, that the Frenchman would be Barca’s central striker next season.
Though Koeman’s way of doing things is undoubtedly going to put a few noses out of joint and bruise a few egos, if Barca want success, then they need to allow the Dutchman to go about his work.
For far too long now, rumours of the senior players running the dressing room have festered.
An iron fist is needed, and if that means there are a few casualties along the way, so be it. You won’t find Barca fans complaining if it means the club are winning trophies again.