Ronald Koeman is a man who is evidently under pressure at Barcelona, and with each passing performance comes more problems for the Dutchman to unravel.
The latest thorny issue that has got right under his skin is Barca’s failure from 12 yards.
Two missed penalties in midweek at Cornella almost cost them a place in the next round of the Copa del Rey, a competition that Barcelona will now be expected to win given the early eliminations of both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
“Missing seven out of twelve penalties is too much,” he said at his pre-match conference for the Elche game, cited by Sport.
“Leo Messi is our man but if he is not available, we need others who have quality and who can score the penalties.
“Tomorrow we will decide in the group discussion what we will do. We will decide the two players who can take any penalties, but the last word will always be with our captain.”
With Messi being absent, it means that the responsibility has to fall on someone else’s shoulders, and by the looks of what has happened this season, no one else is ready to take the lead and shoulder the burden.
As the Spanish giants go deeper into the season, Koeman really has to iron out all of these little difficulties.
Even if 2020/21 is to remain nothing more than a transitional campaign, the very least that is expected, nay demanded, by the fan base is that everyone is rowing in the same direction.
Koeman’s force of personality can ensure that’s the case… whilst making sure extra penalty taking duties are taken care of.