Life at Barcelona has been a bit of a rollercoaster for Ronald Koeman in his first year as manager.
He’s gone from looking like nothing more than a caretaker to the guy who would completely turn them around and lead them to an improbable title, but then it all went sour after some poor results threw the title away when it was in Barca’s hands.
At this point you do get the impression that the new President Joan Laporta would like to bring in his own manager, but Koeman is also a legendary figure from his playing days so that would need to be handled tactfully.
A report from Dutch outlet Voetbalzone has actually suggested that the total opposite is true, and Barca are resorting to some frankly disgraceful tactics to undermine the manager.
They say that recent reports about Koeman being hospitalized with anxiety aren’t true, and it’s merely an effort by the club to attack his personality and present him in a bad light so it makes it easier to move on from him.
They add that he’s perfectly fine, it was just a checkup and he’s already flown back to the Netherlands to visit family for a few days.
You do have to hope that this is just a big misunderstanding as it absolutely flies in the face of “mes que un club” if he’s having health problems and the club are making that public, while if the opposite is true then that doesn’t reflect well either.
This feels like an effort to force Koeman out, but it would surely make any new manager feel nervous about how they could be treated if this is the precedent that’s being set.