Koeman peers at the hourglass. He knows that his time at Barça is running out, but the agony is long. Laporta turned his back on him months ago. He never felt like his coach, he played with him in the summer but found no substitute and now he does the same. He supports him in office because he is pursuing a credible replacement, with sufficient hierarchy so that he is not exposed with the change. His estrangement from Laporta has been joined by the slapping of the ears from the captains after the Cádiz match. Koeman has not had a bad relationship with them in these 13 months that he has been at Barça, but Piqué or Sergi Roberto cannot buy a speech that has nothing to do with being champion. “I'm not here to be second or third”, Piqué said minutes after Sergi Roberto, signed, proclaimed: “We are Barça and the goal here is to win LaLiga.”
Expelled by Del Cerro Grande, who was as disoriented as the Dutchman in Cádiz. Koeman lives these days amidst uncertainty, outrage and helplessness. He does not know when the club will make the final decision to dismiss him, a scenario that he considers unfair because nobody, apart from Mateu Alemany and Ramon Planes, seems to take into consideration the good things, some, that he has done for Barça in this scraping year that he has been on the bench. But Koeman is also powerless. His speech this Wednesday, together with his press conference after the game against Granada and the approach against Bayern, justify the loss of credit for the club and fans.
In these last two weeks, the most disoriented Koeman has been observed since he arrived in Barcelona. Better than anyone, he knows the position of weakness in which he is before the board. The disappointment of the game against Bayern and the poor booty that is two points against Granada and Cádiz. His position of weakness was made clear by his appearance against the Medes on Wednesday.
Barça did not return after the Cádiz match. Overnight at the Playa Victoria hotel in Malaga, a classic of the Tacita de Plaza. There he coincided in an obligatory way with the president. Joan Laporta has spent a couple of days in Andalusia. From Palos de la Frontera, where he met the peñas, to Timón de Roche, where he coincided with the former president of Sevilla, José María del Nido. This Friday, new details of the Koeman-Laporta meeting will emerge, if there was one. “We have greeted each other at the hotel; there will be time to talk if the club wants to,” said the coach after the game. Another demonstration of the coldness of the relationship. And the assumption by the technician of his position of weakness. After the game, Ramon Planes, technical secretary, assured that Koeman will sit on the bench against Levante. But he slipped a nuance: “There is a game in three days.” As if Barça were marking the times of what everyone considers an imminent dismissal.
But, before releasing Koeman, Laporta needs to have a replacement. Xavi is the favorite, but his appointment means admitting that the good project was that of Víctor Font, that led to Terrassa as headliner with Jordi Cruyff in his sports project. Jordi is already at Barça … Laporta even said that he still saw Xavi in a learning process, more for the subsidiary than for the first team. So explore other avenues. That of Robert Martínez, and that of some media, like Henry. Offers for the Barça bench there will always be a thousand. No one would have thought that Quique Setién would one day be a Barça coach. That is why there are calls from any corner of the world. But, Before offering Koeman's head on a silver platter, Laporta has to have someone credible tied up. Replacing the Wembley hero doesn't just deserve respect. Also a weighty name.