Granada has made life impossible for Koeman as Barça coach. The Nasrid team had never won at the Camp Nou until on April 29, it prevented the Catalans from reaching the lead and traced back 12 points in the League: 1-2. That defeat put the coach in the crosshairs of President Laporta. Koeman’s continuity is more questioned than ever after his team encountered Granada again in a match designed for Barcelona’s recovery after Tuesday’s storm in the Champions League. The 1-1 betrays Barça’s misery and the match sums up Koeman’s madness.
The dejection was so resounding that the fans only complained when the Barça anthem was played at full volume. The fans then preferred to applaud the colossus Araújo. The Uruguayan avoided Barça’s defeat at the last minute and left the team and the club in no man’s land, waiting for something to happen without knowing what, stuck in a waiting room that awaits Laporta. No one knows right now what the president can do or what will become of the outdated Koeman.
Scared against Bayern, Barça came out very brave against Granada. Koeman lined up several youngsters, especially in defense, whose average age was barely over 20 years old, especially due to the absence of Piqué and the presence of Balde, substitute for the injured Alba. The coach wanted to look good, it is not known very well if with the president or with the critics, harassed how he feels from the box and part of the field, as well as from the press box, and after a minute and a half the team had already conceded a goal after a cross from Escudero headed by Duarte.
Although the error came from Dest, no one pointed to the youth but to the veterans because of De Jong’s passivity and the sight of Ter Stegen. At the whistle of a sector of the stands, chants in favor of Barça followed while a banner was displayed with the letters Força Koeman. The coach does not seem to have a plan or a stable formation but rather brings the players together in search of a turning point while the confrontation and disorientation are evident at the Camp Nou. Barça plays two games, against the rival and against himself, lacking game and footballers, exposed to any setback, such as the goal of central Duarte.
The goal enlarged the rear of Granada and dwarfed the offensive of Barça. The Catalans lacked imbalance, collective and individual, because there was no passing line to associate or dribble to overcome the dense defense of aid from Robert Moreno, Catalan coach, Barça partner and a good connoisseur of the Barça dressing room. Neither Coutinho and De Jong were encouraged by the mid-distance shot and only Dest struck.
The Barça did not arrive at the area not even by being run over until Araujo appeared. With a set piece, the center-back approached before the break with a header that ignited the Camp Nou. Maximiano’s reply was as extraordinary as the shot from Charrúa, Barça’s best. Mingueza pointed to the outburst and for a few moments it seemed that Granada would yield. The goalkeeper did not fall down to the frustration of a Barça team that could not find a way to give rhythm to the game, angered by the interruptions and losses of time of the adversary, only sharpened by the left margin with Machís.
The scene was so discouraging that profound changes were imposed on Barça. The rope always breaks in the same place: Sergi Roberto left his place to Luuk de Jong while Demir and Memphis opened to the sides and Frenkie de Jong and Busquets formed a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1. Although the slogan was to put centers to finish off the striker, the goal did not come to the despair of the fans because there was no more offensive signal than the bravery of Araujo. The delicate Coutinho took the path of the dressing room and Gavi entered the scene.
There was no option to shoot before the mess at Barça. Koeman’s despair reached such a point that he ended up resorting to Piqué and the unpublished Riqui Puig. The midfielder did not add but the news was that Piqué was placed as the second center forward with Luuk de Jong. An image that seemed a surrender rather than a declaration of intent in a team like Barça. The only one who scored insistently was Araujo. Something that allows us to continue speculating about the future in the short term after failing against a rival who has three points in the League. Granada, wherever it is on the table, is a martyrdom for Koeman.