Ronald Koeman, Barcelona and a journey through time | Soccer


Children of the 80s will always have a soft spot for Barcelona. That’s because, during that special decade, they were worse than useless. Every pore oozed the purest tincture of failure. A grassroots mob, they have spent the majority of the decade kicking renderers. They couldn’t listen to Diego Maradona. They touched fabric at the mere sight of Dundee United. They’ve won fewer titles than Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao, not to mention Real Madrid, and the one they won is mostly known these days for the Big Cup campaign that culminated in this glorious debacle. against Steaua Bucharest. My only a joke. They were so a lot of pleasure.

But then came the Dream Team, then Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Figo, then a team of Pep Guardiola so good they could afford to wear that Good-time Charlie showboating currently displayed decadently on the benches of Paris. Better teams, sure, but they haven’t sparked much joy in the prankster neutral. However, great news! Looks like those days are on their way back, and with a little bit of speed and things. The recent Grand Cup humiliations against Roma, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Bayern Munich may have long hinted that something like this could be in the post, but the latest fiasco, in which Barca demanded a goal in added time to save a point at home against La Liga wrestlers Granada, perhaps sending the strongest signal to date.

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It was more the way than anything else. After scoring a goal after 88 seconds, Ronald Koeman’s side spent the rest of the evening throwing crosses at the rate of one every two minutes, having pushed Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo to the top to work their heavy magic. alongside former Newcastle United lender Luuk de Jong. Let it come to this for the club of Luis Suárez, Hristo Stoichkov and Luis Suárez. To be fair, the tactic made lead to Araujo’s last goal, then hats off to Koeman, the last Dutch tactical genius to preach cutting-edge philosophy at the Barcelona school. It remains to be seen whether his methods will prove to be as fundamental as those implemented by Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff and Louis van Gaal – but if rumors linking Antonio Conte, Xavi and Andrea Pirlo with the club are something to be done, Koeman would do better. to choose lifts his legs quickly if he wants to cement his legacy. We give it a week.


Join Will Unwin from 7.15pm BST for MBM coverage of Luxembourg 0-5 England in the 2023 World Cup qualifiers, while Scott Murray will be on deck for our Rumbelows Cup clock at 7.45pm.


“This is just the start of the journey … and the hard work is now intensifying as we begin the search for our first deeds to be signed … I am confident that we have a great team in place to do label a huge success “- Wolves Growth Suit Commercial Russell Jones announces the launch of Wolves Records. Expect young fado artists to be loaned out imminently.


David Squires goes through his catalog and selects “10 panels from the last few years that I hate the least” – including Emo Mourinho, North Bank Redemption, Shoegaze Mr Roy and more.

A classic. Illustration: David Squires / The Guardian


“Re: Joy Clancy’s request for arbitration (yesterday’s Fiver letters), there is precedent for play to continue with a single assistant referee, according to Accrington v Crewe in 2019. According to the Big Website report, other supporters volunteered to take over with the flag, but the managers were happy to be off balance. Perhaps they thought that, not having warmed up before entering the pitch, the fan would not have been in tune with the pace of the game ”- Jim Hearson.

Send your letters to [email protected] And you can still tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our daily prize-free letter is… Jim Hearson.


Hungary are due to play their next home World Cup qualifying game behind closed doors and pay a fine of £ 158,000 as punishment for racist abuse by their fans against England players in Budapest this month, right after UEFA’s punishment in July.

Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso stopped taking the knee because he feels the power of the action has been diluted. “I am against any kind of discrimination,” he said. “I’d rather just put my finger on the badge where it says, ‘No to racism’, like they do in other sports and football in other countries.”

Former Swansea boss Steve Cooper accepted the poisoned chalice in Nottingham Forest. “Steve was our first choice… his record of developing young talent is exceptional,” said Chef Dane Murphy.

Massimiliano Allegri insists there was nothing abnormal about his on-camera funk after Juventus, who bothers relegation to Serie A, were held by Milan. “It’s normal for me to have a post-game explosion because I’m human,” he roared.

Massimiliano Allegri, earlier.
Massimiliano Allegri, earlier. Photograph: Alessandro Di Marco / EPA

16-year-old Liverpool winger Kaide Gordon will be among the young “diamonds” to take part in their Milk Cup clash at Norwich. “[He has] fire every moment he touches the ball, ”shouted assistant manager Pep Lijnders. “He passes the players like they aren’t standing there.”

Queen’s Celtic recorded an after-tax loss of £ 12.6million last season as Covid-19 and reduced transfer income hit home. “We are satisfied to have taken sufficient and appropriate measures to mitigate the losses and control the costs of the company”, insisted Ian Bankier.

And because that’s where we are now, Mauricio Pochettino had to publicly justify the replacement of Lionel Messi in PSG’s 2-1 win over Lyon. “We saw that during the match he was checking his knee and making a few gestures,” he sighed, before confirming that the striker will miss the 6-0 victory against Metz, the last one, with bruises on his knee. .


Fulham fan Hayley Davinson writes beautifully about the joy and pain of a seasonal friendship.

Norwich have lost 15 Premier League games in a row. Phew! Is there any hope for them, asks Ben McAleer.

Vegan pies, “Quadrant” games and a new coffee machine: Ben Fisher walks behind the scenes at Wycombe.

A quiet night awaits Wycombe ...
A quiet night awaits Wycombe … Photograph: Tom Jenkins / The Guardian

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