Former Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has asserted that his former club dwells in the past as they stick to their footballing philosophy despite the game having a higher tempo and the need for physically fit players. The Dutch manager was succeeded by Xavi Hernandez at Barcelona in November.
Ronald Koeman was hired as the manager of Barcelona on a two-year contract in the summer of 2020. The former Barcelona player had procured his dream job as he took charge of his beloved club and aimed to restore the club's fortunes on the pitch. The Dutch manager endured a mixed spell at the club as supporters and media were critical of the team’s displays although he managed to lead the club to a 4-0 victory over Athletic club as they secured the 2021 Copa del Rey Cup in his first season at the club.
Koeman was unable to turn around the club’s poor showings in domestic and European competitions in his second season at the club as he paid the price for his shortcomings and was sacked from his role in November. Former Blaugrana icon Xavi Herandnez took charge of the helm and has managed to improve their performances until the end of the season.
Koeman was often criticized for moving away from the fundaments of Barcelona’s idealogy as he instructed the team to play a more direct and expansive type of football rather than sticking to possession football.
The next Netherlands manager defended his spell at the club and criticized the Spanish team for being stuck in their ways.
"I am in favour of dominating the game. If you play with three central defenders and five defenders, you cannot say that it is a defensive system. With this system for three or four months, we played the best games in recent years. The clearest example was the final against Athletic. Barca lives in the past, from 4-3-3, from 'tiki-taka'. Football has changed. Now it's faster, more physical. You can't live in the past,” Koeman told Esport3.