Ronald Koeman seemed to turn the tide at FC Barcelona during the first weeks of the season, but now the world is very different. After the draw against Seville and the defeats against Getafe and Real Madrid, another damper followed Saturday: Barça got stuck against Deportivo Alavés on a 1-1 draw and is already waiting for four competition duels to win. What do the newspapers in Catalonia and the rest of Spain write about Koeman? Football scoop sets the comments in a row. Mundo Deportivo saw un Barça sin definición, a Barça without ideas, at work in Estadio Mendizorrotza. The sports newspaper saw Barça fall into old mistakes. “Gerard Piqué played back on Neto, who was asleep: Luis Rioja could shoot the ball in the empty target. A cold shower for Barcelona: another race against the scoreboard, just like Seville, Getafe and Real Madrid.”
That race was not won again, although Barça played with one man for half an hour. “Koeman stayed on the bench until the last whistle: he probably couldnt believe that his players were missing so many opportunities. Too little perseverance to win victory after all: we have seen it before,” says MD.
The final 1-1 draw was, according to El Periódico, nothing more than un miserable punto. The Catalan newspaper also saw that Koemans triple change did not eventually result in a three-point change during the rest. He was accused of intervening too late, but Koeman did not take half measures this time: Pedri, Francisco Trincão and Miralem Pjanic came to the field at rest for Clément Lenglet, Sergio Busquets and Ousmane Dembélé. It is not that Barcelona was playing with the wrong mentality, it was trying to be patient. Too much patience: after rest, they were short of the minutes they had wasted for rest.
And so the Catalans have to follow the facts in the Primera División: a place in the middle, thats all there is for now. Eight points behind Real Madrid, with one match in balance, El Periódico charged for it. “Thats not even the most disturbing. The most disturbing thing is that Barcelona already has almost the margin of error a champion can have over a season: twice lost and twice equal in six matches.
Alaves with 10 men, Barca at equal height 😏 Griezmann spits the ball over the hatched goalkeeper 💫 #ZiggoSport #LaLiga #AlavesBarcelona pic.twitter.com/ssxJZ5ncyw
— Ziggo Sport Football (@ZS_Voetbal) October 31, 2020
Diario SPORT could not believe that this same team had won Juventus on Wednesday night without any problems. “Fortunately, the next game is a Champions League game. Barça is a completely different team in the competition than in Europe, says the sports newspaper, who experienced annoyance with Koeman early in the competition. After ten minutes, he couldnt sit on the couch anymore. He got up and frown his eyebrows. Something was wrong. Ansu Fati received a great pass from Lenglet, but fell back into slow and predictable flowing.
According to SPORT, Barça only started to spin slightly when the young Pedri and Trincão fell in after rest. AS drew similar conclusions. “Barça fell asleep and paid the price for it. All the trust that was refueled against Juventus was immediately gone after a worthless first half, in which Koeman did everything wrong. He had praised Pedri to heaven and overruled Fati: Pedri was demoted to the bank, Fati got a second chance. It had as much effect as the special idea to put Dembélé against such a defensive team. That Martin Braithwaite was allowed to invade the final phase, only Koeman understood.”