Ronald Koeman deployed defenders upfront against Granada on Monday and now face a possible sack after failing to win again.
Ronald Koeman defended his direct tactics after being accused of betraying Barcelona’s attacking traditions in a 1-1 draw at home to Granada on Monday, a result that has now put his place as club coach under scrutiny with reports emerging that he could be relieved of his duties soon.
Koeman brought Gerard Pique off the bench at Camp Nou to play up front alongside Luuk de Jong, with Ronald Araujo, another central defender, also thrown into the attack as Barca sent in 54 crosses in search of an equalizer.
Araujo finally headed home in injury-time after Domingos Duarte had given Granada an early lead but the whistles at the end from the Barcelona fans indicated a point was not nearly enough.
“We changed our style a little bit,” Koeman said. “The spaces were out wide, not in the middle. We went with Pique, De Jong and Araujo and from one of those crosses we got the draw.”
Koeman’s position was already fragile after last week’s 3-0 drubbing at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, a game in which his team failed to muster a single shot on target.
After the latest disappointment against Granada, it was put to him that supporters were even angrier about Barcelona’s style than the result
“If you see the list of players, what do you do? Play tiki-taki? Tiki-taki when there are no spaces?” said Koeman.
“We did what we had to do. We tried to win another way. We don’t have players one-on-one or with speed. We’re talking… I’m not going to say more because it seems I have to argue about everything.”