Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has questioned whether sacking under fire head coach Ronald Koeman will actually ‘solve anything’ at a troubled Camp Nou after another abject defeat.
Having already been soundly beaten by Bayern Munich on Champions League matchday one earlier this month, Barça fell to a second successive 3-0 loss when they faced Benfica on Wednesday.
It is the club’s worst ever start to the Champions League campaign and gives them a mountain to climb if they are to avoid a first group stage elimination since the 2000/01 season.
With a disappointing start also in La Liga, the pressure has piled onto Koeman.
But the club’s problems extend far beyond the Dutchman’s coaching of the team. The ongoing financial strife has left the squad devoid of sufficient quality, while options have been further depleted because of injuries to a number of players.
Ardent critics want Koeman gone, yet De Jong doesn’t see what difference it would make – any replacement would simply inherit the same dire situation.
"I can't talk about Koeman, it's not for me to say. I don't think changing the coach can solve anything,” the 24-year-old midfielder told reporters after the defeat to Benfica.
“We are trying everything, working hard in training, we are trying our best on the field.”
Sergio Busquets echoed those comments when he said that sacking Koeman is the ‘easy’ way out.
Koeman himself, meanwhile, has insisted that the players still support him. Given what De Jong and Busquets have said about the situation, that would be appear to be true.
“I can only comment on my work with the team. I feel supported by my players and their attitude. I don't know about the rest. I don't know about the club,” he explained.