90min
FC Barcelona

Ronald Koeman under even more pressure despite Barcelona equaliser vs Granada

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Ronald Koeman will do well to retain his job for too much longer
Ronald Koeman will do well to retain his job for too much longer / Eric Alonso/Getty Images
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Even if you had been living in a cave, avoiding updates on Barcelona's various catastrophes over the past 18 months, a brief glance at their game against Granada on Monday and you soon would have realised the club were in a generational crisis.

The tension swirling around Camp Nou was could be felt before kick off.

Prior to the game, reports that manager Ronald Koeman was one embarrassment away from facing the chop were rampant. Therefore, the Dutchman's blood pressure would have spiked considerably when Granada put themselves in front with less than two minutes on the clock.

Domingos Duarte was the scorer, ghosting in at the back post where he was afforded a comical amount of space to head home. This calamitous start to the match was only the beginning of a painful evening for Koeman and his team. The club being in a dire state is no secret and the regularity of reminders of this fact was startling.

Soon after Duarte's opener, Granada could have easily had a second, with captain Jorge Molina forcing a top save out of Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Before the break, Koeman was then dealt another crushing injury blow with youngster Alex Balde forced off with an injury that, by the look of the heavy strapping on his lower back, he might have been asked to play through.

This means Barcelona, the club that has spent unfathomable amounts on players over the past five years, do not have a single fit and available left-back in the entire squad. What a complete joke.

Things did not get better in the second half either. Luuk de Jong, whose mere presence in this squad is an insult to Johan Cruyff and the game he loved, did his best impression of a manikin for 45 minutes, barely touching the ball. Even when he was offered his bread and butter, a close-range header, he could not produce, somehow powering his effort over the bar.

Ronald Araujo
Ronald Araujo salvaged something for Barcelona late on / Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Perhaps if Gerard Pique, his strike-partner for the final 15 minutes - no, seriously - had been in that position, he might have been more successful.

De Jong's header came after one of Barcelona's attempted 45 crosses during the game. The vast majority were aimless, even if one did find the head of human wrecking ball Ronald Araujo for the equaliser. This shift in approach, rather than the result itself, is likely to do Koeman the most damage.

As wishful as this thinking might be, given the disastrous state the club find themselves in, Barcelona's match-going cules - and more importantly, the board - still demand a style of play that can be traced back through the club's rich history.

Around 3,000 tickets were not sold for the Granada game, largely due to supporter apathy, and this is unlikely to change unless Barcelona revert to the beautiful free-flowing football Culers crave.

Koeman does not seem agreeable of implementing this with his current squad. This, combined with his ill-judged attempts to take on president Joan Laporta publicly, means the writing may already be on the wall for the Dutchman. He could be given his marching orders very soon.

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