Barcelona Manager Ronald Koeman Admits ‘Tiki Taka’ Has No Place in the Current Squad

Published 09/21/2021, 11:07 AM EDT
Source: Daily Mirror


Last night saw Barcelona score a late equalizer to pull off a 1-1 draw against Granada. After going behind to an early goal, the Catalan club struggled to break down Granda’s block. Finally, in the 90th minute, Ronald Araujo drew the side level with a towering header. Ronald Koeman resorted to route-one football as Gerard Pique, Luuk De Jong, and Araujo occupied the opposition penalty box towards the end of the game. Safe to say, this is a version of Barcelona that the world hasn’t seen in a long time.

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The Catalonian club has been in shambles for a while now. Thankfully, they had Lionel Messi to cover their cracks. Unfortunately, due to the decline of their financial health, they couldn’t afford to keep hold of the Argentinian. Ever since then, the Spanish club have looked unconvincing.

Soccer Football – LaLiga – FC Barcelona v Granada – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – September 20, 2021 Granada’s Carlos Neva in action with FC Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo REUTERS/Albert Gea

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“Not the Barca of eight years ago” – Ronald Koeman admits difficulty in playing tiki-taka with this Barcelona team

After last night’s draw, Ronald Koeman addressed the press. Answering if playing the famous tiki-taka style was possible with this Barcelona squad, the former Everton manager replied, “Watching the squad list… What are we going to do? Play tiki-taka? We have done what had to be done. Today’s Barca is not the Barca of eight years ago”. 

“We played Barca’s way, but we don’t have the speed on the break because [Philippe] Coutinho goes inside, [Yusuf] Demir doesn’t go too deep and that’s the way it is. With Ansu [Fati] or [Ousmane] Dembele it’s different, you have more speed, but you have to look for alternatives.”

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Koeman then spoke about how his team failed to make a bright start to the match which cost them a lot. “Before the game, you think about winning, especially at home, but our bad start made the game difficult for us. We didn’t come in strong, it was our fault. The opponent, after scoring, wasted time from minute two, defended more, did not leave spaces and this is difficult.

The Dutch manager has his task cut out for him to convince the Barca faithful that the club is heading in the right direction under him. Barca are famous for their playing style and elegant, attractive football and a move away from that would put him under immense pressure.

Soccer Football – LaLiga – FC Barcelona v Granada – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – September 20, 2021 FC Barcelona’s Gerard Pique after the match REUTERS/Albert Gea

Lastly, answering whether his future is in danger or not, Koeman remained evasive, “Is my position in danger? I won’t talk about my future anymore.”

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Suresh Menon

127 articles

Suresh Menon is a Football and NFL writer at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing BMM from St Xaviers College with his specialization in Advertising. Juventus is his favorite football club and he one day plans to go to Italy and watch a Juve match live.

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