Ronald Koeman could be sacked even if Barcelona beat 'inconsistent' Atletico Madrid - Inside Europe
Ahead of a huge meeting at the Wanda Metropolitano, Eurosport Spain's Samuel Garcia offers his expert insight on a crisis at Barcelona, Ronald Koeman's future and Antoine Griezmann's Atletico Madrid return. The Catalan club were well beaten by Benfica in the Champions League in midweek to pile more pressure on their manager, while Atletico have had a mixed start to the season.
'I have eyes and ears' - Koeman aware his future in doubt at Barcelona
Ahead of a huge La Liga encounter, we turned to Eurosport Spain's Samuel Garcia for his expert insight on the bad times at Barcelona, how exactly Antoine Griezmann has been received since returning to Atletico and more...
Atletico Madrid are three points off Real at the top of the table, but are they lucky to be there? They have scored stoppage time goals against Villarreal, Espanyol and Getafe. Are they playing badly? If so, why?
Atlético have started the season inconsistently, especially due to the defensive problems that haven't been there previously. They have conceded in five of the seven games, some of which have been against teams that will fight against relegation (Getafe, Alavés or Espanyol). In addition, they have had difficulty creating chances for Antoine Griezmann or Luis Suarez, which has led them to have very tight matches.
Their greatest strength since Diego Simeone's arrival has been defensive solidity, something they are struggling with this season. Despite this, Atletico are only three points behind Real Madrid and will surely fight for the championship.
Antoine Griezmann was booed on his return to the Wanda Metropolitano as an Atleti player against Porto. How is he playing? Has he disrupted the flow of the team? Are they better with or without him?
Griezmann was booed but was also applauded by a sector of the Wanda Metropolitano. He has all the confidence of Diego Simeone and will start in the important games. His start was not good, he didn't score or offer much going forward, but against AC Milan he scored and was key in the comeback.
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The team is not necessarily better with his arrival, with Ángel Correa losing favour, but Griezmann has all the confidence of Simeone and this is very important.
What is currently their biggest strength and weakness and where would you place Atleti in the list of favourites to win Liga?
The greatest strength is the continuity of a leader like Simeone and the great attack they have this season: Luis Suárez, Griezmann, Angel Correa, Yannick Carrasco, Joao Félix, Marcos Llorente. If they recover defensive strength they will easily fight for the title.
Will Ronald Koeman get sacked if Barcelona lose? How bad a job is he doing?
If he loses he will be sacked. And if he doesn't lose there are also many possibilities.
'It's not in my hands' - Koeman on Barcelona future after Benfica humiliation
His first season was not bad, winning the Copa del Rey and fighting for the league title. This year his team does not work - Lionel Messi left the club and many of the players in the squad are not of a level required for Barcelona. The president and the fans hate that Koeman plays with a system of five defenders.
Barca are a weaker proposition than they have been for the last 10-15 years but they should be doing better than this right? What needs to happen to make them better and to play at their level?
The squad is the worst in the last 20 years, and Messi's departure changes the team both in a playing sense and mentally. They need their injured players to recover (Ousmane Dembélé, Sergio Agüero, Jordi Alba) and the young players (Ansu Fati, Pedri, Frenkie De Jong) to take an important step forward.
What are Koeman’s biggest selection mistakes? How have his negative comments to the press been received?
His biggest mistake for the president, fans and the press is playing with 5 defenders and not betting entirely on the young players and 'La Masia'.
'Thank you' - Watch the moment Koeman walks out of press conference
The press expect that he will be sacked. His relationship with the president is bad.
Eric Garcia has been red carded twice already this season – is he good enough for even this Barca?
Eric Garcia generates many doubts both in Barça and in the Spanish national team. His level is very low, and he is one of the players most criticized by the press and fans. At the moment, he is not good enough for Barça