When Ronald Koeman And Solskjaer Refused To Resign

Ronald Koeman and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are the two most unfortunate coaches this week. The teams they lead swallow a bitter pill. Happened in an important and prestige-laden match. Almost happened at the same time. Koeman and Barcelona fell at home at home to Real Madrid. Playing in front of around 86 thousand Cules who were in high spirits returning to the Camp Nou stands, Sunday after a long period of the Covid-19 pandemic that limited their space for movement, the Blaugrana were defeated 1-2.

Meanwhile, on the same day, Manchester United, which was managed by Solskjaer, was humiliated by Liverpool. Old Trafford, which is usually the stage for the realization of the Red Devils’ big dreams, has turned into a battlefield of misery. The hosts had been slaughtered five goals. For Koeman, the defeat in the first El Clasico of the season meant a lot. Not just losing points in home matches to gain a position in the LaLiga standings table.

More than that, it’s a matter of his performance as a tactician who is also unable to “break the egg” when he meets his eternal rival. After becoming Barca coach, Koeman has never won over El Real. Three meetings always end in disappointment. Meanwhile, Madrid recorded four wins in this classic duel in a row, the first time since winning seven in the 1960s.

In addition, this minor result extends the negative record of the former Dutch national team coach since becoming Barca coach last year. Before being humiliated by Madrid, Koeman failed to save his team’s face from defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica in the Champions League group stage. Plus, it was defeated by the defending LaLiga champions, Atletico Madrid.

This bad result further eroded the fans’ confidence in him. Making the club management can’t help but feel even more embarrassed because the club’s reputation is getting tarnished. No wonder after the match, Koeman was beaten by Barca fans who couldn’t stand to see their favorite team continue to reap bad results.

This El Clasico match was the first without Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos in both camps. Interestingly, the two players who often clashed and argued on the field actually became teammates. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) with the power of unrefined money managed to unite them this summer. Instead, David Alaba and Lucas Vazquez took the stage. Likewise, Sergio Aguero, who had felt “prank” by Messi and Barca.

These three players scored goals in this match. Alaba in the 32nd minute and the other two goals came in injury time: Vazquez in the 90+4 and Aguero three minutes later. Interestingly, Alaba and Aguero are players who have recently joined Madrid and Barca. So that their goal was the first in their El Clasico record. For Barca, this defeat left them stranded in ninth position. Madrid are in the opposite direction, which is getting closer to the top of the standings.

What happened to Koeman and Barca this time? Was the Messi factor the main cause of failure? These two questions have actually been asked many times and always come up every time Barca get a bad result. Without significant changes, Barca’s performance seems to be stagnant. Still relying on existing ammunition the final result will not change much from match to match.

Apart from the resources of new signings like Aguero and Memphis Depay, Barca still have to wait to see young players like Pedri, Ansu Fati and Gavi reach their best level. Gavi, who was only 17 years old, became the youngest El Clasico starter since 1941. His presence has not had a significant impact.

Despite recording 52 percent possession, Barca were only able to threaten Thibaut Courtois twice. “I’m not happy with the result. I think we deserved more,” Koeman commented after the match, reported BBC.com.

However, it should be admitted, the statistics noted, Barca’s appearance was no better than Madrid. Koeman was disappointed because he did not achieve the expected results. However, with a level of play like this, it is certainly more than enough.

“In today’s game we have shown that we are not losing to Madrid. But instead of winning 1-0, we were 1-0 down and that had a big effect on the game.” Not losing the game but it turned out that the final result spoke differently was the defense of Koeman who could not help but avoid being the target of anger.

“The season is long and many things can happen. We have to keep going and win games to close the gap. We are sad today, but tomorrow we start preparing for the next game.” The statement that seems to sound like refusing to back down is actually just a package of bad signs that are getting more and more obvious as if they are still far from being disguised.

The loss to Madrid is worth more than just dropping three points. At stake is not only the good name of the club. But also fate itself. If Koeman is vaguely hiding his resignation, not so with Solskjaer. The Norwegian man firmly refused to resign even though his team was defeated by the Reds with a score so landslide.

In a post-match interview to BBC Radio 5 Live, Ole admitted he had just had his darkest day as a coach. However, he will not stop just like that. “I’ve come too far to give up. I wasn’t built that way.” That statement clearly shows his attitude and inner disposition. A defeat that hit his face and the face of the club, but it didn’t end everything, including his Manchester career.

For the first time since October 1895, the Red Devils have suffered a major defeat. At that time, Liverpool were bent by Liverpool at Anfield with a score of 1-7. It hasn’t happened since 1955 that United have lost by a margin of five or more goals at home. After receiving scathing criticism from fans and hurting the hearts of a large number of fans, Solskjaer still did not lose his passion. He didn’t even want to throw in the towel.

He actually feels that he still has a future with the club he played for. United, which is now mired in seventh position with 14 points, is believed to be able to return to a positive path soon. “I believe in myself, I believe I’m getting closer to what I want with the club,” said Solskjaer.

Since taking over as manager in 2018, Solskjaer’s contribution cannot be underestimated. Since the Mourinho period which brought United to their lowest point, Solskjaer has been able to raise hope for the fans after seeing the team as if they were in crisis. One of the achievements that should be appreciated is United’s return to the stage in the Champions League.

However, the dramatic victory over Atalanta in the Champions League some time ago turned out to only bring false happiness. The fans then fell in pain to see how Harry Maguire and his friends looked this time. Solskjaer played two static defensive midfielders. The front four are plotted, but seem to have lost their way and are reluctant to help the defence. Not to mention, United’s defenders made a fatal mistake.

United seems to have lost the scheme. Lacks identity and philosophy. So, is there hope for Solskjaer? The decision is now in the hands of the Glazer family. Do you still have hope in Solskjaer to get through the long road to achievement or soon take shortcuts to once again bring in an experienced coach?

ASL

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