No more Tiki-Taka – Barcelona faces an identity crisis under Koeman | Football news

Barcelona pride themselves on judging their team on both style and results, but coach Ronald Koeman struggles to deliver on both fronts as his position is put to the test again after Monday’s 1-1 home game against Granada .
The Catalans only saved a point with a 90th-minute header from Ronald Araujo, but what stood out most was Barca’s direct manner as they abandoned their typical passing game and resorted to pumping crosses into the box.
Barca made 54 crosses in the box against Granada, 45 from open play, more than any other team in a game in Europe’s top five leagues this season.
The second team on the list of biggest career changers is England’s Burnley, who shares Barca’s burgundy and blue colors but whose direct style of play is at odds with the ideals of Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola, the Catalan club’s two greatest coaches will.
“What is this for Barca?” Asked the front page of the Spanish newspaper Marca, describing the team’s performance as “abysmal” while the team had “renounced their style”.
If Bayern Munich’s 3-0 Champions League last week indicated that Barca could no longer compete with the European elite, the gruff tie against a winless Granada was more worrying, a sign that Barca no longer have the tools to to break even common local crews.
Koeman defended his tactics by putting defender Gerard Pique on the offensive and ending the game with four center-backs and two center-forwards.
“We can’t play tiki-taka if there are no gaps,” Koeman said, referring to the popular description of the style of play that Guardiola’s team perfected when they routinely forgot their opponents.
Barca were missing six injury-related players, including teenage Pedri, who was the most technical player at the club following the departure of Lionel Messi.
“We know it might not be Barcelona football, but this Barcelona is not eight years ago,” added Koeman.
The coach has performed a tightrope and has an insecure relationship with President Joan Laporta, who publicly revealed his reservations about the Dutchman late last season before deciding to keep him.
Barca’s financial troubles play into the hands of Koeman for the time being as they would struggle to pay his severance pay if they fired him and found the money to replace him.
But the situation of a coach playing a football that the president and his fans don’t like – only 27,000 fans used the 40,000 tickets available on Monday – while getting poor results seems untenable.
Former Barca midfielder Xavi Hernandez, the puppeteer of the glorious era under Guardiola and a student of Cruyff, would be the fans’ favorite choice but he is still at the beginning of his coaching career and signed a new contract with Qatari club Al this year Sadd by 2023.