Tensions have been on the rise at Barcelona since they suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich in their Champions League opener. A shadow of doubt has been cast over Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman's future after the club settled for a 1-1 draw with Granada on Monday night.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 21 September 2021.
Ronald Koeman defends tactics following draw against Granada
Barcelona were lucky to escape with a point against Granada on Monday after falling behind as early as the second minute of the game. Defender Ronald Araujo scored a 90th-minute equalizer to save the Catalans from a second consecutive loss.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has come under a lot of criticism for playing centre-back Gerard Pique as striker and resorting to pumping crosses into the box. Defending his decision to do so, Koeman said:
“The spaces were out wide, not in the middle. We went with Pique, De Jong and Araujo and from one of those crosses, we got the draw. ”
"We had to sacrifice our style of play a little bit to try and get the result, by putting crosses in rather than playing down the middle. If you look at the squad list for the game, it's the only thing we could do.
"We can't play tiki-taka if there aren't any spaces. So that means we have to try and find another way to play. For me that's what has to be talked about, the fact that we tried everything to get a point. We know it's maybe not Barcelona's football, but this Barcelona is not that of eight years ago."
Barcelona decide to stick with Ronald Koeman for now
Pressure is mounting on Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman following the 1-1 draw against Granada. But according to ESPN, the Barcelona board has decided to stick with the former player for now but his job is not very safe.
The main reason the Catalans have decided to keep Koeman in his job is that there are no readily available alternatives. Barcelona president Joan Laporta is against the idea of putting an interim manager in charge whilst they find a long-term replacement.
So Koeman will remain in charge of Barcelona for the game against Cadiz. However, the club's top brass are already looking at potential replacements.
Joachim Low among list of candidates to replace Ronald Koeman
According to Spanish journalist Gerard Romero, Joachim Low is on Barcelona's shortlist of potential replacements for Koeman. The former German national team coach is on a list that includes names like Xavi, Pirlo, Cocu and Antonio Conte.
But as per a contrasting report on Mundo Deportivo, there are two candidates who are likely to take over from Ronald Koeman. One of them is current Belgium national team coach Roberto Martinez and the other is Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez.
Luring Martinez away from the Belgian national side is going to take some doing. Meanwhile, Xavi is someone who's held in high regard by the club's head of international scouting, Jordi Cruyff, who is also close to Joan Laporta.
Xavi has been linked with the job multiple times in recent times. The report claims that he will be ready to take up the job if Barcelona solidify their interest in him.