Thursday, December 8, 2022

Barcelona appoint Koeman: The key Opta stats behind the new Camp Nou boss

SoccerNews in Editorial, Eredivisie, La Liga 19 Aug 2020

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Ronald Koeman has been appointed as Barcelona’s new head coach, replacing Quique Setien.

Setien paid the price after seven months in charge resulted in no LaLiga title and a Champions League humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich.

Koeman leaves his role with the Netherlands to take charge at Camp Nou – where he was formerly a star player and assistant manager – on a two-year contract. 

It is his first club job since he left Everton in October 2017 and the stakes could not be higher with Lionel Messi entering the closing stages of his career.

We use Opta statistics to review Koeman’s coaching career to date as he begins his 11th job as a head coach.

Ronald returns – Koeman has now coached four of the five teams he represented during his playing career (Ajax, PSV, Barcelona and Feyenoord), with Groningen being the only exception.

Progress made – With Koeman in charge, the Netherlands qualified for Euro 2020, their first major tournament since the 2014 World Cup.

Improved fortunes – He won nine of his 14 competitive games as Netherlands boss, one fewer than his four predecessors put together (10 wins out of 20 with Guus Hiddink, Danny Blind, Fred Grim and Dick Advocaat).

Strong finish – Koeman remained unbeaten as manager in his last six Netherlands games, this was the longest such run for Oranje since July 2014.

Facing Barca – He has come up against Barcelona five times as a coach before (twice with Benfica and three times with Valencia) – he won only one of those five meetings (D2 L2) and neither of the two at Camp Nou (D1 L1).

Dutch greats – He becomes the fifth Dutch head coach at Barcelona; each of the previous four are in an illustrious list featuring the top-five bosses who have taken charge of the most LaLiga games for the club. Pep Guardiola is the other name.

Spanish struggles – This is Koeman’s second time in charge of a LaLiga side. He was previously at Valencia, where he won only five of his 23 league games. His 22 per cent win rate remains the lowest of any Valencia coach to have overseen at least 20 LaLiga matches.

Almighty in Amsterdam – Ajax (December 2001 – February 2005) are the team where Koeman managed the most league matches (110), recorded the most victories (78) and had the highest win percentage (70.9).

Strong spell – Koeman lost only 24 league games as head coach in a six-year period in charge of Ajax, Benfica and PSV before landing the Valencia job in November 2007. 

Testing times – Aside from his poor spell with Valencia, Koeman’s previous two club jobs, with Southampton and Everton, returned the lowest win percentages of his coaching career (47.4 and 40.4 per cent respectively).


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