La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit
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Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman refused to answer questions about his future after his side slumped to a 1-1 draw at home to Granada on Monday night. Ronald Araujo scored a late equaliser to prevent a second disappointing defeat in five days.
Barca were comfortably beaten 3-0 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week. That result intensified rumours that Koeman was facing being dismissed by the Catalan club.
Koeman’s side fell behind after just two minutes against Granada at the Nou Camp. Araujo’s added-time header saved the Dutchman’s blushes, though.
The former Everton and Southampton boss has endured a difficult few months. Barca recorded their worst La Liga finish since 2008 last term, finishing third.
They then lost several key players in the summer, including Lionel Messi, and struggled to register new signings due to the club’s crippling debts.
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Koeman has consistently defended the job he has done at Barca but has faced supporter backlash.
And the 58-year-old hit out at questions about his future after the draw against Granada.
“I don’t answer any more questions about the future, I cannot win that [discussion],” Koeman told La Liga TV.
“I’m tired to answer that kind of question. You can leave it, I don’t answer that question
“We lose two points, we play at home and we need to win.
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“After the bad first two, three minutes, that wasn’t good at all and they scored. You know you are playing against a team who is defending, who is [wasting] time in every second of the game.
“But we deserve at least one point.”
Koeman has struggled to win over Barca’s supporters and that was not helped by the fact that defenders Araujo and Gerard Pique were used as strikers in the final moments.
The Blaugrana delivered 54 crosses during the match, their most since 2005.
It was a far cry from the Barca performances of the last few decades. Koeman has not been helped by the departures of Messi and Antoine Griezmann.
Messi was forced to depart due to a LaLiga rule which prevents clubs spending over a certain percentage of their turnover on their wage bills. The Argentine had technically become a free agent after his contract expired at the end of June.
His re-signing was blocked and he joined Paris Saint-Germain following a tearful press conference.
Griezmann was one of a couple of players to depart before the transfer deadline. The Frenchman re-joined LaLiga title rivals Atletico Madrid to ease Barca’s wage bill.
Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquests accepted wage cuts.
That allowed the likes of Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia to be registered with LaLiga.
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