Barcelona appoint Koeman: Assessing the Dutchman's coaching career

By Sports Desk August 19, 2020

Barcelona have turned to Ronald Koeman following a dismal end to their 2019-20 season.

Koeman was on Wednesday appointed as head coach on a two-year deal, leaving his role with the Netherlands to return to Camp Nou.

Quique Setien and sporting director Eric Abidal were sacked in the wake of Friday's humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals, which followed Barca's failure to retain their LaLiga crown.

Barca will hope Koeman is the right man to get them back on track, and we have taken a look at how he fared in his previous managerial roles.


Vitesse (1999-2001) - Success

Koeman's first managerial position provided an impressive outcome as he steered Vitesse to fourth place in the Eredivisie, earning qualification to the UEFA Cup. However, the club soon entered financial trouble after chairman Karel Aalbers was fired and, despite the limited budget, the Dutchman led them to sixth in 2000-01 and left with a 49.2 win percentage in the Eredivisie.

Ajax (2001-05) - Success

After taking over mid-season Koeman led Ajax, who boasted a team including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael van der Vaart, to a domestic double in 2001-02. They reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League the following season and regained the Eredivisie in 2003-04, but, despite winning 70.9 per cent of his top flight games, discord arose between players and the hierarchy prior to his resignation.

Benfica (2005-06) - Failure

Supertaca Candido de Oliveira glory got Koeman off to a great start at Benfica and they impressed in the Champions League, eliminating Manchester United in the final group game and Liverpool in the last 16 before being knocked out by Barca. However, they won 20 of their 34 games as they finished third in the Primeira Liga, which Porto won as part of a domestic double.

PSV (2006-07) - Success

Koeman made a successful return to the Netherlands with another of his former clubs. He oversaw a dramatic final-day victory to clinch an Eredivisie title that had previously looked a foregone conclusion and reached the Champions League quarter-finals once more. He lost just five of his 43 league games at the helm before departing.

Valencia (2007-08) - Failure

It is fair to say Koeman's first head coaching role in Spain was an unmitigated disaster. He failed to guide Valencia out of their Champions League group and won just five of his 23 LaLiga games at the helm. Despite winning the Copa del Rey, he had a 21.7 win percentage in LaLiga – the lowest of any Valencia coach with over 20 games – and was dismissed after six months with the club two points clear of the relegation zone.

AZ (2009) - Failure

Koeman was unable to bounce back at AZ, who Louis van Gaal left for Bayern Munich after winning the 2008-09 Eredivisie. Koeman won the Johan Cruyff Shield – his most recent trophy as a coach – but was unable to guide them into the Champions League knockouts and won just 50 per cent of his 16 league games, meaning they were 16 points adrift of leaders Twente when he was let go in December.

Feyenoord (2011-14) - Success

Feyenoord turned to Koeman after experiencing their worst league finish in 20 years and during his tenure they were twice runners-up in the Eredivisie. He had a 60.8 win percentage in the Eredivisie and won the Rinus Michels Award for his work in his first season at De Kuip.

Southampton (2014-16) - Success

Replacing Mauricio Pochettino was always going to be a tall order but Koeman surpassed the achievements of his predecessor. He led them to their highest Premier League finish of sixth – which earned qualification to the Europa League – in his second season with the club and left with a 47.4 win percentage in the top flight.

Everton (2016-17) - Failure

After securing Europa League qualification in his first season at the helm, Koeman spent roughly £150million on new signings. However, the Toffees went into 2017-18 without their highest scoring player from the previous campaign, Romelu Lukaku, who was sold to Manchester United, and when two wins from nine Premier League games left them in the relegation zone Koeman was sacked. A win percentage of 40.4 in the league was the second-worst of his career.

Netherlands (2018-20) - Success

Koeman restored his reputation somewhat by turning things around for the Netherlands, who had failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. They won a Nations League group containing world champions France and Germany – but lost to Portugal in the Finals showpiece – and qualified for Euro 2020.

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