“Things are exaggerated.” This is how Ronald Koeman started this Sunday at the press conference prior to the match against Granada. The formal question about the rival made by the club’s television was passed and, immediately afterwards, the Dutch coach began his defense. “It cannot be that before the game against Bayern I had to answer about whether I was going to renew another year and now, surely, the next questions will be about whether I am afraid of my future,” Koeman added. He did not err in the prognosis. The technician knows that he is on top of Joan Laporta’s roller coaster.
The defeat against Bayern Munich last Tuesday at the Camp Nou (0-3) put Koeman on the target. Actually, he returned to the bullseye. When last season ended, Laporta’s board of directors had doubts about the Dutchman’s work. He did not hide them. In fact, Laporta acknowledged that he had asked Koeman 15 days to find a coach who would convince him for the Barça bench. “Fix it if you don’t want me. But do not leave me with this uncertainty telling me that you will go out and look for other options, “Koeman replied to the president, as revealed by the documentary Força Koeman, broadcast on television in the Netherlands.
Laporta found no one. A relief for CEO Ferran Reverter, who avoided spending € 12 million on Koeman’s settlement. It is known that Barça has nothing left over and much less money. But the disagreements between Laporta and Koeman continued. The president wanted the coach to recover the 4-3-3 and also suggested that he take into account certain players. “Laporta talked too much,” Koeman complained in an interview in his country last week. Words that he qualified in Barcelona after talking with the president. “We have had some little things and we have talked about them. We have agreed in every way ”, agreed the Barça coach.
Before the national team break, the idea of the club was to try to renew Koeman. But the Bayern blow came. A defeat that did not surprise anyone in the locker room. “With the casualties we had and the moment of form of the two teams, nothing different could be expected,” explains one of the Barça footballers. “I don’t know if my position is at stake, they haven’t told me anything,” Koeman said. Before, Laporta had already shown his support: “I ask you for patience and that you continue to support the team,” said Barça’s top manager, in a video recorded with his mobile phone in his office, which Barcelona published on Twitter.
“Our president came out the other day and there is no need to repeat anything. I am more realistic than opportunistic. A year ago, Barça lost to Bayern 2-8 and ended the game with Messi, Griezmann and Suárez on the field. The other day, we ended up with Mingueza, 22 years old; Araujo, 22 years old; Bucket, 17; and Pedri, Gavi and Demir, 18 ”, stated Koeman. Laporta’s doubts before the summer contrasted with the idea of the club’s football management, led by Mateu Alemany and Ramon Planes. An area that supports the coach. “Bayern are one of the three best squads in Europe. We had a lot of problems. In addition to the change of cycle: young players and others at the end of their careers. Rigorous analysis must be done. Barça must aspire to the maximum, but it’s been five years since we’ve had bad moments in the Champions League ”, they emphasize from the Ciudad Deportiva.
“With another coach the situation would be the same”
The opinion of the sports area coincides with that of the locker room. “With another coach the situation would be the same. It’s not Ronald’s fault ”, defends one of the heavyweights of the group. “The players think the same as me. They are realistic. They know we have to improve, but things do not change in two days, “said Koeman about his relationship with his boys. And he played down the outside noise: “Everyone has the right to have an opinion. Surely there are people for and against Ronald Koeman. I do not speak. There are those who think I should continue and those who want the club to look for another coach. I can never change this ”.
Koeman has the confidence of the sports area and that of his players. It needs, now, the silence that good results grant. The Barça team receives Granada this Monday at the Camp Nou, on Thursday they travel to Cádiz and next Sunday they will face Levante in Barcelona. “Barça is capable of winning every game, but you have to defend well. And you have to have a good attack game, with movements and effectiveness. If we remember last year’s matches we were superior against Granada and Cádiz at home, but outside we tied with Granada and lost against Cádiz ”, explained the coach.
Koeman knows the recipe to turn off the noise: “The only thing I have to think about is the next games. So, I am calm. I know you have to win. I have no fear for my future. In the end, the club decides on behalf of the president ”, concluded the Barcelona coach.
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