BARCELONA – Ronald Koeman expressed his desire to renew with Barcelona, admitting that his agent already negotiates with president Joan Laporta, and proclaimed the importance of feeling strong at the club. In an interview with the newspaper Mundo Deportivo, the Dutch coach agreed his intention to “stay for more years” but warning that “the coach must have power. There can be no doubts because if there are doubts the coach does not have that power, and although I am Mentally strong, I need the help, the support of the club. “
Acknowledging that Messi’s departure “was a stick for everyone,” the coach also claimed his Cruyffista character and defended some decisions on the field during a game that may not be understood by the public.
Regarding his relationship with Laporta, Koeman admitted that “there were two complicated moments: the one at the end of last season and last week,” solving that Laporta “has finally made things clear and I like that because things must be kept the way they are. and move on. We have a good relationship, we talk about things … In the end we all want Barça to triumph and knowing that it is a difficult time for many things, we are moving forward “.
The coach did not hide discomfort when he heard expressions from the president, regarding the fact that his continuity (renewal) would be linked both to the achievement of titles and to implementing a precise game system (4-3-3) or giving opportunities to players like Riqui Puig and Samuel Umtiti, whom he has not counted on at the beginning of the year. “There are things that are discussed in the club and that should not come out, that cannot come out,” he said, agreeing that behind the scenes “it is normal for us to talk about issues: the future, the players, the system …”.
“I am a supporter of 4-3-3,” proclaimed Koeman, considering tactical agility to change when necessary: ”I know that 4-3-3 is a reference here … But there are games and moments during the season. that can be changed. The best data of the team last year have been with the 3-5-2. The best in opportunities created, the best percentage of the ball, fewer opportunities against … in all the data it is the best system “.
“The Champions League was won by Chelsea and the team with the most titles in Italy is Inter. What system have they used? I don’t mean that everyone should play 3-5-2 but you should also raise it, depending on the players you have in the squad ”, he warned, recalling that last season” there weren’t many people up there, we had quite a few central and full-backs that go up … There are many things that can be put into that system. “
“I’m a cruyffista, a lot,” Koeman defended himself, noting that sometimes “people make mistakes when talking about the Cruyff system. Eusebio, for example, in our time he sometimes played winger or winger without being one … There were many changes and his philosophy was to have the ball, press, play offense, risk defense … This is Johan’s style. And I am a supporter. “
However, he indicated that it also imposes its nuances. “Sometimes you have to be realistic in some games. I was a positional defender and Johan was an attacker. And attackers always want to attack and defenders want to defend because they want to have people around them. I am realistic and of course I like to attack by watching. that the system with three centers has been the most offensive. Sometimes people think that with three centers you are going to defend. In the match against Real we were 3-0 but they are 3-2. I change to Lenglet and put him back From putting one further back, we put better pressure on the opposite and the rival no longer exists in the game. “
“Here it seems that it is to kill someone if Barça puts one more defense to defend a score that is complicated,” he proclaimed, reporting that many times “it depends on the rival. Sometimes to pressure an opponent this system of three centrals is better than another. In addition, you close spaces that previously existed. It all depends on the timing of a match. “
MESSI, DE JONG, GRIEZMAN …
He did not save regrets by admitting that the departure of Lionel Messi “was a stick for everyone since we heard the news that he did not continue” because, he pointed out, “you lose the best in the world, you lose more than 30 goals per season, his assists, the respect that the opposite has for him … There are many things that you lose “.
But, at the same time, he made clear the need to look forward. “It took a couple of days to recover but there is no choice but to turn the page and build more as a team, giving more importance to the strategy to achieve the number of goals we need to win.”
On Luuk de Jong, Koeman defended the signing, proclaiming that it was possible “because I prepared it with him for a long time”, admitting that he already transferred to Barça the convenience of his signing. “I had contact with him since the beginning of August because I told the club that I like having a player like him in the squad,” he explained, recounting his “surprise” at the lack of a footballer in his profile: “It has always surprised me that he Barcelona, even at its best, did not have a player like Luuk because he is different from other attackers. “
“He goes very well at the top and is the type that can change a game. He is experienced and has the level to be here,” he said, arguing that “knowing the situation of the squad, with Agüero, Ansu, Dembélé or Coutinho injured there were few attackers “. In this sense, he made it clear that he will be a footballer “whom we are going to use because we need him, in addition to the fact that the Griezmann issue was given at the end of the market.”
In this sense, in statements to the Sport newspaper, Koeman recalled that the Frenchman’s departure “was even stronger because the last day passed, with practically no time to find a solution … But I agreed to his departure because I had a great contract and if leaving was helping the club’s financial situation “.
“I could have been uncompromising and say that nobody moves from here, but, as in the case of Emerson, I already said that if it is important money that can be earned, it can be done” he summarized.
RIQUI AND UMTITI
Referring to Riqui Puig and Umtiti, Koeman made it clear that “I have nothing against them. Umtii must know that there are several center-backs on the squad, he is also left-handed, and the competition is very great. It has cost him a lot to return physically to his level. but if he shows me in training, with his attitude and quality that he deserves to play, he will play. For me, meritocracy is essential in a team sport. “
It was more or less the same speech with Riqui Puig. “We have spoken with him many times, in training, analyzing what he must improve to have more opportunities. There are people who are looking for things to face us, but the truth is only one: I want to win, the players want to win, the club wants to win, the fans want to win and I will always put the best on the field. “