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The press conference held by the Dutch coach of Barcelona, Ronald Koeman, did not pass without causing controversy on Wednesday, as Koeman started it with a written speech before leaving without answering any questions.
Koeman is facing increasing pressure after the Catalan team fell to Bayern 3-0 in the Champions League last week, before they drew 1-1 against Granada at home in the Spanish League, amid harsh criticism of the team’s style of play.
In his press conference, Koeman sat down after being welcomed by the club’s media official, who in turn said that the Dutch coach would read a short statement.
And the coach’s statement, which he wrote on a piece of paper, stated, “Hello everyone. The club is going through a rebuilding phase with me as a coach. The financial situation of the club is related to sports activities and vice versa. This means that as a team we have to rebuild without being able to make large financial investments. This takes time.” .
He added, “Young talents may, in a few years, turn into big international stars. To rebuild this team, young players will have the opportunity, as Xavi and Iniesta had in their era. But we must ask for patience.”
He continued, “Access to a high position in the Spanish League is a great success. In the Champions League we cannot ask for miracles. The loss to Bayern Munich last week must be analyzed according to this lens.”
The Barcelona coach added, “The stage we are going through with the technical staff and the team requires unlimited support, both in words and in deeds. I know that the press is aware of this process. It is not the first time that this has happened in Barcelona’s history. We count on your support in these difficult times.”
Koeman expressed his happiness with the public’s support, noting that “the technical staff and players are very happy with the great support of the public, as happened in front of Granada. Long live Barcelona, thank you everyone.”
Koeman’s press conference comes in conjunction with the presentation of possible replacements for Koeman in the media, such as Xavi Hernandez, Roberto Martinez and the Italian Antonio Conte, as the Dutch coach’s relationship with club president Joan Laporta is cooling off.
After the loss to Bayern in the continental competition, Laporta published a video clip addressed to Barcelona fans, in which he said, “I am disappointed and frustrated just like you, do not doubt our intention to address this situation.”
Koeman was asked about the club’s loss of a clear identity after the draw against Granada on Monday, as the team’s players passed 54 crosses and ended the match with defenders Gerard Pique and Uruguayan Ronald Araujo playing offensive roles.
Koeman replied, “If you look at the list of players, what can you do? Play tiki-taka? Tiki-taka… when you don’t have the space?”
“We did what we had to do. We tried to win in a different way. We don’t have players who can play solo or at high speed. I won’t say more because it seems like I will argue about everything.”
Barcelona heads to Cadiz to face it Thursday in the League, after it has achieved two victories against two draws in the first four stages.
© 2021 AFP