Wednesday, August 10

“I am not afraid of my future”

“It’s good that you are here, better than seeing you on the screen”, has been the greeting of Ronald Koeman in the first face-to-face press conference of the Barça coach in Sant Joan Despí, all telematics in the sports city since he signed. It was brief, however, barely 18 minutes. The team’s moment, however, is not one of absolute happiness and maximum relaxation, but the coach is one of those who keeps his cool in extreme situations. He already showed it as a player.

“It cannot be that I answer questions before Bayern about whether I am going to renew, and now the questions will surely be if I am afraid of my future. I do not think it is normal,” he commented with some humor. He was not caught by surprise with the experience he acquired as a Barça player. Obviously, Koeman answered the question.

From 2-8 to 0-3

“I am not afraid of my future”, assures, amid the criticism that raged after the defeat against Bayern Munich, that it was worse in form, game and approach, than in substance, due to a result that was feared. “In Lisbon they lost 2-8 and the team had Messi, Griezmann and Luis Suárez, and on Tuesday we finished with Mingueza, Araujo, Balde, Gavi. Pedri and Demir”, he recalled, citing the young ages of each one: from the 22 of Mingueza and Araujo and the 17 of Balde and Gavi.

Despite the comment, Koeman says he is “more realistic than opportunistic” and knows that his continuity, like that of any coach, depends on the results. Overall, they are not bad at all, he considers, mentioning that 7 of the 9 points have been added in the League. The Champions is another matter. “If we had played more open against Bayern, the defeat would have been much more extensive,” says the coach convinced, who was forced to change the system due to the lack of forwards. He only had two: Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong.

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Against Granada he will retouch the scheme, recovering “the basic 4-3-3”, forced by the need to win immediately, to improve the game, to repair the image before the fans and by the lesser entity of the rival, whom he sees little changed compared to the one who beat him in April (1-2) and threw Barça’s options in the League to the ground. Although Granada is directed by Robert Moreno and his tactical approaches are opposite to those of Diego Martínez.

Coutinho and Balde, news

Philippe Coutinho is the third striker available (Bratihwaite, recently operated, is still out; Kun Agüero who works alone with a physiotherapist; Dembélé, still in the gym and Messiah Ansu Fati returning little by little after nine months standing) and with the Brazilian Koeman would be encouraged to line up three attackers. You will not complete 90 minutes without being in peak physical shape.

Related news

The other novelty should be the entry of Alejandro Balde as a left back instead of Jordi Alba. It’s the “most natural” option, Koeman conceded: left-back left-hander for left-back left-back. Despite the fact that, he mentioned, that in that demarcation Sergiño Dest u Òscar Mingueza are qualified to play. “I am not afraid to start the game with Balde,” he assured despite his youth, just 17 years old. Pedri will also be missing, who lost to Bayern. He will take his place in the Gavi call.

“I have no fear of putting one of the young people at the start”, he repeated, as a generic thesis, “but putting six at once now at Barça, at this moment, is not good”, observed Koeman, to avoid him the pressure on the team.

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