Saturday, September 25

Koeman is on his way to “an unexpected prize”


  • “People may think we are favorites, but we are not,” says the coach, who asks the team to beat Granada to climb to first place

  • “Messi to Paris SG? I’m not interested, I don’t know if it’s true. I wish I stayed. He has been here all his life and has to end here”

April is about to end and Barça looks to a match that they did not imagine. A game, that of Granada, that if he wins can take him to first place in the championship after a terrible start in which he barely added 14 points out of the first 30 possible. Now, however, Koeman sees the lead closer than ever. It depends on Barça.

“We know that we can be leaders and it can be a reward, but first we have to win. We must go game by game,” acknowledged the coach, admitting that he is experiencing “an unexpected situation” taking into account the difference of 12 points that came to have Atlético de Madrid.

Spectacular reaction

The Barça, with a spectacular reaction, has flown in the League: “In the last 17 games, almost a complete return, we have won 15. It is something impressive”, has recognized even astonished the own Koeman. But avoiding any sign of euphoria. “People may think that we are favorites, but we do not think so,” he said.

“The team has learned to go game by game”

Koeman, Barça coach

“The team has learned to go game by game, it is not necessary to go crazy,” said the coach. And game by game he has added 57 points out of 61 possible, with only two setbacks: the draw at the Camp Nou against Cádiz (1-1) and the defeat in the classic with Madrid (2-1).

“We have known for a long time that we had no choice but to win games to be able to fight for the title,” acknowledged the coach, admitting that Barça has been installed in an area of ​​”high pressure” because in that fight “there are four teams” , convinced as he is that if Atlético, Barça, Madrid or Sevilla are obliged “to win every game” if they want to be champions.

“Griezmann is a boy I like, he is a team player, he always works, he always trains hard”

Koeman, Barça coach

Then, he wanted to value the work that his players have done. “The team has taken the reins and has gone better. They are confident, the effectiveness has increased,” said Koeman, using the example of Griezmann. “During the summer I spoke with Antoine and told him that he is a very important player. Of course we have had criticism for the effectiveness of our forwards. And also of Antoine. But he is a boy that I like, he is a team player, he always works, he always trains hard “, he stressed.

The French forward’s first goal against Villarreal reveals, according to Koeman, that “confidence” he now has. “You can’t mark it if you don’t have that confidence,” commented the coach, who has indicated that his role in the dressing room does not change now that Barça is looking, for the first time, to the top of the championship. If he wins, of course, Granada.

“We have leaders in the dressing room, very, very experienced people for moments like this and transmitting to young people, like Óscar” (Mingueza) “Araujo and Pedri who are facing a fight for the title for the first time.” Koeman appeals to the leadership of the sacred cows to give stability to a rejuvenated team that has overcome “difficult times, very difficult”.

The luck of the ‘Dream Team’

Koeman is not concerned about anything else other than defeating Granada. Not even the threat of the yellow on Messi and De Jong, two pillars of his team. If they see a card they will not play on Sunday at Mestalla. “You have to be smart, the players know it. You shouldn’t risk in one play. But if there is another in which you have to help your team and they get one, then bad luck and another will play the next game.”

The coach also believes that if Barça “has the same luck” as Cruyff’s Dream Team had “in the two leagues with Madrid losing in Tenerife or the penalty that Coruña missed, surely we will be champions. And it is never too soon for be first “. The key, according to Koeman, will lie in “the mental toughness” that each of the four applicants shows. Whoever is stronger will have more options to kiss the League.

“Of course we are working next season with Alemany and Planes. But it all depends on the financial situation of the club. In the end, the president rules” “

Koeman, Barça coach

“I cannot comment on the other teams in that regard, but I can say that we are mentally strong. The trajectory in the Cup already speaks for itself,” said the coach, who is also not concerned about the possible offer from Paris SG to Messi. Unattainable economically. “I’m not interested in the truth. For two reasons. I don’t know if it’s true, one. And the second is because I hope Leo is still with us, he has to end here, he has been here all his life. In the end, the decision must be made by Leo “.

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But Koeman, as he himself has recognized, has spent weeks working with “Mateo Alemany and Ramon Planes” in the composition of Barça 21-22. “Of course we are working to see where we can improve the team. A 9? We cannot forget that we have not had Ansu Fati for seven months. We are the team that has created the most chances, we have scored 76 goals without having one or two up. players, “he added.

“As a coach I always try to improve the team, but everything depends on the financial situation of the club. In the end, the club rules, the president rules whether a signing is possible or not. We have already talked and we continue talking. But everything is in place. hands of the club. Money is the president’s issue. “




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