Koeman evokes Cruyff and challenges Laporta

Koeman, in the Barcelona sports city.PAU BARRENA / AFP

Ronald Koeman got the Cruyffista vein and challenged the squad and the board with a 2 minute and 49 second statement on the eve of the Cádiz match (22.00 Movistar). The challenge is twofold because the coach invites the team to win, to show that the players are on their side, and tries to condition the decision that President Joan Laporta may make on the Barça bench with the results. The margin of maneuver of the president in search of a coach will depend on the LaLiga scoreboard – Levante visits the Camp Nou on Sunday – and maybe even the Champions League – on Wednesday 29 he visits Benfica. The technician’s affront was so surprising that he silenced the club so as not to increase the tension at the Camp Nou. Laporta holds the pulse because he is convinced of finding the ideal coach for Barcelona.

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Nobody from Barça convinced Koeman that it was better to routinely face the press conference prior to the Cádiz match than to personally read a note in which he urged “a club undergoing reconstruction” to unconditionally support “the coaching staff and the squad with deeds and words ”, a statement that resounded at the Camp Nou. He did not want to face any more questions from journalists about his future nor did he follow the advice of the club’s employees, who recommended calm, tired of feeling that his chair was moved since it was learned that Laporta was considering renewing his contract in exchange for certain conditions Non-negotiable such as the style of play and the Masia, personified, above all, in Riqui Puig.

Since Laporta’s confession to a group of journalists, distrust between the president and the coach has increased. Both parties have expressed themselves through third parties and episodes of a disagreement have been recapitulated that has two high points: the defeat of Barça with Granada on April 29, when the Catalans missed the possibility of being leaders, and the meeting in the month of June in which Laporta informed Koeman that he gave himself a period of two to three weeks to find a replacement for him or, otherwise, he would keep him as Barça coach. “Fix it if you don’t love me,” replied the coach, who continues in limbo, so distrustful that he decided to act as a spokesman for himself at the Camp Nou.

Laporta learned from one of the heads of the club’s press office of Koeman’s intentions moments before he appeared in the press room of the sports city Joan Gamper. The technician appeared with glasses and a document, determined to tell his truth, after neglecting the advice of the entity’s employees, who were warned of his purpose a few minutes before, and also informing the captains and by extension to the footballers that Busquets leads. “What could we tell him?” Confessed one of the heavyweights of the team. “It was his decision.” The players followed the unexpected speech of their coach in the locker room of the usual training ground Tito Vilanova.

Much patience

Koeman elaborated on the thesis that the limitations of the establishment and the dramatic economic situation force to lower the objectives, to modify the game plan and to give flight to the quarry, more present and vindicated after the little weight of the veterans and the accommodation of the middle class, as seen against Granada (1-1). The coach appealed to patience, after taking the match against Bayern (0-3) as a reference, and took for granted the support of the club – “he’s with me” -, in an attempt to mark the president’s advisers who have expressed his differences with Koeman. “The squad is what it is and the club is as it is, but he is the coach; you have your responsibility. Noise is not good for us, ”said authorized voices from the Camp Nou.

The coach also practically assumed the complicity of the press and the support of the fans, aware that his intervention has generated sympathy with sectors of Barcelona that consider the treatment that Laporta has given Koeman unfair. His was, in any case, an intervention in the wrong place, more typical of a president than a coach, and refers to the times of the permanent dispute between Johan Cruyff and Josep Lluís Núñez. In the absence of a corporate speech, each party uses its channels to express itself, a sign that the dispute seems irreversible: Laporta was provoked by Koeman’s parliament.

Koeman’s statement:

Good morning everyone, the club is with me in a rebuilding situation. The financial situation of the club is linked to sports, this means that we have to rebuild the squad without being able to make large financial investments. Soccer takes time, young talents can become big stars in one or two years. The good thing about rebuilding the team is that the youngsters will be able to have opportunities like Xavi and Iniesta had in their day. But patience is required. In addition, being in a high ranking in the League would be a success. European football is a good school for these young talents. But in the Champions League you cannot expect miracles. The defeat against Bayern Munich last week has to be approached from that perspective.

The process in which we find our technical group and the staff deserves to be unconditionally supported, with deeds and words. Support for technical policy and this process. I know that the press recognizes this process. It is not the first time that it has happened in its history at FC Barcelona. We count on your support in these difficult times. As a squad and players, we are satisfied with the great support we had against Granada. Visit Barça.

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