Ronald Koeman spoke to the press on Friday to discuss all things Barcelona vs Alaves ahead of tomorrow’s La Liga clash.
The Dutch coach spoke about several of his players, his decision to leave Riqui Puig out of his squad as well as what he is expecting from his team against Alaves.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Alaves
Any game can be complicated, we are especially interested in the rhythm of the ball, if it is high we will find spaces and we know that at this moment in the league we need the points. The most important thing is to talk about ourselves and play a match with a high rhythm like the other day.
Koeman on leaving Riqui Puig out
It is a technical decision. In several games at the beginning of the season we have had 23 players and for me it is too much. The best thing is to travel with a maximum of 20 or 21. I prefer that there are players who train a very intense training in case I need them they are in good shape to play.
Koeman on right-backs
First of all I am very happy with the signing of Sergiño Dest. He is a young player who has to adapt. He showed his quality against Madrid but we put Sergi Roberto on because he played very well at the start of the season There is no reason to leave him out of the team. It is a good competition for both and both will have opportunities to show their qualities.
Koeman on Griezmann
With Antoine I have no complaints because In training he gives everything, I hope we have a bit of luck with him because the other day he did well in two plays and it would be good for him to score to be calmer.
Koeman on Araujo
He has very important defensive qualities, he is fast, he is strong, he has a good head, defensively he has shown it in the games he has played and in the minutes he has had. We know that he is a young player who has a big future and that he has to improve in different aspects, such as building his position from behind and his first touch of the ball. I am very happy, it’s a pity that he cannot play because of his injury.
Koeman on Ter Stegen
He has been training with the group since yesterday, he is fine but he still has a bit to play.But it is not good to set a date. He needs a couple more training sessions to be physically well without problems to play.
Koeman on Dembele
Dembele today is physically much better. He has trained well and has participated in the last games. He’s creative, he’s got speed, he’s good one-on-one, and he can play on both wings.
Koeman on Pedri
Pedri is a very humble boy, I think everything that has come out in the press after his game is normal, because having 17 years playing first the Clásico and then against Juventus to do so well, it is It is normal for the press to talk about him. He is a very humble boy who has his feet on the ground, and if not we are the ones who have to put them on. He enjoys his games and has the help of his teammates to shine if he plays.
Koeman on Ansu Fati
I would advise him to keep working and keep improving. Yesterday we talked about concentration for a while. In that sense, he has to improve. and he has our help every day. He is a great talent and we have to help him improve things.