Ronald Koeman faced the press on Sunday to talk all things Barcelona ahead of the team’s next La Liga clash against Granada at the Camp Nou.
The Dutchman spoke a little bit about his future, offered some fitness updates on several players and also shared his thoughts on the club’s young players.
Here are the best bits:
Koeman on Granada
I don’t think they have changed a lot. Each manager has his ideas but they are a team with a clear system, 4-3-3, a strong team physically. It will be a direct game, they look to press up front and it’s true that they have players with confidence from last year. We play at home, with the fans, and it cannot be compared to last season.
Koeman on if he needs time
There are exaggerated things. There are changes in the team, injuries and many young players. What counts is winning games. I had to answer before Bayern about whether I am going to renew one more year and now the next questions will be about whether I am worried about my future.
Koeman on if he feels protected
I think our president talked the other day so we don’t need to repeat it. I am realistic because more than one year ago Barcelona lost 8-2 to Bayern, playing with Messi, Griezmann, Suarez. The other day we ended playing with Mingueza, 22, Araujo, 22, Balde, 17, Eric, 20, Gavi, 17, Pedri 18, Demir 19, and we are all of us expecting to have Ansu back.
Koeman on how he’s feeling
I haven’t talked to anyone about my future, the rest is not in my hands, so I am calm. I want to recover my squad to have more available players but I know this situation. We need to win. I have played many years for Barca and I know the results are the most important thing. In the end the club will decide.
Koeman on Ansu Fati
Ansu is a really young player. He’s shown his great skills, he scored many goals at the start of last season. We don’t want to say one date but he is working hard. He’s training with the squad, so hopefully in one week or 10 days, more or less, he will be back. It’s very important for our team. We are talking about a great player.
Koeman on if there’s a campaign against him
Everyone has their opinion. There are some people in favor of Koeman and some against. I don’t talk. There are people who think I should continue and others who think Barca need a new manager.
Koeman on Coutinho and Aguero
Kun is working on the pitch with physios, not with us and we can not yet confirm when he will be back. Coutinho he played some good minutes against Bayern. He needs more rhythm of course and we will decide if he can start or not. He cannot yet play 90 minutes, so we will decide what’s best
Koeman on if he regrets Barca move
I understand it’s a difficult situation for me, the president, the club, the fans because we still need to improve many things. We all want the best for this club. I had the feeling it would be difficult but I wasn’t expecting a year like the one we had. I will fight and I want to win and I want to stay here.
Koeman on how the team is psychologically
The players are also realistic, especially the older ones who were successful for many, many years. We do not accept and we want to improve, but we are realistic and changing things is not done in two days. They think the same as me.
Koeman on if the youngsters are ready to start
I’m not worried to play the youngsters at the beginning but playing six from the start is not the best option now. It is difficult to know when they will have more games. If it’s a player like Pedri, you can’t stop him from starting. It depends on many things.
Koeman on if he’ll play 4-3-3
We have plenty of options to try and win and it depends on our rival. Also, if you don’t have enough forwards you need to adapt. I think that if we played another way against Bayern, the defeat would have been much worse.
Koeman on Balde
He made his debut the other day, with energy, Dest also has played on the left, Mingueza he also can play on the left. But I prefer to have a left footed player because it’s better. We have to analyze it because we are talking about a really young player and he has to learn. But I’m not afraid to start Balde.
Koeman on Riqui Puig
He has to improve in many aspects of the game. The other day he warmed up, he was an option but in the end I needed to replace Jordi Alba due to injury. He has to continue working and to improve as a player, like any youngster.