Koeman: “We must demand more from the players” thumbnail

Koeman: “We must demand more from the players”

“Messi, Messi, Messi,” sang the Benfica fans. The Portuguese fans had fun with the football of Jorge Jesus’ boys and, after releasing the classic “olé, olé, olé”, they chose to go one step further in mocking Barcelona. They reminded him, then, that last summer they let the best footballer in their history go. Benfica, leaders in the Portuguese league (seven consecutive victories), overwhelmed Barcelona (3-0), as Bayern had also done in the opening of the Champions League (0-3). The Barça team collapsed in the Champions League and Ronald Koeman slipped the little credit he had left. “Kicking the coach is the easiest. But we all have the responsibility ”, Busquets analyzed. “Changing the coach is not the solution,” added Frenkie de Jong. And Koeman, for his part, stressed that he has the support of the dressing room: “I can only say about the team. I feel supported by my players. For the rest, I don’t know. And, when they insisted if he felt supported by the club, he repeated: “I don’t know.”

More information

  • Koeman blows himself up in Lisbon
  • The Barça does not give for more

“I cannot say anything about my future. I don’t know how the club thinks in that sense. I do not want to answer any more questions on this subject because it is not in my hands ”, asked the Barça coach. After the win, the president of Barcelona, ​​Joan Laporta, went down to the locker room. According to the club, he did it to support the group. The board, in principle, does not plan to make any decisions regarding the coach’s future until the team returns to Barcelona. Koeman, in any case, took responsibility. “In the end, the culprit is the coach,” he said. He did it, however, by halves. “During many phases of the game, the approach was very good. We had opportunities to score. We have not been inferior, but we have been inferior in definition. You have to demand more from the players. In the first goal, the rival cannot enter so easy. And also, if we create four or five goal situations, we have to mark them. That was the difference between the two teams ”, analyzed the coach.

No shots on goal

Barcelona ended the first half with 62% possession and had finished off seven shots (none goal) for Benfica’s three (two). Barça watched as the Portuguese team dominated the scoreboard, however, they went to the changing rooms with good feelings. Everything changed after the break. The Barça team was disfigured in Lisbon. Although leather dominated again (56%), Koeman’s guys only attempted a shot (he didn’t find all three posts); Benfica, nine (four). As against Bayern, against Benfica, Barcelona said goodbye to the duel without shooting at goal. “I don’t know if the shots have gone to the door or not. But we have had many. They are statistics, but there have been occasions, even if they were not between the three suits, ”said Busquets. And he added: “The parties are decided in the areas and we have not been forceful in either of the two. We have had chances, we did not score a goal and when you forgive, the rival takes advantage of it ”.

In the 62 games that Ronald Koeman has led Barcelona, ​​in 21 he has used a system with three centrals. With a balance of four draws, five defeats and 12 victories. Tactical drawing at Barça is not trivial. In fact, President Joan Laporta explained to the Dutch coach that the 4-3-3 was non-negotiable. Koeman heard him, but didn’t change his mind. In the two Champions League games that the Barça team has played, against Bayern and against Benfica, he took the field with three centrals.

It did not work against the German box (0-3). Nor against Benfica. Koeman corrected the profiles of Araujo and Èric García after Darwin Núñez’s early goal and in the 33rd minute he sent Gavi to the field instead of Piqué, after the second yellow card was played on 3 with an unsanctioned foul against Rafa. However, the system did not change. He placed Frenkie de Jong at center. “I changed to Piqué because he already had a card and it was risking a lot if we press up. They have fast attackers, ”explained the Barcelona coach.

Koeman turned a deaf ear to the system and also to the commitment to young people. Despite the fact that the Dutchman is used to strengthening the quarry, against Benfica he looked for a more experienced team, despite the fact that, in the League against Levante, the line-up with Gavi and Nico González in the starting eleven had worked for him. “La Masia is the way and the undeniable style of play. This genuine and recognizable style, which no other team in the world has, if we make it compatible with high-performance sports techniques we put ourselves on another level. This way we will be unbeatable ”, said Laporta in the previous match against Benfica at the Da Luz Stadium. But Koeman repeated the same team that fell through a landslide against Bayern, with the exception of Dest on the left side by the injured Jordi Alba. “I am not going to discuss the level of this team. Everyone knows the problem of Barça. You cannot comment on a team that is not the same as in the past years. That’s clearer than water, ”Koeman concluded.

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