Erwin Koeman, the brother of FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, has commented on supposed leaks from the Camp Nou locker room.
In an interview with Voetball International magazine in their native Netherlands, Erwin stated that, “During the fist months, someone from the locker room leaked the [starting] line-ups, but Ronald solved it.”
This would support claims made a few months ago in the Spanish press, which alleged that Koeman hit out at youngster Riqui Puig for providing sensitive information to the media. Speaking highly of the La Masia product since his winning penalty in the Super Cup semifinal shootout with Real Sociedad last month, however, and rewarding him with a start in a Copa del Rey clash against Cornella, their relationship is on the mend.
“He has a certain tension, more than the one he had with the Dutch national team, because [managing] Barça is not like training the national team once every three months,” Erwin added.
“He is totally focused on Barça and it’s the only thing he thinks about. We are in touch [quite a lot] and we talk about the club, the players and our family. Sometimes I advise him,” it was revealed by the elder Koeman.
The pair’s countryman, midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who is arguably the Blaugrana’s best player of 2021 thus far in a more advanced role, was also a topic of conversation.
“It’s nice to see De Jong exploit his potential, he has the DNA to play in the [opposition’s] area. He has unparalleled vision, depth both on and off the ball, and he knows that if he enters the area, he will score a goal. It is an additional weapon,” Erwin said.
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Pointing that out that “every new player at the club is afraid” of not being able to match Lionel Messi’s lofty standards and read his game, it was concluded that this is why “players like [Ousmane] Dembélé or De Jong took a while to find the right chemistry” with the Ballon d’Or winner.
Barça climbing to second in the La Liga table, and unbeaten in their last 10 outings in the Spanish top flight, Ronald Koeman deserves more credit for the job he is doing – which includes exacting the best form from Dembélé and De Jong plus bedding in talents like Pedri amid injuries and financial issues.
With a new incoming president, however, the 2020/2021 season could be his first and last in the Blaugrana hotseat.