Press conferences

Koeman: Griezmann? The coach decides what’s best

Koeman during the press conference / IMAGE: MIGUEL RUIZ / FC BARCELONA

On Friday afternoon Ronald Koeman hosted his usual pre-match press conference prior to Saturday’s 9pm kick-off away against Getafe.

On Getafe

“It is a winning team that is making many merits. I saw their games against Ajax (In the europa league last season) and in the Netherlands there were many complaints about their way of playing, but i do not agree with these criticisms. Each coach looks to play in the way that suits him, and a way that can bring the best results. They are a very competitive team and we have to be very focused and look for spaces (to attack)”

On Griezmann’s comments about his position

“Everyone has a right to speak. We know these things can happen. I spoke with Antoine yesterday and it wasn’t because of what he said. We spoke about his position and how he has performed. I told him that i will do what’s best for the team, and I think that it’s better for him to play on the right wing where he has more freedom. In the end, I decide what’s best for the team. Every player has to make the most of it.

On resting Messi

“To win we always need our best players. There is always fatigue among players in the big clubs after international breaks. Today we have our last training session and we will decide which 11 players will start.”

On Griezmann

“I don’t want to continue talking about individuals. I have no problem with Antoine. The coach is in charge and the player has to make the most of it.”

On Dembele

“He has a lot of quality and little by little he will get in better shape. Something came out in the press about his training sessions … he trained like everyone else, like Konrad and Aleñà. He hasn’t played much but what I’ve seen of him in training has made me happy.”

On Riqui Puig

“I have seen part of the U21 matches and I saw him play. He has a chance to play (against Getafe).”

Frenkie’s poor performance against Sevilla

“Frenkie wasn’t at his best against Sevilla. If there’s anyone who’s self-critical it’s De Jong. He knows he didn’t play well. Instead, he played very well for Holland (in midweek). Everyone has the right to play regularly and I don’t forget that he’s a young player.”

Fans returning to the Camp Nou

“I hope that soon we will have people in the stadium. It’s the best that can happen to us. For all the players it’s difficult to play without fans. It is a bit rare to see matches with people, like in Ukraine-Spain for example, in other games there are no people. In each country the pandemic is different and I cannot give an opinion on when there should be fans in the stadium. I hope it will be tomorrow.”

On Pjanic

“He arrived later due to having caught the virus, and has had to train more to get in shape. It is very positive that he has played two games with the team. It’s a pity that he injured his back, but the doctor said he can train without any problem. I’m sure he will get minutes considering the tight schedule we have.”

On Ter Stegen

“Since last Tuesday he has been working on the pitch. and everything is going well. I don’t think he will play against Real Madrid, I think it is still early and we shouldn’t set a specific date. He will be ready when he’s ready. He is a great goalkeeper and hopefully be with us soon, but we are also very happy with Neto.”

On the international break

“Everyone is working well and getting opportunities to play. The players have played good games with their national teams. They are eager to attack the next matches. The young players are progressing well. We are talking about Ansu, Aleñá, Araujo. Riqui. The future of Barça is there and it’s always better when we can give them chances to play.”

On Sergiño Dest

“It’s been good to have him here to explain the system to him. It’s not very different from what he is used to at Ajax. We know that he can play on the left and right. We know that Alba is not ready for tomorrow and and Dest may be an option for the left back position. Not playing for the national team has been very good for his adaptation because in Barcelona everything is bigger than in Amsterdam.”