Barcelona LaLiga Press conferences

Ronald Koeman: Any game we play depends on ourselves.

Ronald Koeman during a press conference. (Source: Getty Images)

Ronald Koeman spoke to the press today ahead of the home game against twelfth-placed Valencia. He addressed his time as coach at the Mestalla, as well as Ronald Araujo, Frenkie de Jong, and Riqui Puig, among other things.

Here is what he had to say:

On Angulo and Cañizares and his time at Valencia:

“I know they are commentators, each one seeks a life. It is not the best memory of my career either. It was a short stay, and at least we won a title, the Copa del Rey. It is a complicated place, in the last fifteen years they have had many changes. It seems like a complicated place where you lack peace of mind to work.”

On the attitude of the players:

“I have always seen a good atmosphere, despite the lost games. Of course, it is easier to have a positive atmosphere of joy when you win or with a game like the other day (against Real Sociedad) because it was a very good game to be able to pressure the opponent and we did that well. If an opponent plays balls, it is more difficult to press. Sometimes the game you like comes out and sometimes not, it depends a lot on the rival. It is important to win another game at home.”

On the system:

“We always analyze our opponent, because there are many teams that play 4-4-2. I am in favor of filling the midfield with midfielders who can attack, but we must not be obsessed with that, because midfielders can change positions and in that we are improving. It is always better to have all the players available. There is a lot of talk about systems, but the freedom of each one is important, and lately we have had more freedom.”

On Valencia:

“Any game we play depends on ourselves, we have to be focused and put energy. We know that they are a strong team. In the last six games they lost only one, away against Atlético Madrid, they beat Real Madrid and they drew four times. They are a competitive team and we have to be good. In terms of confidence, we create opportunities and we have to be more decisive, that’s what we have to change, but we play good football.”

Resting Dest:

“We need at least two players for each position and on the full-back issue it is more limited because Sergi Roberto is injured. We know that Mingueza can play as a full-back and it depends on the player’s condition, talking to the doctors. We will not risk a player if they are about to be injured or very tired. If not, they will play.”

The schedule:

“I still think the same, the schedule is crazy. If we win the semi-final of the Super Cup there will be one more game. We are looking at the players. I like to go game by game, but you also have to think about travel. we have to resolve this issue in a very tight season.”

On Ronald Araujo:

“He is strong and quite fast, he has a strong character, he commands and trains hard every day. In some things, such as first touch of the ball, circulating the ball or vertical passes he has to improve, but he is a young player who already occupies an important place and he told me that he wants to improve and that is very important.”

On the first half against La Real:

“If we took advantage of all the opportunities in the first half, we could have already had a two goal difference and the second half would have been totally different. We have to put a team with the hunger that we put in the last match. Sometimes it’s easier if you win. So the atmosphere is good, but from day one I’ve seen a united group. But it’s easy for the press to take a picture of a difficult situation, even though they’re not in the dressing room. You (journalists) have an easy job.”

On Pjanic’s situation:

“Aleñá entered against Real Sociedad before Pjanic because he is left-footed and we needed a left-footed midfielder. There are players who have to wait for their opportunity and when they have it, they need to show that they can play.”

On Coutinho:

“I like him a lot, because he has quality in attack and there are things that he has learned in England and at Bayern. He has had some discomfort and now he has to work.”

On whether he has a different opinion of Riqui Puig than Araujo:

“Araujo and Riqui Puig are totally different. Yes, I like people who work every day to improve and take the opportunity with both hands to improve. Today, there are other things besides individual quality. There are people who don’t do enough to make the coach think about changing things.”

On de Jong’s new role:

“de Jong has played higher and has taken more responsibility in the last part of the field. The change is due to giving more responsibility to a good player who arrived last year. He has to take more command, for the future of this club.”