News Matches

'Koeman will continue as Barcelona coach' - Laporta says Dutchman deserves time and confidence

13:06 BST 02/10/2021
Ronald Koeman Barcelona 2021-22
With Atleti heavy favourites to beat the Blaugrana on Saturday, many had assumed the Camp Nou dugout would be cleared out and a new face installed

Barcelona president Joan Laporta says that Ronald Koeman will not be sacked any time soon, insisting that the Dutchman deserves time and the club's confidence that he can turn things around.

A dreadful start to the season has led to calls for the coach to be dismissed, with poor results in La Liga and the Champions League contributing to fan unrest.

Speculation regarding who could take over in the Camp Nou dugout has been rife as a result, but Laporta has claimed that Koeman will be given more time – at least in the short term – to get Barca competing at a high level once again.

What has been said?

Speaking ahead of a daunting clash against Atletico Madrid, Laporta said: “Ronald Koeman will continue as the coach of Barca, he deserves a margin of confidence. Koeman is a cule and a reference point for Barcelona. 

“I have spoken with him and I have drawn my conclusions. I really appreciate that he is leading Barca at a time of difficulty.”

Best yet to come?

While there is no questioning that Koeman has struggled for positive results, the head coach has been hampered by a raft of injuries to big-name players such as Sergio Aguero, Ansu Fati and Ousmane Dembele to name just a few.

Fati's recent goalscoring return had given the club something to cheer about during a dark time, and Laporta expects more positives to arrive in the near future as more stars become available for selection.

He added: “When our injured players recover, we will have more of an edge.

“[Koeman] has had moments of discouragement but he has recovered his spirit and now that our injured players are recovering, he deserves to have time and our confidence.”

No bad blood

Questions over Koeman's job security had been all the more prevalent due to public disagreements between the coach and the president, but Laporta insists any exchanges made between the pair have only been for the greater good.

“It has been said that we have a cold relationship and that is not true,” Laporta asserted. “We have a good, sincere relationship. He is a good person and I believe that he thinks the same of me. 

“We are all trying to make things happen for the better.”

Further reading