Koeman insists there are no issues with Barcelona president Laporta

By Sports Desk September 13, 2021

Ronald Koeman claimed he has no issues with Barcelona president Joan Laporta after suggestions of a fractured relationship between the pair.

Barca limped to a third-place finish last term in LaLiga – seven points behind champions Atletico Madrid – and were knocked out in the last-16 stages of the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain.

Laporta subsequently undertook a managerial replacement search in June before deciding to stick with Koeman, who said to NOS some of his president's previous comments were "not wise".

However, ahead of the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich on Tuesday, the Catalan club's head coach offered assurances on his relationship with Laporta.

"Our relationship is good," Koeman told Monday's pre-match news conference. "If there are things, we talk about them.

"We want the best of the club, which is always the most important thing.

"I don't have a problem with the president and we talk about things about the club, a perfect relationship for me. We've had little things, but we're fine."

Koeman, who lost Blaugrana legend Lionel Messi from his squad in August to PSG amid financial complications with LaLiga, has afforded numerous youngsters an opportunity in the opening games.

Indeed, Barca have utilised the most Under-21 players among Spanish top-flight squads so far (eight) as Koeman feels this is his best option with all the financial issues surrounding the club.

"The only thing I have said is that I am a coach who gives opportunities to young players," Koeman responded when asked about his NOS interview.

"You never know if another coach will give as many opportunities as we do. I am a coach and I seek the best for the club.

"We know it is a complicated situation, but we are improving things and one of these is giving opportunities to young people, who are the future of the club."

And after suggesting the club had a future thanks to his work, Koeman backtracked on his comments slightly: "My future is not important, the future of the club and the team is important. Tomorrow we have an opportunity to compete.

"Being a Barcelona coach is winning games and we are at a time when we have to work."

Related items

  • Steelers star Watt says 'door open' to face Bengals after groin injury Steelers star Watt says 'door open' to face Bengals after groin injury

    Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt said the door is open for him to face the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3 of the NFL season.

    Watt is listed as questionable for Sunday's clash after injuring his groin in last week's 26-17 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

    But the three-time Pro Bowler is hopeful of suiting up at home to the Bengals at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

    "Doesn't matter how many reps I get throughout the week," Steelers star Watt said on Friday. "I was able to still run around here and do a lot of things that I need to do to keep the door open for Sunday.

    "I'm excited to get the rest of today and tomorrow to continue to improve my body and see where I'm at on Sunday.

    "... This isn't going around and playing Pee Wee football. This is playing against guys doing this for a living, so trying to be smart.

    "At the same time, knowing your body more than anything. I felt like I did a good amount this week to leave the door open for Sunday."

    Cincinnati ended a 10-game losing streak to Pittsburgh when the Bengals (1-1) beat the Steelers (1-1) 27-17 in Week 15 of last season.

    In the all-time series, the Steelers have 65 wins in their 101 games against the Bengals, which is the most wins by any team against Cincinnati.

    The Steelers, meanwhile, were held to 39 yards rushing in their loss to the Raiders, bringing the team's season rushing total to a league-worst 114 rushing yards.

    Since Mike Tomlin became head coach in 2007, Pittsburgh have been held to under 40 yards rushing in 20 different games with only the Arizona Cardinals having more such games in that span (22).

  • Dak Prescott looking forward to 'special' Cowboys homecoming after injury Dak Prescott looking forward to 'special' Cowboys homecoming after injury
  • Ronaldo can play into his 40s, says Man Utd boss Solskjaer Ronaldo can play into his 40s, says Man Utd boss Solskjaer

    Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Red Devils superstar Cristiano Ronaldo can play football into his 40s.

    Ronaldo returned to Premier League giants United before the transfer window closed and the evergreen 36-year-old has scored four goals in his first three matches back at the club.

    As Ronaldo continues to defy his age, Solskjaer does not anticipate the five-time Ballon d'Or winner slowing down any time soon.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if he was still playing at 40, not at all," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Saturday's clash with Aston Villa.

    "The way he looks after himself, that's the key, that's the key to it all and, of course, some genes. There must be some genes in there! He has put every single ounce of energy and effort into becoming the player he is.

    "He deserves every single plaudit that he gets for first, his own physical state but, even more impressively, when you have achieved as much as he has. He is still just as hungry as ever.

    "His mentality is still absolutely spot on and that's just desire from inside of him and he's going to keep going until his legs or even his head say no that's it, I've given everything now."

    United – level with Chelsea and Liverpool atop the Premier League – have won 18 of their last 21 home league games against Villa (D2 L1), failing to score on just one occasion in that run.

    In Premier League history, no side has won more games against an opponent than United's 37 victories against Villa.

    Since a goalless draw with Manchester City last December, United have scored in each of their last 15 Premier League home games (44 goals in total). However, Solskjaer's men have also conceded in each of their last seven league games at Old Trafford, last having a longer top-flight home run without a clean sheet in February 1972 (8 games).

    United are the highest scorers in the Premier League so far this season with 13 goals. With an expected goals total of eight, the Manchester outfit are also overperforming their xG more than any other side this season (five goals more).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.