Ronald Koeman has asked to hold off comparisons between his and Xavi’s tenures as Barcelona manager.
Speaking to journalists ahead of the second edition of the Koeman Cup, a golf charity event supported by Ronald Koeman of which the profits are sent to the Cruyff Foundation, Koeman expressed his opinion regarding Barcelona’s difficult season, in quotes picked up by AS.
When asked whether Xavi had improved the situation at Barcelona, Koeman said: “He has definitely improved some things, yes. Because they have signed three forwards who can play up front. But it is not good to compare. When I left, Barça were eight points behind Madrid. Now they are almost double. Xavi’s task is just as complicated as the one I had. It is the situation of the club.”
Koeman has urged both the Barça board and the fans to continue supporting Xavi. “That is the reality of Barça and we have to accept it. That’s why I ask for peace of mind. Being a Barça coach is difficult and I ask for support for him because in the end, we are all culés.”
Barcelona players seem to be happier with Xavi’s training schedule than with Koeman’s. When questioned regarding this, the Dutchman responded: “I remember that when I arrived, the players were more tired in training, because we did more sessions and with more intensity than before. Now, if the players think that Xavi is even better… well, in a group of 24 players you always have players for and against. It does not hurt me. I know how the changing rooms work.”