‘Changing a coach does not guarantee you improve’: Ronald Koeman takes aim at Barcelona by pointing out they are almost DOUBLE the distance away from La Liga’s summit than when he was sacked… despite urging his former employers to get behind Xavi
- Xavi has encountered his first major blip since becoming Barcelona manager
- The legendary ex-midfielder has suffered back-to-back home defeats in La Liga
- They also crashed out of the Europa League at the quarter-final stage this month
- Sacked Barca boss Ronald Koeman says Xavi’s task is ‘as complicated as mine’
- Koeman also suggested his old club have gone backwards under his successor
Ronald Koeman has taken a subtle swipe at Barcelona by pointing out that they are now further away from the top of La Liga than when he was sacked.
Koeman fell victim to the Barca axe earlier in the campaign, paying the price for a torrid run of form which saw them suffer four defeats in six matches.
Xavi, who returned to the Nou Camp as manager in November, initially got off to an impressive start after replacing him, winning 13 of his first 18 league games and lifting the Catalans up into second place.
Ronald Koeman (R) has taken a swipe at Barcelona by pointing out they are further from La Liga’s summit under Xavi (L) than when he was sacked
However, the former Barca midfielder has since encountered his first blip in the hot-seat; with a Europa League quarter-final exit against Eintracht Frankfurt and back-to-back home defeats against Cadiz and Rayo Vallecano bringing him crashing down to earth.
Speaking about the state of his former side, Koeman highlighted the fact that Barca were only eight points off the top at the time of his sacking but now trail leaders Real Madrid by 15.
‘Surely they have improved in some things. They have signed three strikers or three players who can play up front,’ he said at the presentation of the Koeman Cup, a charity event taking place on July 8 (via Marca).
‘It is not good to compare. When I left, Barcelona was eight points away and now almost double. It is not good to compare.
After an impressive start, Xavi has encountered his first major blip as Barca boss this month
His side crashed out of the Europa League before losing back-to-back home games in La Liga
‘Xavi’s task is just as complicated as mine. There’s no need to lie, if you lose the last home games it’s for something.
‘This is the reality of Barcelona today. It needs time to return to what it was and, therefore, I ask for peace of mind and not to think that we haven’t won titles… we have to think long-term, trust and support the coach’.
Despite urging Barca to get behind Xavi, Koeman also issued another dig at his former employers by claiming changing managers ‘is not always something that guarantees you improve’.
Koeman, who was dismissed by Barca in October, has told his former employers that ‘changing a coach doesn’t guarantee you improve’
He added: ‘I don’t want to make any criticism. The only thing I ask is to support Xavi. It’s the situation because a coach is not the only culprit.
‘I haven’t had the full support of a president and I hope he has learned from this and supports Xavi.
‘The club’s situation hurts me, it’s sad because I’m a culé. I ask for maximum support for Xavi, he’s a legend, a very good coach, a homebody and little to blame for Barcelona being in this situation”.
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