Ronald Koeman gave an interesting interview to the Dutch media NOS in the wake of his appointment to the Barça bench. In particular, he explained that he intends to put Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann in their real positions to get the best possible return from them.
Koeman had already told the press during his presentation to the press on Wednesday that he intended to “look for the position where the players feel most comfortable” in order to get the best out of them.
And the new Barça coach is thinking in particular of his compatriot Frenkie de Jong, who has been brought into several positions in midfield this season but has often been lined up in left-back midfield, having shone for Ajax and the national team in the No6 position in front of the defence.
A position in which the Barcelona starter has been Sergio Busquets for several years.
“The plan is to have Frenkie de Jong play the same way he did at Ajax and for the national team,” he said. I remember going to a Barça game last season and thinking to myself, ‘I’ll never put him in that position. You’ve invested a lot of money in a young player. So you have to put him in his real position, where he can offer the best return. He’s shown Ajax and the national team what position he’s best at and that’s where he’s going to play for Barça too,” said Koeman.
“Griezmann is not a winger”
The Dutch coach also intends to apply the same reasoning to Antoine Griezmann, who has often been lined up on the wing at Barça, as he has always performed better in a supporting axial attacking role: “It’s the same for Antoine Griezmann. He’s not a winger, so we have to get him to play in his real position, in a role that suits him and where he can show his qualities.
During the interview, which took place before his meeting with Messi, Koeman also spoke about the Argentinian: “I’m going to talk to him very soon, I’d also be disappointed if I lost 8-2 against Bayern,” Koeman said. “I still have a lot of contact with Pep Guardiola, who says it’s great to work with Messi. He’s a winner and if he doesn’t win, he can be annoying. I have to make him perform, make him feel important. He has to finish his career here because he is Barcelona and Barcelona is Messi”.