BARCELONA

Ronald Koeman continues to receive criticism from players

Many players are taking advantage of their departure to point out the lack of man-management under Koeman and the lack of respect shown to them.

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Ronald Koeman continues to receive criticism from players
GRORKA LEIZA DIARIO AS

Luis Suárez, Junior Firpo, Emerson Royal and Miralem Pjanic have been the most recent players to fire bullets at current Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman. All four left through the back door, hurt by their treatment and questioning the Dutch coach's management and working methods.

Luis Suárez was the first to open fire on Koeman, making it clear in his farewell speech a year ago that he deserved "more respect" from Koeman, accusing him of telling him that he was "an old player" and that he "could no longer play at the highest level". The Uruguayan striker later helped Atlético Madrid to a first LaLiga title in seven years.

Later in the summer, Junior Firpo hit out at the coach, claiming that "in two weeks at Leeds I have watched more videos than in all my time at Barça". Emerson, for his part, recalled that he only had one exchange of words with the coach, where he said "welcome" and little else, while Pjanic was much more blunt. Apart from saying that the Dutchman had "disrespected" him, he emphasised Koeman's lack of communication with some of his players. "I arrive, I start training, days go by and the coach doesn't say anything to me... he doesn't tell me what he wants from me. All of that seemed very strange to me," the Bosnian said in an interview with Marca. But the problem with the lack of communication got worse. "I like people who say things to my face and who don't treat me as if I were 15 years old", adding that he always had the feeling that Koeman "had made me angry from the beginning".

Valencia players criticise Koeman

This critcism doesn't appear so heavy if you compare it with that of some of the Valencia players he had in his first spell as coach, back in 2007. Here they went straight for the Dutchman. The hardest to hit were Joaquín and Albelda. The former, who refused to greet Koeman when Betis played against Barcelona, went so far as to say that "I wouldn't want Koeman in my team, not even as a kit man".

It should be remembered that Koeman's time at Valencia was marked by his decision to sideline several heavyweights, including Albelda, Cañizares and Angulo, and to ignore some of the big signings, such as Joaquín, with the idea of 'cleaning up' the dressing room, but it turned out to be a move that backfired, with part of the squad in turmoil. And yet, even with such a turbulent atmosphere, they still managed to win a Copa del Rey.

Now, fourteen years on from those dark times at Mestalla, Koeman is still on the lips of the players when they leave and more often than not to continue to point the finger at him for having poor man-management skills.