The Dutchman’s direct style of play has attracted criticism from fans and pundits who see his method as a deviation from the known pattern of the Spanish club. But the manager has defended himself, saying he cannot play tiki-taka with the current Barcelona squad and preferred direct football instead.
Speaking after his side’s 1-1 draw with Granada last night, Koeman pointed out that his squad cannot allow him to play ‘tiki-taka’.
‘If you see the squad list today, do you really think we can play tiki-taka (sic)?’ Koeman asked reporters after the game.
‘Barca right now is not the Barca of eight years ago.
‘We play the Barca way, but we don’t have the speed in wide areas because we have Coutinho who cuts inside and Demir who doesn’t reach the byline much.
‘When Ansu Fati and Dembele come back, then we will be different, but they are not fit, so we have to find alternatives.’ Koman added.
With Granada still ahead late into the game, Koman asked Gerard Pique to partner Luuk de Jong up front as Barca tried to find a way into the game. The idea was to send in crosses that the physically imposing Pique could attack. But neither of them could get Barcelona’s equaliser, which eventually came from centre-back Ronald Araujo.
Koeman also complained about Granada’s time-wasting after the visitors took the lead after just two minutes and asked why the referee didn’t book the goalkeeper earlier.
‘They wasted time from the second minute,’ he said. ‘So much time is wasted with silly things, with injuries that are not injuries.
The referee should not wait until minute 88 to show their keeper a yellow card.’
Asked if the result might affect his future at the club, Loan said: ‘I am not going to talk any more about my future.’
Barca sits seventh in La Liga after four matches.