Former Barcelona Boss Aims Dig At Joan Laporta Over Xavi Appointment

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Barcelona have been getting better in recent weeks and looking more like the team we expect, so obviously one former manager has picked now to go in on the owner.

After a year and a bit of issues on and off the field, Barca under Xavi are getting closer to being back to their best, as a couple of performances recently have hinted.

Even Xavi didn’t turn things around straight away though, and he needed time, and investment in January, to get things going under his management, after Ronald Koeman’s sacking in October.

Koeman has now hit out the club for not backing him in the same way, giving his successor more time and claimed that club president Joan Laporta told the Dutchman that he wouldn’t have Xavi as manager.

“He had told me a thousand times that Xavi would not be his coach, because he lacked experience,” the former Everton boss told Mundo Deportivo.

“But he needed a shield, someone to hide behind.”

Koeman was sacked at the end of October. Image: PA Images
Koeman was sacked at the end of October. Image: PA Images

The 58-year-old also added that the club’s new boss had been given the time he wasn’t, and bemoaned the return of injured players he didn’t have in his last days as manager.

“They didn’t give me the time they gave the new coach, Xavi. It’s still painful for me,” the Dutchman added.

“I was working with many injured. Now Pedri is back in shape, and Ousmane Dembélé… You can see everything. Every coach needs time and patience from the board.”

The forward could still leave on a free at the end of the season but he has featured in the team’s most recent five games, including a goal against Athletic.

Dembele was injured at the end of Koeman's reign but is now back in the squad. Image: PA Images
Dembele was injured at the end of Koeman’s reign but is now back in the squad. Image: PA Images

Koeman was at the club at the beginning of the cost cutting and had to oversee Messi’s departure last summer, after desperately trying to keep him.

Xavi has had to do some of the same cutting, but has also seen quite a few players come in, and Koeman added that he wasn’t happy having to get rid of players, only to see the team bring in a €55 million forward, Ferran Torres, arrive when he was gone.

“It was at the insistence of the club management that I agreed to the departure of some players to put the finances in order.

“But then when you see that they attract someone for 55 million euros shortly after letting Lionel Messi go then you wonder if there wasn’t something else going on. Why did Messi have to leave?”

It sounds like Koeman thinks he shouldn’t have been sacked. Was it too early or is it just that Xavi is now doing a better job?

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