Barcelona manager laments lack of experienced players

Barcelona's Dutch coach Ronald Koeman. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP) (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's Dutch coach Ronald Koeman. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP) (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images) /

The excuses are drying up for the Barcelona manager.

Manager Ronald Koeman gave his customary press conference ahead of Barcelona’s upcoming match against Levante.

He was asked a series of questions including what went wrong in the scoreless draw against Atletico Madrid. He not subtly placed some of the blame on the younger players.

More from Everything Barca

"“The game had two different parts,” Koeman said. “We didn’t come out well, we had trouble pressuring, they created more chances. In the second half we were better but it was very disputed.“Looking at both teams, they have a more experienced squad. We play with two two 18-year-olds in midfield and two 20-year-olds in defense. You have to analyze everything, not just the result.”Source: Mundo Deportivo"

His response was deemed as self-criticism yet it sounded like anything but.

Attempting to place blame on having to play youngsters is an excuse that is not likely to go over well.

Oscar Mingueza and Ronald Araujo have done a remarkable job of filling in at defense. Pedri has been a revelation and if Koeman has had his way before the season started, he wouldn’t even be in the team. He’d have been loaned out as Koeman was banking on Philippe Coutinho.

While Ilaix Moriba has earned the right to play with the first team, one of the only reasons he’s featured as much as he has is due to the weird vendetta the Dutchman seems to have against Riqui Puig.

Koeman has all but erased the 21-year-old from the side and doesn’t even get the five or so cameo minutes he used to be afforded. Puig was arguably Barcelona’s best midfielder the last couple of months of last season and put in a performance against Atletico Madrid back then as well.

He’s lamenting the fact that they are not as experienced as their opponents but he’s made that choice. Even if one argues that his reasoning would be the same even if he relied on Puig, Miralem Pjanic exists.

Pjanic hasn’t had the season anyone hoped for but he’s experienced and he’s suffered a similar fate as Puig where he’s more or less disappeared.

Koeman emphasized that he believes Barcelona can still win the league and highlighted the change in the team from where they started at the beginning of the season.

He can’t have it both ways. He can’t partly blame the youngsters for the Atletico Madrid game and then boast about the team’s turn around as Pedri, Mingueza and Araujo have all played a big part in said turn around.

Next. Barcelona to receive bonus from Inter Milan for Arturo Vidal. dark

Koeman’s future as Barcelona manager is not guaranteed. His team’s record versus the bigger sides and in important matches leave much to be desired. Nothing is set in stone and it’s a decision president Joan Laporta is going to have to make come the end of the season.