Even though the hard taskmaster style of Ronald Koeman did not satisfy quite a few people in the Camp Nou – some of them even termed him as a Police Sergeant – the Dutchman has expressed his satisfaction with the training.
Barcelona prepare to face Gimnastic de Tarragona and, all in all, despite some turbulence off the training pitch, Koeman is happy with how preparations are going.
“[Training] been very positive,” he told the club’s channels, which has been posted in Marca.
“We’re two weeks in and the players are working very well.”
“There is a good level of intensity in training, first of all with the fitness side in the opening weeks, and now with tactics.”
“The players have shown a lot of spirit, interest and intensity, and that is the most important thing, because for me you have to train how you play.”
“It’s very important and I am very happy with the work that the team has done over these two weeks.”
Koeman plans to rotate his side in the friendly against Gimnastic.
“Each player is going to get 45 minutes; it will be a game with two separate teams,” he said.
“We will look for intensity, order in our play, how we want to play with the ball, transitions, and pressing, things to improve, and to see how we want to play.”
The Dutchman also spoke about the returning Leo Messi.
“He’s the best,” he said.
“Messi is a hugely important player and he has shown that for many years.”
“I hope that he can repeat that this season.”
Koeman is also content with how the new signings have gelled as well as the academy players who are training with the first team.
“The young players have adapted very well, as have the signings,” he said.
“It’s a strong group and everybody has possibilities to play.”
“We have a phenomenal atmosphere in training, the young players have participated and have a lot of quality, and now we need to improve and increase our fitness.”