Henrik Larsson has hit out at Barcelona for the manner in which they sacked Ronald Koeman, claiming the Dutchman did not deserve it.
In an interview with Swedish outlet Fotbollskanalen, Henrik Larsson has lambasted Barcelona for sacking Ronald Koeman unceremoniously. The Barcelona icon, who was one of Koeman’s assistants at Camp Nou, has claimed that the Dutch manager did not deserve the treatment meted out to him.
Barcelona fans will hardly remember Ronald Koeman’s ill-fated reign as the Barcelona manager fondly. While the Dutchman oversaw a troubled period in the club’s history and came through with one trophy to show for his efforts, the team blew hot and cold at an alarming rate.
Things went from bad to worse at the onset of the ongoing campaign, as Lionel Messi’s shocking departure from Camp Nou left Barcelona reeling. That also had a telling impact on the team’s performances on the pitch, with the Blaugrana struggling to be competitive, let alone challenge for honours.
So just three months into the new season, Barcelona showed Koeman the exit door at Camp Nou following a defeat to Rayo Vallecano. Koeman has since lashed out at Joan Laporta for the manner of his departure, insisting the Barcelona president should not repeatedly call him a club legend after his unceremonious exit.
Henrik Larsson: "There were many players that we promoted to the first team. Pedri, Gavi, NIco… they will be great Barcelona players in the future. Ronald (Koeman) did a fantastic job with the young players. He gave Barcelona a good base to build upon." pic.twitter.com/PrikhXg3QA
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) March 13, 2022
Now, Henrik Larsson, who was one of Koeman’s assistants during his managerial spell with the Blaugrana, has criticised Barcelona for the nature of the Dutchman’s sacking. The Barcelona icon has claimed that Koeman did not deserve to be sacked the way he was.
Larsson said, “Of course it was turbulent. During the first season everything went well until March, when we lost against Granada at home. After that we felt there was less support from above, after Laporta became president. And so, it continued until the summer. We went on summer holidays and I didn’t know if I was going to continue the following season. We had a decision on this very late. It’s a pity.”
“For me it doesn’t matter too much, but to treat Ronald Koeman like that, he didn’t deserve it. After all the work we had done, the cleaning up that Ronald had done to make things possible, then I don’t think he deserved not to be told (that he was going to be sacked). No one thought that Messi would leave the club and that affected the whole squad. It was a tough moment, but as a coach you have to try to shut out the outside noise and know that you are there to work.”
Despite the words from Koeman and Larsson, Joan Laporta believes that he could – and perhaps should – have sacked the Dutchman earlier. And with Barcelona going from strength to strength under Xavi Hernandez, the president’s decision might not be ill-informed.