Barcelona loanee Miralem Pjanic has chastised Ronald Koeman while also adding that he felt disrespected by him.
In an interview with MARCA, Miralem Pjanic has opened up on his frustrating one-year stay at Barcelona before joining Besiktas on loan in the summer transfer window. The Bosnian midfielder has said he cannot put a finger on what went wrong between him and Ronald Koeman while adding that he felt disrespected by him.
Pjanic said, “Right now, today, I don’t know what he wanted exactly. He didn’t try to explain things to me or find a solution. I would go to ask him what he wanted from me, positionally or what I was doing well or badly. I wanted to adapt as quickly as possible to the team and be useful. You need 17 or 18 players from a squad to win titles.”
“He didn’t have problems with my play and didn’t give me answers. Time went on and the situation went from bad to worse, without any reason. Like I said, I was being professional, so this is difficult to understand. Many people on the inside didn’t understand it either. Then there was this opportunity to leave and I wanted to listen to that, because I need to play.”
“I know what I can bring to a team, but you need confidence and dialogue and things to be said to your face. I’d have preferred things to be said to me directly, but it was what it was. It was a very odd way of communicating and it’s the first time I’ve ever experienced this. I’ve had a very good relationship with all of my coaches. I don’t know what happened, I honestly don’t know. He didn’t want responsibility or confrontation, because I guess that couldn’t be handled.”
“He never told me or asked if I wanted to play as a two or in front of the defence. I reached a Champions League final playing as a double pivot with [Sami] Khedira. I’ve played everywhere, but he never saw me in any of them. I didn’t have a position, I got five or 10 minutes, or would warm up for 45 minutes but not play. I’ve never had a situation like it and it wasn’t easy.”
“You have to be tough, because sometimes I could have reacted badly to him, but I was always respectful with him and my teammates. He had a cross against me from the beginning. I didn’t understand. He’s a very, very strange coach. It’s the first time I’ve seen someone like this.”
Pjanic’s situation at Barcelona was indeed quite bizarre to say the least. While Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Pedri did show more quality, the fact that the Bosnian midfielder was barely trusted is quite surprising, considering the quality he has shown in his career.
So, it hardly came as a surprise when he was linked with a raft of Serie A clubs in the summer, with a move the best way forward for Pjanic. The 31-year-old has eventually joined Besiktas and it remains to be seen if he can resurrect his stuttering career in Turkey.