It has not been all rosy for the catalans with the recent events that occured in this summer window transfer, but the Manager has clearly stated how Barcelona can cope without Messi.
Barcelona played their first league game without Lionel Messi which ended in a 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad. Braithwaite scored a brace while Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto registered a goal each to seal the first three points for the Catalans in the 2021-22 La Liga season.
With the impressive result just barely a week that Lionel Messi completed a free transfer deal to Paris St-Germain from Camp Nou. Messi signed a two year contract with the Ligue 1 giants, the deal includes an option of one year extension.
However, Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman was delighted with the weekend’s result, apparently he has devised a way how Barcelona can cope without Messi.
In one of his statements after the first La Liga game for the 2021-22 season, Koeman said: “I think our game can be more collective than before, but I’d prefer to have Messi in my team. But if we don’t have the player, it has to be the collective.”
He also singled out Memphis Depay, Braithwaite and Gerard Pique for special praises.
Recall that Braithwaite scored twice and provided one assist for Sergi Roberto. Koeman had this to say about that; “He’s an example of a professional, he always works for the team and has improved his game. He has speed and is difficult to stop. I’m delighted to have a player like him.”
Talking about Gerard Pique impressive play after taking a pay cut to allow the registration of Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia, Koeman added: “He was the leader last year, but this season he is better physically. His attitude has been exemplary, like that of the other veterans.”
For Depay, Koeman is really happy with him. Though he was substituted with Clement Lenglet towards the end of the second half of the game, he provided a great assist.
“He played a great game, and he gave a great assist. He’s always doing things,”
Koeman said of Depay.
Barcelona will be meeting Athletic Club on Saturday in their second La Liga games for the season. Perhaps, Koeman has more tactics to display but the trio of Greizeman, Braithwaite and Depay is a good one.