Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal has launched an unexpected attack on former club Barcelona, indicating that foreigners are the ones who usually take the fall when things go south at the Camp Nou. The legendary Dutchman endured two separate stints at the Catalan club with varying levels of success, due to which he indicated that he knows exactly what is happening at the club currently.
Speaking ahead of the Netherlands' game against Gibraltar, Van Gaal didn't mince his words as he staunchly defended Frenkie de Jong and Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman. He also indicated that 'history is repeating itself' at Barcelona, in reference to what happened to him at the club when he was at the helm.
"When everything is going well and you make great contributions, as Frenkie has done, then there is nothing to worry about. But when things go wrong, Barcelona people always look to foreigners, and it applies for the coach [Ronald Koeman] as well."
Van Gaal also spoke in detail about Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay's roles for the national team, with the duo also playing together at Barcelona since the start of the 2021-22 campaign.
"In the national team his position is what Busquets occupies. He plays center midfield for me. I've played in that position myself & you don't normally have to run a lot, but he does. Sometimes I think, 'Frenkie, you run too much'."
"When I look at Memphis' data in practice here and in games, I've never had a forward who runs so far, goes so deep and so far towards the ball. That is commendable."
Barcelona in a state of turmoil on and off the pitch
The summer of 2021 proved to be an eventful one for Barcelona, as Lionel Messi's unceremonious departure grabbed all the headlines. Since the Argentine's move to PSG, the Catalan giants have been in a bit of a free fall, as they find themselves occupying ninth position in the La Liga standings.
Barcelona's problems compounded in the UEFA Champions League, with 3-0 defeats against Bayern Munich and Benfica leaving them at the foot of Group E. Ronald Koeman's position as head coach has come under immense scrutiny, but reports suggest the Dutchman will be given a bit more time to turnaround the club's fortunes.