Louis van Gaal is not surprised by the criticism Frenkie de Jong is currently receiving in Spain. “That is typical Barcelona,” said the national coach of Orange in the run-up to the international match tomorrow (8:45 p.m.) against Gibraltar. “History repeats itself.”
Van Gaal spoke up in his press conference for the midfielder who is going through a difficult period at FC Barcelona.
Foreigners are to blame
“If everything goes well and you have great contributions that Frenkie has made in the past 2 years, then there is nothing to worry about,” said Van Gaal. “But when things go bad, people in Barcelona are always looking for foreigners. And in this case, the coach (Ronald Koeman, ed.) is also a foreigner and a Dutchman.”
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The national coach, himself a former coach of Barcelona, knows what he is talking about. “I have experienced that too. History repeats itself. You shouldn’t be looking at that. But I think Frenkie handles that very well. And Ronald too. And Luuk de Jong and Memphis too. I don’t think that’s the biggest problem. At the moment they are trying to do everything they can. I’ve never had a striker like Memphis who runs so much, goes so much deep and gets into the ball so much. That’s commendable.”
Frenkie de Jong is also in good shape with the national coach. “He plays centrally in midfield. I’ve played in that position myself. Then you don’t have to walk much, but he does walk a lot. Sometimes I think ‘you’re walking too much.’ I didn’t think he had the ball against Latvia, but we shouldn’t talk about player qualities. When I say that, it takes on a life of its own. Isn’t that stupid for him to read? I don’t really want to say that. These players do so much positive.”
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