Ronald Koeman is aware that “cleansing measures” need to be taken in the transition in Barcelona, said Gaizka Mendieta.
The legendary Barca defender left his role as Dutch manager to return to the Camp Nou and collect the remnants of Quique Setien’s short-lived struggle after losing 2-8 to Bayern Munich in the Champions League (UCL) last August.
Koeman faced a minefield early when he had to deal with a transfer saga involving Lionel Messi, who finally chose to remain but still expressed displeasure by releasing Luis Suarez – Barca’s third highest scorer – to LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid.
Another friend, Arturo Vidal, also headed for the exit to follow in the footsteps of Ivan Rakitic.
However, Koeman made an encouraging start in that difficult situation when collecting seven out of nine points.
So, former Spanish star Mendieta, who spent the 2002-03 campaign with Barca, is confident Koeman has shown his character.
“There will be criticism when you take a position in any club, especially in big clubs because the impact will always be greater,” he told Stats Perform.
Speaking at the launch of Player 4 Player, a consulting firm he leads, thinks Koeman really needs to be honest as soon as he arrives.
“I believe he realizes what he has to deal with when signing a contract with Barca – a transition season that will require him to inform some players about their future and he must do something effectively,” Mendieta said.
“That is not easy but at least you know what you are going through when you arrive.
“And on the other hand, I think he did it well. Obviously when he won, it became easier in football.
“But overall from an outside point of view, the team seems to be able to follow the ideas well while the relationship between him and the players goes smoothly.
“That’s an important element in any team especially in big teams like Barcelona. So far they seem to be successful.”