Barcelona centre-back Oscar Mingueza has spoken about the need within the club for change after Ronald Koeman left Camp Nou. The Dutchman gave Mingueza his debut for the first team, but things turned sour at the beginning of his second season and poor results meant that Joan Laporta had to act.
Koeman was dismissed after a lacklustre 1-0 defeat at the hands of Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas last month, with legendary former midfielder Xavi brought in to replace him. He has work to do – Barcelona play Espanyol this weekend in Xavi’s first game and go into the tie level with their Catalan neighbours on 17 points – but there’s already been an injection of fresh impetus at the club.
“The dressing room needed a change,” Mingueza said in comments carried by Marca. “The atmosphere we needed didn’t exist. People weren’t happy. And when you’re not well and things aren’t working out, you need a change of scenery.
“I’m sure that with Xavi we’ll do very well. People believe what he says and this is very important. We’re training with the highest intensity and pressure. Now we have clear ideas and we’re working in order to achieve our objectives.
“[The Catalan derby] is a game that can help us change the dynamics, use it as a turning point. We have to show that we’re going for titles and we’re not a vulnerable team.”
Mingueza, 22, was catapulted into the Barcelona first-team at the beginning of the 2020/21 season due to an injury crisis. He ended up making 39 appearances across all competitions, becoming a fixture at centre-back and right-back. This is despite him never really being destined for the bright lights of Camp Nou. But he took his chance and is now part of the furniture in the first-team. He even made his debut for La Roja this year.