Koeman defends wall, denies Albelda's legal accusations
Koeman defends rebuilding of a wall around his training installation as move for "more peace and quiet."23 January 2008
MADRID - On Friday, Valencia coach Ronald Koeman ordered the rebuilding of a wall levelled over 10 years ago around his team's training installation. Yesterday, he defended the decision in the name of "having more peace and quiet."
While the Dutch trainer describes "even more" protection from fans and press a customary practice in soccer, the fact remains that Koeman has reason enough to want to hide. Delivered to a fourth-placed Valencia, four points behind Liga leaders Real Madrid in early November, Koeman was given the task of solving the team's "irreversible" crisis.
Two months later, those woes pale in comparison to Valencia's current situation: in eighth place, 23 points behind Real Madrid, and with one win in its nine league games under Koeman. The team was booted out from the Champions League early.
On Tuesday, Koeman also denied that his job depends on Valencia's success in the King's Cup - the only competition in which the team has produced decent results, arguing his "project" at Valencia needs time to bear fruit: "It is not finished after two months," he said. Valencia plays Atlético de Madrid in the first leg of the tournament quarterfinals tonight.
To add to Valencia's troubles, midfielder David Albelda announced on Monday he would be taking legal action against the side. Albelda, benched last month along with two veteran team mates, was told he would not see the field for the rest of the season, and claims the decision was made for non-sporting reasons. Koeman on Tuesday disregarded these claims as untrue.
[Copyright EL PAÍS / KELLY RAMUNDO 2008]
Subject: Spanish news