De Kong’s self criticism, ‘Aganist Sevilla, I wasn’t myself ‘


Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong has owned up to Ronald Koeman’s comments that he was not at his best during the Catalan club’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla last Sunday. Sevilla were not afraid to press Barcelona high and, as such, the Dutch midfielder found himself not having the time and space he is usually accustomed to.

“He lost too many balls and has not been fine like his other team-mates,” Koeman said in the post-match press conference last Sunday. Now, ahead of the Netherlands’ match with Bosnia on Sunday, October 11, De Jong has responded to his coach’s criticism. “I didn’t play at the top level against Sevilla,” De Jong admitted to the media. “I was only mediocre. How is my form? We’ll see, but I feel good.”

The Oranje have two upcoming away trips in the Nations League, first against Bosnia on Sunday and then against Italy on Wednesday night. For De Jong, he is trying to cool expectations somewhat, making clear that the Netherlands have some very talented players but then also some who need to grow into the setup.

“We have to be realistic and not expect the Netherlands to dominate and win every game,” De Jong said. “We want to aspire to that. I think we have many players who are already world class and are already first rate. We have other talented young players who can grow with the squad. We are a very good team but when you see some details you realise that there are still aspects in which we have to grow. We need to improve tactically and in our understanding. We want to show Bosnia that there is still magic with us.”