‘I am in charge and I decide what’s best for the team’: Ronald Koeman lays down the law to Antoine Griezmann after star aimed dig at Barcelona’s new boss for playing him out of position
- Griezmann is unhappy at being on the right of a three behind Lionel Messi
- The 29-year-old has failed to find the net for Barcelona so far this season
- Barca will look to bounce back against Getafe after drawing 1-1 with Sevilla
New Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has put his foot down after Antoine Griezmann hinted that he was unhappy with the Dutchman playing him on the right of a three behind Lionel Messi.
The France forward, who has yet to find the back of the net this season for Barca, has been on international duty and aimed a dig at Koeman after playing as a No 10 and scoring in the 2-1 win over Croatia in the Nations League.
‘The coach knows where to put me,’ Griezmann said about national team manager Didier Deschamps. ‘I take advantage of this situation, of this place, of the confidence of the coach and my team-mates.’
Ronald Koeman favours a formation which puts Lionel Messi at the point of the attack
Antoine Griezmann’s 33rd international goal came in the eighth minute against Croatia
Koeman had criticised Griezmann for missing two presentable chances in the 1-1 draw with Sevilla at the Nou Camp just before the players departed to represent their respective countries and the Dutchman has sent out a reminder that he alone picks the team.
‘I have spoken with Antoine and I told him that I’m looking out for what is best for the team. I think he’s most effective on the right for us,’ Koeman told reporters ahead of the team’s trip to Getafe on Saturday.
‘He can play in three positions. He could also play as a No 10 or a No 9. In fact, when I was the Netherlands boss, in a game against France, he played on the right against us – which is the same at Barcelona.
‘I have no problem with Antoine. I can only play one player in each of the three attacking positions. I do not play any players out of position.
‘Griezmann can play wide coming inside on his left foot. If he has another position that he likes more, that is the situation, but we cannot have 10 players in the same role (No 10).
‘I decide based on what’s best for the team. The coach is in charge and the players must be at their best when they play.’
Teenage sensation Ansu Fati has been in electric form in the early stages of the campaign
Barca began the new LaLiga season in impressive fashion, hammering Villarreal 4-0 on the opening day with four first-half goals before sweeping aside Celta Vigo as Ansu Fati became just the second 17-year-old to score 10 times in the league for the club, following in Bojan Krkic’s footsteps.
However, the draw against Sevilla has provided a reality check and Koeman’s men will look to get back on track against Getafe, who currently sit 7th.