Barcelona are struggling to find form under the management of Ernesto Valverde, and their signings in the summer transfer window haven’t exactly brought more fans either.
Antoine Griezmann was the standout summer signing, arriving from Atletico Madrid and expected to succeed, but his form has been erratic at best.
His rumoured rift with Lionel Messi isn’t helping matters either, and Valverde believes that the Frenchman has struggled because of one particular reason.
‘We need a victory’ – Valverde wants Barcelona to bounce back from recent bad form
“A lot is said about his situation, but I think it’s a lot simpler than it seems,” Valverde said at a recent news conference.
“He is used to a different type of football.
“I played against Simeone teams lots – his players drop back quickly. As soon as they lose the ball, they run back.
“Players like Koke and Saul [Niguez], [Diego] Costa and [Alvaro] Morata. That’s the way Atletico play, a side that likes to get back and fill space. At Barcelona, we play a short passing game.
“It’s a case of looking for players and seeing space. Antoine is generous in that way – in fact we ask that of him, to lose his marker and create space.
“When you go forward you must come back but I think he needs to mature into the way we play. Likewise, our players need to get used to the things Antoine does.
“It’s not been easy in his first year, but once players start to gel it rolls a lot more smoothly.”