Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman sends warning to Griezmann: “The coach is in charge”

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has hit back at comments from Antoine Griezmann that suggested he was being played out of position at the club.

Griezmann launched a thinly veiled attack on his new boss earlier this week, with comments that his France boss Didier Deschamps boss played him in his strongest position and that he would make the most of that – as he did by scoring in the Nations League win over Croatia.

“The coach knows where to play me, so I take advantage of that situation, of that position and from the confidence of the coach and teammates,” Griezmann – who is yet to net in three appearances for Barcelona under Koeman – told reporters, as per Marca.

Griezmann plays through the middle for France and is at the centre of attacking moves, whilst he is often played on the periphery for the Blaugrana to help accommodate Lionel Messi.

In his press conference today, Koeman responded to those remarks and reminded him that he was in charge of the decisions and selection process.

“I have spoken with Antoine and I told him that I’m looking out for what is best for the team and I think he’s most effective on the right for us,” Koeman told reporters on Friday, as per Marca.

“He can play in three positions. He could also play as a Number 10 or a Number 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 (Number 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.”

The 29-year-old had struggled for consistent form at the club but netted 15 goals in 48 appearances in his debut season – with his prominence increased due to long-term injuries for both Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez.

Griezmann is set to form a key part for Koeman’s side this season with Luis Suarez having departed the Camp Nou without a replacement, and it is a new-look attack this campaign.

Much will depend on the form and fitness of Ousmane Dembele while Ansu Fati will also be seeking a regular spot, with Martin Braithwaite also in contention.

Tags Antoine Griezmann Ronald Koeman

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