Thu, 03 Dec 2020

Ronald Koeman seems at loggerheads with Antoine Griezmann over the forward's best position.

MADRID, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman had words of advice for striker Antoine Griezmann ahead of Barca's La Liga clash away to Getafe on Saturday evening.

Griezmann continues to struggle to produce his best form for Barca, but was on target for France during the international break, and told the press afterwards that France coach Didier Deschamps "knows where to play" him.

The comment seemed to be a clear allusion to Koeman, but when asked about Griezmann in his pre-game press conference, the Dutchman commented that "everyone has the right to say what they want."

"I spoke to him [Griezmann] on Thursday afternoon, but not about this question. We spoke about his position and his form. I want the best for the team and I think it is good for him to start on the right. He can also play as a number 10 or a striker, but I am the one who decides and he has to give his best," continued the coach.

FC Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann (L) controls the ball during a La Liga match against Real Sociedad in Barcelona, March 7, 2020. (Photo by Joan Gosa/Xinhua)

When asked what Griezmann needed to do to succeed at Barca, Koeman replied "give the maximum effort: he needs to have some luck but he needs to take the chances he is given. The coach is in charge and he has to give the maximum," he commented.

Koeman was also asked whether he would rest Lionel Messi, with the trip to Getafe followed by Barcelona's first Champions League match and then the 'Clasico' against Real Madrid, and replied that he believed Messi could play in all of the games.

Koeman will have to decide how to organize his defense in Getafe with left-backs Jordi Alba and Junior Firpo both injured. One option could be to play Clement Lenglet on the left with Ronald Araujo partnering Gerard Pique in central defense, or recent arrival Sergino Dest could play at left-back despite being naturally right-footed.

Elsewhere, Sergio Busquets, Philippe Coutinho and Frenkie De Jong are likely to continue in midfield with Ansu Fati, Griezmann and Messi in the Barcelona attack. ■

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