Antoine Griezmann Says Barcelona 'Is Not the Easiest Place' to Play

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IINovember 17, 2019

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 14: Antoine Griezmann of France looks on during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier between France and Moldova on November 14, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Antoine Griezmann has said that Barcelona "is not the easiest place" to play football but is confident he will be a success at the Camp Nou following his summer move from Atletico Madrid.

The France international spoke to Telefoot (h/t Get French Football News) about his difficult start to life with the Catalan giants and what he needs to do to improve his performances.

"It is hard, I knew it would be, it is not the easiest place. This is a new team, a new club, new tactics, a new position. I have to work, try to understand my team-mates, after they will understand me too and it will work just like that… Critics will always be there. But I am good, I am proud of where I am. Only work pays off. I have to take confidence and it will all come just like that."

Griezmann is yet to have the impact expected of a player who cost €120 million when he swapped Atletico for Barcelona in July. He has managed four goals and three assists in 15 appearances for the Catalan giants.

Manager Ernesto Valverde has used Griezmann most frequently in a wide role on the left of the attack, where he has struggled to influence games and link up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

The decision to deploy Griezmann out wide has come in for criticism:

EiF @EiFSoccer

Did Griezmann touch the ball today? Not an out and out winger. Still baffling as to why he’s glued on the left hand side.

Yet Griezmann has also struggled to impress on the rare occasions he has been used through the middle in place of Suarez. 

The World Cup winner played as a central striker in the 4-1 win over Celta Vigo in Barcelona's final fixture before the international break but endured another frustrating outing, as noted by Robbie Dunne at AS:

Robbie Dunne @robbiejdunne

Messi's heatmap left, Griezmann's right. I swear nobody has any idea what his actual role is in this team. https://t.co/qcYlgLRpvZ

Griezmann has said playing centrally "is better for me" as it is a position he is used to, while he has received backing from France boss Didier Deschamps, who has described his situation at Barca as "far from catastrophic," per Sport.

There is no doubt that Barcelona are yet to see the best of Griezmann and he has not found his role in Valverde's team so far. However, his latest comments suggest he remains confident he can adapt and prove himself with the Spanish champions.