The Blaugrana coach has said that the France international must make the most of the role he has been given
Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has told Antoine Griezmann that he will continue to be played on the right side of the pitch and it is up to the World Cup winner to prove that he justifies his selection.
During the international break, France boss Didier Deschamps revealed that Griezmann was unhappy with the role he was being asked to play at Camp Nou, which sees him deployed in a wider area than he favours.
Griezmann then spoke after playing a pivotal role in France’s 2-1 win over Croatia, praising Deschamps for knowing “exactly where to put” him.
Koeman, though, has doubled down on his choice and has told the former Atletico Madrid star that he must find his best level.
“Everyone has the right to say whatever he wants,” Koeman said. “I spoke to Antoine yesterday because I wanted to, not because of what he said.
“I told him I want the best for the team and I know he can play on the right side and other positions. It’s up to each player to find his own best performance.
“He is already doing all he can do: he works hard, has an excellent discipline and now he must be luckier with his final touch. Against Sevilla there were a couple of times in which he could have done better.
“Regarding his positioning, I remember when I was Netherlands coach, we played against France and he was playing on the right side. It’s the coach who makes the orders.”
Koeman added that he has not taken the situation personally.
“I don’t have any problems with Antoine, I only look for the best for the team and the club,” he said. “My job is to bring out the best performance of each player but I can only pick 11.
“I won’t ask a player to play a role far from what he is used to, and I’m not doing it with Griezmann because he can play on the right. I understand that maybe there are positions he prefers, but we can’t play with two players in the role of the 10.”
Meanwhile, the Dutchman says that goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is unlikely to be fit to play in El Clasico, which is slated for October 24.
“He has been working on the pitch since Monday and he is going well but I don’t think he will be ready for the Clasico,” he said. “I think it’s going to be too early for him. We shouldn’t rush him back because we’re happy with Neto.
“I hope Marc can be with us soon, but it probably won’t be next week.”
Before then, Barcelona travel to Getafe on Saturday before hosting Ferencvaros in the Champions League on Tuesday.