December 6, 2021

‘I still need time to adapt’ – Griezmann calls for patience from Barca fans

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Antoine Griezmann has asked for patience from Barcelona’s fans, saying he has had a difficult adaption process on account of the upheaval at the club over the past 18 months.

France international Griezmann joined Barca in the summer of 2019, but he has not shown his best form since making the move from Atletico Madrid.

Griezmann can understand criticism if he is not playing well, but he pointed to the fact that he is now working under his third manager at the club since his arrival as a valid excuse.

Ronald Koeman is currently in charge of a Barcelona side who sit in 13th in La Liga, having replaced Quique Setien in the summer.

Setien’s spell in charge only lasted eight months, as he took charge of the club in January 2020 following the departure of Ernesto Valverde.

Griezmann feels the manager upheaval has not helped his adaption process, while also citing the coronavirus pandemic as another obstacle to overcome.

“I accept the criticism,” Griezmann told Jorge Valdano on the latest edition of Universo Valdano. “I had three managers in a year and a half, that is really hard with Barca’s style of play. Together with a pandemic to deal with too.

“So I still need time to adapt, because we had three different systems under three different managers, and therefore the players need time to adapt to me and I need time to adapt to them.“

Griezmann believes that given time, he can prove that he was worthy of the €120 million (£105 / $140m) Barca paid to prise him out of Madrid.

“People are asking if I’m a good signing or not, I know I can help,” he said. “Maybe I haven’t helped as some people would have liked, but I want to help my team-mates.”

Barca may be struggling domestically and there is also upheaval due to the upcoming presidential elections, but Griezmann, who said in the same interview that he had cleared the air with Lionel Messi over his failed move on 2018, feels they have the quality to secure silverware this season.

“It has been a tough two years, but there is plenty ahead,” he said. “We have the Champions League to look forward to and lots of games coming up. I believe we have the group to show we can win big things and we have to respond.

“I’m excited to respond, to win, and to help the team. They trust me and there’s no problem at all. I just want to be left alone and have some peace.”