Valverde on Messi-Griezmann connection: Neymar also cost the first year

Valverde, asked about the lack of connection between the Frenchman and Messi in the field, said that “we have to find the right time”

One of Barça’s problems at the start of the season is that two important players Messi and Griezmann have not yet connected on the pitch.\

Ernesto Valverde, in the preview of the match against Celta, explained: “A lot is said about his situation, but I think it’s a lot simpler than it seems,” he said at Friday’s news conference. “He is used to a different type of football.

“I played against Simeone teams lots – his players drop back quickly. As soon as they lose the ball, they run back.

“Players like Koke and Saul [Niguez], [Diego] Costa and [Alvaro] Morata. That’s the way Atletico play, a side that likes to get back and fill space. At Barcelona, we play a short passing game.

“It’s a case of looking for players and seeing space. Antoine is generous in that way – in fact we ask that of him, to lose his marker and create space.

“When you go forward you must come back but I think he needs to mature into the way we play. Likewise, our players need to get used to the things Antoine does.

“It’s not been easy in his first year, but once players start to gel it rolls a lot more smoothly.”

“Neymar also cost the first year, because it is difficult, but when you find the conjunction everything is shot.”