Griezmann is finally showing signs of adapting to Barcelona. He doesn’t look like a stranger anymore, but like a teammate. His colleagues know him more, and he knows his colleagues more. His surroundings, his space, his time. He has been building his own environment and context where he can perform best. He’s becoming a useful piece inside the engine.
Some automatisms are being created around him, involving, and not excluding, him. De Jong, now on the left side of the midfield with Arthur’s absence, is connecting frequently with the Frenchman. Another strong alliance is the Lenglet–Griezmann. Clément, with his exquisite long balls and distribution, often finds the former Atleti man on the left too.
Another important tactical adjustment is that it no longer has to be Griezmann who adds width on the left, but it’s Alba, or Junior when Jordi was injured, who takes up that duty. Antonie, like Leo, is a ‘mediapunta’ acting as a false winger. They are not players to occupy the flanks permanently, but to be close to the box, or at the edge of it. Because, as seen against Mallorca and Real Sociedad, we must find a way to exploit Griezmann’s truly exceptional finishing.
The main problem is that our no.17’s favourite zone is actually reserved for Leo, because that’s the ‘Messi zone’. The partnership between the Argentinian and Alba surely is one of the sequences that has produced most goals in the past years.
Managing to maintain that combo alive while also generating some favourable conditions for Griezmann is a difficult challenge. Nonetheless, Valverde has been making the appropriate tactical modifications and now El Principito looks far more comfortable at Barça that when he first met Messi on the pitch.