Ernesto Valverde has been back facing questions from the press ahead of Saturday’s La Liga clash with Celta Vigo at the Camp Nou.
The Barcelona boss talked about his future at the club, Antoine Griezman’s struggles, Luis Suarez’s fitness, Ousmane Dembele and the club’s injury problems.
Here are the best bits:
Valverde on his future
I’m not worried. Whether I understand it or not [criticism], it’s like that. It is what it is. And I don’t have much to say. I think we a had better game against Slavia, if we had scored, everyone would be calmer. The other day I had dinner with Bartomeu. The club always supported me and I feel respected.
Valverde on Luis Suarez
We think he may be ready, but let’s wait for training. If he doesn’t play for us tomorrow he won’t go with Uruguay either.
Valverde on dropping Arthur
It was my decision. He did take a little knock. The first time I dropped him was because he was carrying an injury, but the other day it was my decision to leave him out.
Valverde on Griezmann
Griezmann is used to a different kind of football. At Simeone’s side the players drop back very quickly, as soon as they lose the ball. Look at Koke, look at Saul, they come straight back when they don’t have the ball. That’s the way they play. But here we play a different, short passing game. He still needs to mature into the way we play. And also our players need to get used to the things Griezmann does. It’s not easy, look at Neymar when he was first here, he struggled too.
Valverde on Dembele
We know he’s a player who can do a lot. He does some amazing things with the ball. Sometimes people expect him to do that all the time. There are areas of his game he needs to improve, like when he gets the ball with his back to the opposition but it’s very hard to find players like Dembele on the world market and we are looking forward to all of his amazing skills shining through. We have high hopes that we can get even more out of him.