LaLiga English

On former advisers, acrimonious attacks and dodgy U-turns in the continuing Barca saga

Antoine Griezmann’s former adviser, Eric Olhats, had self-justifyingly taken a holier-than-thou stance on behalf of the French forwad last week and lambasted Barca talisman and skipper Lionel Messi’s attitude as ‘deplorable’ but has now suddenly opted to recant, backtracking to say his earlier views were based on media speculation rather than inside knowledge. The shameless gall of the man!

The former adviser of Antoine Griezmann has done a U-turn and written an open letter apologising for comments he made about the Frenchman’s relationship with his Barca team-mate Lionel Messi. No doubt this sudden reversal of attitude must have been brought about by loyal Messi fans surrounding Griezmann’s car outside the Barca training ground a few evenings ago demanding that the ex Atletico Madrid striker show respect to Messi.

Eric Olhats launched a scathing attack on Messi, Olhats’ scathing attack on Messi has reignited the rumors about the relationship between the two, leaving a weary, disgruntled Messi to react: “I’m tired of always being everyone’s problem at the club.”

Olhats had taken the liberty of telling France Football about Messi: “He’s at the same time emperor and monarch, and he didn’t see Antoine’s arrival with a good eye.

“His attitude has been deplorable, he made him feel that. I’ve always heard Antoine say there’s no problem with Messi, but never the other way around.”

Adding insult to injury, Griezmann’s uncle, Emmanuel Lopes, then decided to poke his nosey camel’s head into the master’s tent and publicly weighed in on the issue, accusing Messi of not working hard enough in training and saying Griezmann knew he wouldn’t be a success at Barca after only six months at the club.

Now, a discredited, foolish-looking Olhats in his eagerness to exonerate himself has shamelessly admitted he did not actually have any inside information before giving his interview, going to the extent of disagreeing with both Lopes’ and Barca coach Ronald Koeman’s comments on the situation, and tendering his supposed regrets having intensified the media’s focus on Griezmann.

In an open letter published in Marca, in an obviously desperate attempt to suddenly dissociate the French forward from the acrimonious attacks on Messi, the pompous Olhats said: “Firstly, I want to make it very clear that Antoine Griezmann NEVER informed me about this subject.

“The comments that I made in France Football were based on a situation that was put forward by various media outlets during last season. I understand that my comments are subjective and that I could even be mistaken. For that, I am the only one responsible.

“I also want to make clear that I don’t agree with the comments made by the player’s uncle about the supposed differences between Griezmann and Messi.

“For a while, specifically since three years ago, I haven’t maintained a relationship with Antoine, nor do I form part of his family’s inner circle, despite what some have said in the media.

“In response to the comments from Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, who labelled the issue as nonsense, I understand that he is defending his club and his players, but he’s not fully accurate in two matters.

“One is when he speaks about me as a client when describing my relationship with Griezmann. There was never a contractual relationship between us. I wasn’t his agent. I was his technical advisor, but I believe this grants me legitimacy to express my opinion without having to ask anybody’s permission.

“He also says he hasn’t seen any problem between the players since he arrived. The majority of these problems took place last season when he wasn’t the coach. Aware that the victim in all of this issue is Antoine Griezmann, I sincerely regret this and I am sorry. This will be my last comment on the issue.”

It’s so plainly disgusting to see self-serving, pompous observers taking it on themselves to play God, pronouncing their judgment on a living legend regarded by many as the GOAT who has earned the love, adulation and respect at the highest levels of football fans worldwide and not only in Barcelona.

It’s also immensely gratifying to see such shady characters exposed by their own shallowness and superficiality, forced by the court of public opinion to crawl back into the holes where they slithered out from.