Yeah, we hit the jackpot with Balde. Now, he even looks good on the right side. Impressive performance once again. Imagine him now with half a season more experience. I still don't know why Xavi didn't trust him last season...Busquets with many dangerous mistakes against a pressing opponent, as usual.Very important victory in adverse circumstances and in a difficult field.
Busquets today very bad. Baldé growing a lot every day.
Madrid should be favoured to win the league but Barca have had a ton of injuries as well and once the CB’s are healthy I think the chemistry will improve.Eeeh. I think we're gonna look very different after the world cup honestly. Barcelona are pretty much going at full tilt, we haven't yet. We'll see
Definitely they can win the league though, they're a 90+ points side
Would also like to see him make subs much soonerIncredible win considering we were down to 10 but man oh man, Xavi needs to pull his head out of his arse and stop playing Busquets. The sooner he leaves the better. Frenkie deserves a chance at running the midfield without babysitting for that fossil.
Raphinha should start over Dembele also, so much more reliable and Xavi really did him dirty thus far. You can usually tell 10mins into a match if Dembele is going to be in world beater mode or low iq Dumbele.
I guess Xavi didn't want to put Balde in a team with as much pressure as last year, plus he had some injuries.Yeah, we hit the jackpot with Balde. Now, he even looks good on the right side. Impressive performance once again. Imagine him now with half a season more experience. I still don't know why Xavi didn't trust him last season...Busquets with many dangerous mistakes against a pressing opponent, as usual.
Feels good to stay on top of the table at least until the end of december.
Atletico needs a new project with a new coach. Simeone's cycle in my opinion is over.Man, he has changed my mind on this before, but I think it's really time for Simeone and Atleti to part ways, no matter which side decides to let the other go. Honestly, he has tried to adapt play to the players around by now more than people will believe and there were glimpses where the combinations were outstanding. But then a few months pass and it's back to the good ole' hope the striker does a Costa/Suarez/Griezmann type game. Since the start of the 20/21 season hopes rose plenty times where it seemed that players like Felix, Lemar and Correa finally clicked. Add in gems like Llorente, RDP and even the successful signing of Kondogbia and the future seemed bright. Even Koke got some of his playmaking skills back.
But it all faded again and again. Felix and Lemar got injured too often to get into consistent form nor to be relied upon and Koke got back to his rusty self. Correa has shown plenty great games, but somehow gets punished when not scoring a brace unlike many of the other forwards. In a way I feel like while a lot of players got really good under Simeone, such as the resurgence of Lemar and Llorente, and players like Trippier turning into reliable players while retaining their skills, some players seemed to lose some of their precious skills.
Koke was such an exciting talent and while he grew into a relatively fine all round midfielder and a pretty solid captain, I noticed that I've become confused about the fact that this guy was the natural successor to Xavi and that it used to be somewhat of a clear trajectory. I remember waiting for his assist and passing stats to continue growing, but instead I wouldn't be surprised if he ends the season with 2 or 3 assists. He was such a quick thinker but now he can't keep up.
Same for Correa, perhaps it's partly due to the tumor that took a year out of his career, and perhaps he still tries to prove himself too much to keep his composure, but while he still shows some excellent skills at times, much of his unpredictable moves and elegance has gone entirely. I think it's still there and that we'll see more of him with a trainer that is willing to play him to his strengths, but I worry that the clock starts ticking. Felix has kept his skills and I actually think he has improved many sides to his game, but I don't believe it will be used to his nor Atleti's benefit anymore. I don't blame Simeone for Lemar's injury record nor Saúl's decline (I think his physical misfortunes damaged his mental strength and composure too much to at least become the player he seemed to become, perhaps he can reinvent himself, but...), but I'm getting pretty tired of the same hopes getting diminished and Simeone falling back to his old ways after one misstep by the team. It's as if he only sees missteps in the new, but is blind to the plenty in his known ways.
Perhaps he simply needs something new. He could be a great renaissance guy for a team in need, and perhaps with a TD that is aware of his shortcomings you can build a great machine that will be more consistent and fitting to his approach. But while Llorente is a great athlete, Felix is an elegant forward and the wingbacks are showing plenty of the Cholo spirit, Lemar is no Raul Garcia, Correa is no Juanfran, Koke isn't the same type of leader Gabi and Tiago were. They are different players, these are different times, Atleti cannot always stay the same, at least their signings show the wish for another approach. I will believe Simeone wants to change along, but him - or whoever has a big say in the tactics in his staff - are holding Atleti back right now.
I believe people can learn and I don't believe in firing people, at least not like they tend to do in football. But, I don't know if this Atleti is more than hope anymore. Simeone is a great people manager and it's astounding how many players he got into his game - and so consistently at that too. But the signs are appearing on all of the walls. The players are better but the play is worse. Maybe it's a rush of judgment, but I don't care for defensive game or even the kick and rush. It's great that Atleti knows how to suffer, but it hurts to see so much potential being unused. It saddens me seeing many people say Felix cannot work here, or not even seeing the great skillsets of himself, Lemar and Correa. They have shown it, but it's as if it must be hidden on too many occasions, while it really doesn't need to be. Yes it's good to keep some fighting spirit in there and the quick counter-thinking. Yes it's good to keep the incredible sharpness in defense as part of the tactical options. But why give up on the other beautiful sides of the game so quick so many times, when it's been clear on many occasions that this team can do so much more if they're simply allowed to.
Thank you for everything Cholo, you were an amazing teacher and leader, inspiring so many more players than seems possible. But if you care about Atleti and these players, things will simply have to change. I hope you can do it, but perhaps it's time to check if Inter and the like are looking for you again sometime soon...
I hate myself for asking for letting go of a manager, especially one who has given as much to this club as he did. I mean, he earns plenty for this job, so it's not like it's some underdog story vs the rich man (a little ironic with Atleti's reputation). But right now I'd rather see us lose games but feel like the team is doing what it can do just a bit more, than this... we're still top 4, but what does it even mean anymore if you're just holding yourself back. I don't care for the trophies even, but it hurts that they're only options when the top 2 both have a subpar season.
If there's one thing that's not a problem right now, it's the age of the players haha. Witsel is old-ish at 33, while Savic and Griezmann are 31, but most others are in the mid to late 20s area, with some even younger than that. It's not like we're still in the Gabi-Tiago-Godin on their last legs era? You think they need teens? There are younger players than Riquelme around right now and I think it's wise to see if he can keep this up right now. I am glad he finally found a place with some regular playing time, though! But as long as Felix, Griezmann and Correa are around, I think it's better to keep him at Girona until at least the end of the season.Atletico needs a new project with a new coach. Simeone's cycle in my opinion is over.
Atletico also needs young players, they have a very veteran team. Bring Riquelme who is playing well in Girona and raise some boy from the academy.
Unfortunately Atletico economically is quite at the limit and will need to make cheap and good signings.
If the team does not enter the Champions League it will be more complicated.
By veteran I mean players who have been at the club for a long time under Simeone. There is a great wear and tear or mental fatigue in players like Koke or Saul, to give an example.If there's one thing that's not a problem right now, it's the age of the players haha. Witsel is old-ish at 33, while Savic and Griezmann are 31, but most others are in the mid to late 20s area, with some even younger than that. It's not like we're still in the Gabi-Tiago-Godin on their last legs era? You think they need teens? There are younger players than Riquelme around right now and I think it's wise to see if he can keep this up right now. I am glad he finally found a place with some regular playing time, though! But as long as Felix, Griezmann and Correa are around, I think it's better to keep him at Girona until at least the end of the season.
Speaking of which, I noticed Camello is getting more starts at Vallecano now, too!