Atlético sporting director José Luis Caminero spoke to the club’s official site about Atleti’s latest debacle, a 3-2 loss against 10-man Getafe on Sunday.
While the team was finally able to score an away goal in league play, Falcao and Domínguez’s strikes weren’t enough to overcome the home side, who put three past Courtois.
Gregorio Manzano has been unable to motivate his men outside the Vicente Calderón, and this is reflected on the league table. Los Rojiblancos are currently the worst visitors – or favourite guests from the point of view of our opponents – with just a single point from their travels.
The overwhelming majority of fans are now clamouring for Manzano to be sacked, but Caminero’s statements suggested the front office will continue to back the 55-year-old journeyman.
“It must be recognised that we have a problem playing away games,” Caminero said.
“Atlético Madrid can’t be the worst team playing away from home after 11 rounds. We are analysing the reasons why we are capable of thrashing the Serie A’s second place team and then are incapable of defeating an opponent that plays with 10 players for an hour.”
The sporting director held himself, along with the institution as a whole, accountable for the squad’s disappointing play.
“The successes of the team correspond to us all and, likewise, we all assume responsibility for the bad situations,” he said.
“In these circumstances, the same individual is targeted but the reality is that football is a collective sport and in the victories and in the losses we are all responsible in one form or another.”
Having donned Atleti’s colours in the past and being a key member of the league and cup double-winning side of the 1995/96 campaign, the former Atlético midfielder reminded the current players of the club’s rich history.
“We can’t respond to our fans’ support with a match like the one we disputed on Sunday,” he said.
“Wearing the red and white shirt demands the maximum effort in every sense and he who is unwilling to give his all for this club, all he has to do is say it and we’ll take care of the situation in five minutes.”
He continued: “The players must be conscious of the crest they defend and leave their all on the pitch for these colours.”
According to a report by our good friend Dani Hidalgo of Spanish paper AS, Manzano’s tenure at the club is on shaky ground, with Atlético legends Luis Aragonés and Milinko Pantic rumoured to be in the mix as possible mid-season substitutes.
Hidalgo feels Thursday’s friendly in Egypt may have saved Manzano’s job for now. The upcoming international break seemed like the perfect time to bring in a new manager, as it would allow ample time for the replacement coach to get acquainted with the squad but, because of the match in Cairo, the team, along with ‘Goyo’, won’t be getting back until Friday.
“Our project can’t last merely four months,” Caminero said.
“It’s designed to accomplish its objectives and we’re not going to call it quits prematurely. What we all must do is show that we deserve to be at a club as big as Atlético.
“Now is not the time to take drastic measures, rather, we must search for solutions to a problem that we should have never fallen into.”
Finally, Caminero had some words for the Colchonero faithful.
“I’d like to apologise to our fans for the displays offered in some matches away from home, and especially for Sunday’s in Getafe,” he said.
“Despite having reasons for being angry at us, they always support us and we can only have words of appreciation for them and ask them for forgiveness for not being up to the task the way they and Atlético deserve.
“But, they should have faith that we will turn this situation around.”