The red and white aftermath: Match Day 25

Osasuna serve up a huge slice of humble pie for an unrecognisable Atleti

Facepalmingly bad display by Atleti in Pamplona  (ESPNFC)

Facepalmingly bad display by Atleti in Pamplona


What the hell was that?

For the second straight league match away from home, Atlético resembled the version of themselves spearheaded by Gregorio Manzano before Diego Simeone came to the rescue.

Osasuna ran riot against los Colchoneros, tearing the league’s best defence to shreds and scoring three times before the first half had even come to a close.

Diego Costa, our opponents’ bête noire in recent years and our hero in Milan at the midweek, was rendered completely harmless.

Was it a Champions League bug? Or, lack of intensity by several key players looking to avoid automatic suspension for a fifth booking?

All we’re left with are questions after such an inexplicable result.

In spite of Sunday’s catastrophe in Pamplona, Atleti will have the opportunity to gain the edge over Real Madrid next weekend when they host their eternal rivals.

A derby triumph would be the perfect form of redemption for this debacle.

A win against the Merengues will also give us the head-to-head advantage over them should we end the season with the same amount of points.

Regardless of what happens in the derby though, this loss to Osasuna raises a lot of questions about the viability of a league-title for Atlético.

Or does it? Both Barcelona and Real had already dropped points in Pamplona this season, though not quite as spectacularly as Atleti did this weekend–but even the mighty slip up and fall every so often.

It’s time to bounce back big!

Post-game notes and quotes:

Simeone, as is customary after a loss, keeps his statements short

Following his team’s worst first half showing since he took the reins back at the end of 2011, Atleti boss Diego Simeone could only praise his men’s aggressors on Sunday.

“Osasuna worked well in the first 20 minutes,” he said.

“They played a very good match and surprised us with their first two chances. In the first half, we couldn’t find ourselves. We were better in the second but the goal that could have gotten us back into the game never arrived.”

He continued: “When our opponents play better, like today, I can only congratulate them. Other days, you’re the better team.

“This is football.”

A Diego curse?

In Diego’s first four starts since making his much-celebrated return to Atleti in January, the club have been shutout by a grand total of 10-0 (Real Madrid, Almería, Real Madrid and Osasuna).

It’s obvious his incorporation into the line-up has thrown a wrench into Simeone’s system, but how?

The Brazilian was an absolute wizard in his first stint with the club, and though he has a goal and an assist in two appearances as a substitute, when a match is planned for by taking him into consideration from the beginning of proceedings, our performance takes a big hit.

Has he lost his touch? Probably not. The 28-year-old seemed antsy at times, forcing desperate shots from outside the box–and, he certainly wasn’t linking up with any teammates at El Sadar.

But, come on! This is Diego we’re talking about. Let’s give the former Wolfsburg man some time to acclimate.

Cholo thrusted him into a central role immediately, so let’s cut him some slack. Diego’s presence in the line-up should start paying dividends soon.

These wacky people with their superstitions and curses.

Now, an Adrián curse, well…

Other notes:

  • Thibaut Courtois hadn’t conceded three goals in 42 league games until this godforsaken trip.
  • Only Mario Suárez was booked in Pamplona. The midfielder joined the four-yellow-card club, and was lucky not to lose his membership in the group almost right away, as he should’ve seen a second yellow (his fifth overall) that would have seen him hit the showers early. But, because Spanish referees are apparently not the most competent fellas, he was allowed to catch the second half from the bench and will be available for Real’s visit. If you don’t have the following list of the other players on four bookings memorised by now, you ought to have your brain checked: Filipe, Costa, Miranda, Godín, Tiago, Arda. With the exception of the injured Tiago, all of our men will be available to suit up against los Blancos.
  • Atleti youth academy product Gabi made his 200th appearance in red and white in official competition. The skipper has notched 5 goals and 19 assists throughout his career at Atleti. After this result, he probably cared less than we did about having achieved this milestone.

  • Ali
  • piserakos

    I have time now and i’m calm….
    About Manzano’s staff… I wrote it at a comment, this Atleti was worst than Manzano’s, at least those days we had Falcao and more talented player… Yesterday we saw a team with no passion, no intesy, no nothing… I’m trying to remember when we saw them for last time (not for 5-6 minutes), well it was against Bilbao at La Liga. Against Valladolid we had 5-6 early minutes with intesy and about 5-6 at the second half, against Sosiedad we were for a lot of time with intesy, against Milan the last 7-8 minutes. All the others games at the second half of the season had 0 minutes with passion. It’s cause we are tired?? Well that was the only reason I think it is ok, but i’m starting to worring it’s something more… It’s not many days that Cebolla told he will leave and we remember Toby telling that he is not happy and also rumors about Joshua telling the same thing… It is something that it never happened again under Cholo. We see at many games later Cholo watch at the pitch sad with a question on his face, he looks anxius…
    Anyway I believe this is a lesson. We have to learn it this year and next year be better… Still nothing finished… It is no or never. It is the best day (or the worst day) to play a derby.. There are many questions about our passion, intesy, form and fatigue latter and the best way to tell we are here the Cholo’s magic it back is one!!! Play like there is no tomorrow against Real, even if we lose if we play with all our passion then at least personally i would be happy… How many of you remember our lose against Real and Barca at the Calderon at the first season of Cholo? I was happy even if we lost…
    Anyway about Diego. It’s Cholo’s fault. He should use Diego at the right and not at the centre… We are not used that way and we need time to get used at it, also our Brazilian must learn to play with his teamates. Yesterday and against Almeria (i really start to forget the games against Real) he was all time shooting from far away, how many goals we have from shots away from the box this year?? Yes right 0!!! We scored away from the box only once, last week Diego Costa against Villareal, but it wasn’t a classic shot away far from the box, it was an one on one situation. We talked allready for Adrian. I talked 1000 times of 2014’s Costa. We told that Koke has to play. And at the prematch you said that Cholo is a lyer!! If he is not then his players are!! It was obvious we underestemated Osasuna and it was obvious we had our mind at Real! Anyway we are Atletico, we were before Cholo and we will be after Cholo. I remember a comment of mine at the Summer.
    “i would be very happy if we finish 3rd, qualify for the 16 at CL and don’t get eliminated from a team except Real or Barca at the cup. I would accept the 4th place at La Liga. And I my high goal for La Liga is fight (not win) for it, or reach the top 8 (or even better at CL), or eliminate one o Barca or Real”…. Then should be more than glad this season and i am! But i don’t accept performances with no passion! Never! That is what hurts me more than everything!

  • piserakos

    Forgot something…. Senor Cholo if you were going to protect 3 players from picking a card then why at the last games any of them picked a card to be free now??? Be smart!

  • Ali

    Why didn’t we use Sosa in the match?

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    in the last season, it was a fight between us and 2 teams who have a much stronger squad than ours

    and in this season the gap got even bigger, while Real bought Bale & Barca bought Neymar -each of them cost about 100 million- , we had to sell our superstar Falcao, replacing him with the old and tired David Villa

    our back-up left back is much less than Filipe, our back-up right back is a 19-year-old,
    and our back-up goalkeeper is Aranzubia !

    from our 4 new signings who are not a GK, we loaned 2 of them in the winter

    a lot of injuries, a lot of wrong calls from the refs .. and above all of that, Adrian has been abducted by aliens !

    but despite all of that, we are in week 25 with 60 points, the same as Barca, and only 3 points behind Real, in round of 16 in UCL, and with a win in San Siro in the hand
    and it’s all because the hard work of the great, humble and respectful men of Majadahonda .. all of them, from the big boss Simeone to David Loras, the physiotherapist

    I’m saying all of that because it seems some people have forgotten

    because there is at least a 50 % chance to lose against Madrid next week, making it a 6 points gap, and if it is more than 1-0 win (even 2-1) they will also have the head-to-head advantage .. and we will practically lose our chance for the title
    and if that happened, I don’t want to hear things such as disaster, disappointment and failure

    for me the failure will be on of this 3 things :

    1- Collecting less than 85 points
    for me, this is the least number we should have in such a weak league like the Spanish one
    and it’s the normal growth after having 76 points last season, and next season we should have 90+

    2- Letting anybody leave in the summer,
    and I literally mean anybody, not just the big players, but also the youngsters, especially the trio Oli-Manqui-Saul, and all the coaching staff, especially Profe Ortega who many clubs are after him, and Caminero and his assistants, especially Andrea Berta who Inter Milan want him badly

    3- Failing to sign Courtios

    for me, one of these is a failure, but finishing 3rd in La Liga or knocking out from UCL 1/4 final is not

    yes, let’s keep dreaming
    but also, lest’s keep things in their perspective

  • farhan

    calderon must be defended..

  • Chewie

    I have to agree with Ahmad. This season we jumped over our head. And when you jump, you always land. Barca and Real don’t have to jump – they reside on the top of a money hill, having almost identical first and second teams, access to all the best stuff – coaches, trainers, medical staff, facilities etc. Atletico is a team of hard-workers that plays well as long as all the elements of its mechanism perform well. But lately it’s been falling apart with all those injuries, tiredness and bad luck. And don’t forget the pressure of high expectation. It will be a success to finish second, to go as far as 1/2 in the CL, to keep all the key players, Simeone and earn more than 85 points. I don’t believe we will get back in form to the next match and there’s a big chance we will lose again. It’s objective – while we suffer drastic misfortune and lack form, they are very fortunate and in outstanding form. It would be a daring deed to beat Real.

  • farhan

    the main reason for weak performace is… that we have less player for rotation blaming our team us not good the main reason is we do not have strong backups like reals and barca which seprate us from them….
    Ahmad is saying old and tired Villa i disagree with him do not underestimate him…he alone can change the game… ok i admit his time is not good but show some faith ib HIM…he will lead us to liga title i bet.

  • farhan

    atletico lost 3-0
    dortmund lost 3-0
    barca lost 3-1
    all in 48hrs …and vs weaker teams…..
    end of world is coming soon…hehehehe

  • piserakos

    @farhan… I saw all the 3 games and today i realised it and told my self. Don’t be an idiot they both lost from other medio-table teams it’s normal… Chewie told the correct word, high expectations is the reason from the shit we see later… Even Cholo (the man we can’t win La Liga) starting telling that we will fight for it!

  • Silchas

    its kind of sad. You no you can’t win LaLiga from the beginning. Then you keep up with Barca and Real Madrid for a long long time. In fact so long that you start to believe you can achieve the impossible, but then it all falls apart. its a very difficult situation for the players, who now must realize that even if they won’t keep up with these two-they played a tremendous season so far, anyway.
    i hope that we beat milan in a few weeks, then if we lost and get kicked out of UCL, then we are in an ugly situation, from a psychologic view.
    But maybe i’m wy to pessimistic.

  • jeronamo

    I’m sorry guys but i don’t like to settle, i personally believe in always striving for better. Would you prefer our players to roll over now and settle for third or just keep fighting taking it game by game like we have been? Title or no damn title i want us to play every game like we want to win not like some spineless cowards who think that losing to a better team is ok and thats enough. EVERY GAME WE MUST FIGHT

  • Kris

    If we fail to beat real, say goodbye to any hopes of winning any title. Js. Aup Atleti siempre!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    exactly Silchas, it’s a difficult and awkward situation, keeping up with the big 2 for a very long time, then you finally fall

    and what makes more unpleasant is that when you fall, the Spanish press (Real & Barca press) talk about that like you are at the same level with them, like you have their millions, like you can buy a single player with a 100 million just like them

    of course it’s a big psychological problem, and I’m afraid that if we didn’t win a trophy in the next 2 or 3 seasons many players will leave .. maybe Simeone too
    I’m afraid they will do like many La Liga players and coaches did, escape from its hell to the EPL heaven

    do you know what I was thinking lately ?!
    that what Atleti did to La Liga, bringing it to life again and making it more competitive and worth watching will raise its TV value by a couple of millions, but those extra millions will go to Real & Barca only .. and no other club will see a single euro .. not even us

    I’m afraid if the situation stayed like this our project will collapse, just like what happened to Valencia, Deportivo, Villareal & Malaga

    and it will stay like this .. at least until 2016-17
    last week there was a meeting to take a decision of a collective selling of La Liga TV rights, and to make the ratio between the highest and lowest earner 4.5 to 1
    but Real and Barca forced the other 18 clubs to delay that until 2016-17 season

    so, Silchas, my friend, you are not pessimistic .. you are a realistic

    and Jeronamo, no body talked about settling down, actually, in football, there is no such thing
    despite all these difficult situation, we will keep fighting, and that’s what we have been doing since El Cholo arrived 2 years ago

    and despite being realistic, I still believe we have a chance
    we can beat Real next week
    and they can also lose against Barca, Sevilla & Sociedad (both away) and Valencia
    the title is still in the field

    what I’m saying is :

    1- let’s stick to “partido a partido”

    2- let’s agree that finishing 3rd (with more points than we had last season) is not a failure

    3- let’s cut Simeone and his player some slack

  • Kris

    All we need to do is stick to partido a partido with great awareness of the next game and well worked rotations. No 10th chance for Adrian anymore. I’m very disappointed at him.

  • palestine-atletico

    Sorry guys but i am against finding justifications. We are sad and mad coz we lost a game 3-0 against a eeak team even in the players we started with .
    We all appreciate what they did so far BUT losimg the passion and doing such idiot mistakes in defense is not acceptable and no excuse for the players.

  • Valinia

    Dunno why many ppl said we lose against a weak team, osasuna played very well indeed. N i agree finishing 3rd isnt a failure since barca n real are in a different league, we cant compete with them with tht wealth inequality.. I mean they hv sufficient quality in depth of the squad while we dont, and every la liga match matters. We might be able to do well in cup competitions, but to maintain in great form for a whole season to fight for the league? Thts difficult n we can hardly achieve it.

  • piserakos

    @ahmad… The ‘paradise’ premier league has 1?? (if Chelsea pass Galatasaray) at the top 8… MU just lost 2-0 from Olympiakos, they even shot a shot! F*ck the Premier League and all the British football!!! Somos español!!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @Piserakos : you are just very happy because you beat Man Utd
    but wait until tomorrow when this euphoria goes and you will realize that I’m right 🙂

    of course EPL is a paradise
    every thing about it is amazing, the big players, the historical teams, the full stadiums, the respectful media, the great referees, the fantastic TV coverage
    and above all, the big competitiveness

    I don’t watch La Liga .. even though the only team I love play there, I even don’t watch our EPL (Egyptian Premier League),
    but I must watch 4 or 5 games every week in the real EPL

    and man, we both know that what happened to EPL teams this season in UCL is just a bad luck,
    Man City & Arsenal had a very tough draw, against the biggest 2 clubs in the world right now, Barca & Bayern
    while Man Utd are having their worst season in decades

    let’s just hope that if we passed Milan we face Olympiakos (or Man Utd), if they could comeback from this defeat .. and I don’t think they can

  • Andres (Lolaya)

    Ahmad, I must disagree with your opinion on this one. EPL has many problems… (Look at all the foreign players), and isn’t even close to La Liga team’s quality. Yes EPL is more competitive but there is the reason… the teams aren’t up to the calibre of the best of Spain or Germany. EPL standard is low which means many teams can compete for the title.

  • piserakos

    @ahmad… I don’t like Olympiakos:P Even though i’m Greek and they are ‘rojiblancos’… I don’t like those churches (quiet stadiums) i don’t like them giving too much millions for all the medio player, they don’t have any good academy product, they don’t play attractive football, it is not competitive! MC or Chelsea will win the trophy and both of those team are medio. I don’t really think they have that attractive football, Bundesliga is way better and also La Liga

  • Ali

    Epl is better league just because every team has a rich owner!

  • Kris

    Money matters guys!! Ahmad is talking of money and how the matches are mostly all aired in HD and are available to a lot of world without paying ‘that’ much. Above all, it’s ‘English’ premier league!! Their language is English! English is the language of the world! If I were a professional player or a manager, I would definitely choose the English Premier League.Why shouldn’t I? It’s labelled as a competitive league and you get paid LOTS even if you are a failure. Look at Chris Smalling of Manchester United. Managers don’t get the ‘sacking’ as much as in the La Liga. But all these don’t matter to me when I’m watching la Liga, I watch football for the entertainment of it, so I watch any match that seems interesting to me, may it be historical or a modern match. But I think I watch more of premier league as all I have to do is turn on the tv and the match is in clear HD with some stupidass kick and run tactics, which at times is enjoyable for me personally. I don’t really have much to do in the weekends so whatever is “available”(key word), I utilize it.

  • piserakos

    I have on my TV, English, Spanish, German and Italian football… I watch only 1-2 games (the most from) BPL and about 5-6 from the others! It is not cheaper the BPL, it is the most expensive (after CL) league.

  • EC

    The epl is a joke league that sold its soul to sky. La liga and the bundesliga has been better, especially in terms of quality for years now. Chelsea managed to win once but we all know they were the luckiest team to ever win the CL.

    The epl will probably get 1 team past the round of 16.
    People need to stop believing the hype around the epl it is not the best league in the world just because sky say so

  • Jeronamo

    I watch bpl also but I don’t think it’s the best league. I think it’s all up to what the biewer wants tho but I don’t think you can learn anything beneficial watching the barclays premier league. La liga and Bundesliga are both way more technical but english media hype up the bpl way more.

    On another note, did you guys read what Torres said about his beloved Atleti? 😀 It makes me happy reading when stars share good views on out uphill battle

  • piserakos

    @Jeronamo… Yes I heard it yesterday! El niño back to Atleti, it’s my dream!

  • Kris

    I don’t see what the El Niño playing for Chelsea (right now) will help us with. Unless Simeone can revive him, he certainly won’t be doing as much as he did in his Atleti or Liverpool days. No disrespect to Fernando, I adore him, but I’m being realistic

  • Ali

    I heard yesterday that we are ready to invest heavily in the summer. I think Azerbaijan wants to invest. I don’t know who but we are going to keep out core players and bring quality in summer.

  • piserakos
    They say that they will help us sign Luis Suares. Or players like Rakitic… Also Costa will stay… Hope it is truth

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Azerbaijan is a very rich country, 2/3 of its area is rich in oil and natural gas
    and it also has a big resources of metals, including Gold, Silver & Titanium

    but they don’t spend insanely like my people, the Arabs, especially UAE & Qatar

    however, their sponsorship for us could increase significantly if we won a big trophy, UCL or La Liga
    I was expecting that they will be the ones who ask for La Peineta naming rights

    anyway, they already helped us a lot, I believe their sponsorship deal is no less than 10 million per season .. and for a club like us, this is a lot

  • Ali

    I think they will help us to push for title next season. But I think they will purchase some shares before they invest!!

  • piserakos

    @ahmad… Damn I forgot the number but if I remember well it is about 12mill per year… the team visited the new stadium today!

  • Urban

    I wonder how many of our current players will ever play at this stadium (in our shirt 😉 ) ?

  • pantic#10

    our youth team was defeated by Manchester City 0-1

  • piserakos

    @Urban… Let’s start betting:P
    Koke, Felipe, Miranda, Courtois, Mario, Gabi (at one of his last seasons), Koke, all the canteranos (Oliver, Manquillo, Saul), Turan and maybe Costa… Those are who I think will stay untill this day..

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m sure that many of our current players will not just play at La Peineta, but will retire there too

  • farhan

    dont think anyone leaving this summer

  • piserakos

    @ahmad… Gabi will be one of them for sure and we all hope Koke and others to do this

  • Jelle

    Off topic.
    Did you guys see Leo Baptistao’s great assist in Europe League ? 😉

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    good assist Jelle, but he haven’t scored a single goal yet with Betis after 643 minutes of play in La Liga, Copa del Rey & Europa League

    if stayed like that I think he will not get a spot with Atleti next season .. maybe we will send him in another loan, especially if we kept Costa & Villa and signed Correa

  • Jelle

    Agree. But we need to have in our mind that he’s playing on a team in a crise.
    But yeah, we have to see who our options in the attack next season.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Happy Birth Day Diego
    Diego Ribas just turned 29 today (28 February 1985)
    Urban & Piserakos : I think he will be one of those who retire at La Peineta,
    or whatever it will be called then

  • piserakos

    @ahmad… He will be 32 then if i counted welll, so maybe no… I forgot someone and i don’t remember who:S
    Anyway guys Betis use Leo at the winds and he don’t take any chances to score (espesially with the selfish Ruben Castro), also as long he is at Betis (at La Liga) they scored only 4 goals (if i remember well), so it is reasonable… Anyway i don’t think next season he will have a chance to play so maybe a loan option and for next season will be the solution

  • Kulan

    Leo did really well during the pre-season, but then he got injured and since RG8 did so well Leo never really got à new chance. If both Adrian and Cebolla leaves this summer I really hope he will stay at Atleti for next season. He has à lot of potential and will at least make a great squad-player since he can play in many different positions. In 3-4 years he will be stunning!