Player of the Month – February

Mandzukic pips Griezmann to best player award for last month

Mandzukic has done a good job of replacing Diego Costa (ESPN)

Mandzukic has done a good job of replacing Diego Costa (ESPN)

February was not particularly busy for Atlético. With just 4 games – a couple of wins and a couple of defeats – its fair to say it was a rather up and down month, but one particular result stands above all others so far this season.

Four weeks ago, the red and whites put rivals Real Madrid to the sword with a stunning performance in the Calderón, winning 4-0 in what will be remembered as one of the most famous derby wins of all time.

At the heart of a quite magnificent attacking display was Mario Mandzukic, who’s all action showing was enough to earn our prize for February’s best player.

Mandzukic’s late goal was the icing on the cake for Atlético, and capped his best performance for the club in style after previously assisting the opener from Tiago.

Fellow attacker Antoine Griezmann also had a great month and was our top scorer with three, but we felt the former Bayern man just edged it as he showed a new side of his game that we hadn’t seen before.

Against Almería, he twice assisted the Frenchman for well taken goals and was arguably our most impressive performer, this after keeping his nerve to score himself from the penalty spot early on.

The two are looking more and more like the devastating €50m partnership that we were hoping for upon their arrivals and last summer, which should bode well ahead of the crucial end-of-season run-in.

Still, it can’t be ignored that both players were largely anonymous in the defeats at Bayer Leverkusen and Celta Vigo, and Mandzukic even lost his place in the line-up for March’s first game at Sevilla last week.

As you would expect, our number nine did not respond favourably to his omission as Cholo opted to play without strikers in the Sánchez Pizjuán, and it is a debate that has been well documented in the press this week.

With Griezmann suspended for the visit of Valencia on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if the Croatian frontman gets to lead the line and how he responds when put into the firing line.

After his form in the February’s home matches, we hope he can continue from where he left off and make his point in a way that benefits Atleti on the pitch.

Do you agree with our choice? What did you make of Mandzukic being dropped last week?

  • It’s tough this month, I honestly believe that the award should be blocked this time

    But if we must pick one, I will go with you and pick Mandzu, but for a different reason :
    His Discipline
    After about month and a half of lack of order and discipline, with boots being thrown and free yellow cards being received that some of them made us go to Vigo without any attacking midfielders except the newcomer Cani, and with our vice captain Raul Garcia receiving yellow cars for fun, 5 of his 6 in la Liga this season were for protesting, with all of that, Mandzukic was very responsible, calm and smart

    In his last 9 games he received only one yellow card for a handball vs Madrid, in Germany he was a punching bag for Bayer’s players, in one play 4 of them kicked him, but he didn’t fall in their trap, and in Sevilla, and after Griezmann got himself suspended, he was very cautious, and that’s why he wasn’t involved in too many contacts, not because he was mad for being benched and there are some problems between him and Cholo, all that is just the usual bullshit of Madridista papers
    As & Marca are talking about that Mandzu ran “only” a little above 2 km vs Sevilla, and forgot to mention that he only played 15 minutes, and with that rate, if he played the whole 90 minutes, he would have run more than 12 km

    if Mario wanted to pick up a fight, he would’ve done that when Siqueira wanted to take the penalty in Mestalla !

    Mandzukic is my player of February, not so much for his performance, but mainly for his character