Why Simeone’s tactical tweaks will only benefit Atlético

Fans should welcome the Argentine manager's recent experimentation

Cholo hasn't had things all his own way this season

Cholo hasn't had things all his own way this season

Diego Simeone isn’t done tinkering. He’s gone the route I hoped for when I wrote a piece asking whether or not Atletico Madrid should continue their expansive play or revert back to ‘Cholismo.’ 

He’s staying the course with his experiment, for now, at least. Since my last published opinion, Simeone has shown the footballing world that he is still learning what works and what doesn’t with the players at his disposal, especially some of the summer transfers.

To an extent, the new tweaks have worked while the old ways (Tiago, we’re thinking of you in that Villarreal fixture) have seemed to hurt the colchoneros. 

Yes, Tiago may have immediately stopped the bleeding after that forgetful Madrid derby back in November, but the Copa del Rey and some recent friendlies has seen Simeone raise a few eyebrows that have turned into grins.

On Tuesday, with Atleti going to Gran Canaria to face off against Las Palmas in the first-leg of the Copa del Rey Last-16, the Argentine opted to play a slightly different lineup. Upon first glance, it shows versatility on that right flank:

The decision paid off. The 31-year-old winger and the newly acquired right-back offered a good dynamic in attack and defense. As it happened, Vrsaljko provided a pinpoint cross in the build-up to Antoine Griezmann’s second-half goal, highlighting his value as a scoring threat from defense.

The Croatian had a better night at right-back than Juanfran’s efforts on the wing, but Juanfran didn’t have a night to scoff at either.

This wasn’t the first time Sime Vrsaljko and Juanfran operated on the right wing together, however. In their Copa del Rey second-leg match against Guijuelo a couple of weeks ago, both players shared the pitch in the same manner and many were surprised.

Obviously, if you’ve kept a strong eye on the Simeone era since the beginning, you’d have known that Juanfran graduated from Real Madrid’s famed ‘La Fábrica’ academy as a winger and stayed there during spells at Espanyol and Osasuna.

Long story short, Juanfran would score in that second-leg 4-1 win and it wasn’t down to Guijuelo’s inferior standard. Our surprise turned into interest and the supporters’ imaginations started running wild.

We asked ourselves: “Will this happen again against tougher opposition?” It did, and we won.

Some may not want Juanfran as a winger, mainly because he didn’t really contribute with consistent threats throughout the game against Las Palmas.

But Juanfran’s short and quick ground passing can compliment Vrsaljko’s eagerness to find spaces on the flanks to utilize for dangerous crosses. Simeone’s mind is in the right place in regards to our newly discovered right-flank versatility.


Giménez in the Pivot?


In that same second-leg match against Guijuelo, centre-back José Giménez was also used as a pivot for a certain period of time. Many others, including myself, thought that the chances of more ‘Guijuelo-safe’ experiments continuing further into the Copa del Rey were slim. Boy, were we wrong.

The 2-0 win against Las Palmas also saw the Uruguayan in a holding role when he and Ángel Correa came on for Kevin Gameiro and Juanfran after 60 minutes.

Once the subs were settled, Atleti played a high-press, comfortable enough to fight for the ball higher up the pitch with a 2-0 lead.

Giménez looked strong partnered with Gabi as a shield for the defense and there is no denying that if Simeone wants someone other than Tiago to form a partnership with the veteran defensive midfielder, he has a good backup in the young Uruguayan.

Oh, and Giménez can add a height advantage if and when Atleti want to close out a game and need more protection from corners and crosses.


Verdict


Simeone is still treating certain games and competitions like a boy trying to figure out what his final project is going to be for the science fair. Cholismo is still the go-to philosophy in the Champions League, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his recent experiments are practiced in La Liga fixtures. This approach can only benefit the club in the long run.

The players are getting ready for another collective style to be added to the team’s growing repertoire. The 4-2-3-1 could be the formation of the future, even if the Argentine waves goodbye after one season at the Wanda Metropolitano (Damn, I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to saying that).

Follow Carlo Valladares on Twitter: https://twitter.com/C_V_News  and at his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCggLcMfu9ds2zMdouczehig


  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Not disrespecting your views because we obviously have different ones on this topic but I get frustrated when it seems like the people who view it my way are swept under the rug like our concerns nor opinions don’t even hold any weight or matter. I guess what I’m saying is that it looks like all atleti fans are happy about what’s happening and that’s just not true

  • What don’t you like about Atleti at the moment?

  • Kris

    I think if you have been reading the comments on here that it’s pretty clear what people don’t like about Atleti at the moment. Let me break down some of the complaints.

    1. Fielding defensive players throughout the pitch. Most notable recently with putting Gimenez and Juanfran on the pitch, on top of an already ultra defensive midfield of Koke-Gabi-Saul.

    2. There doesn’t seem to be a plan for anything. We are conceding goals and we are not scoring goals. (And Simeone keeps experimenting like Atleti is a training ground for him for a future…somewhere else.)

    3. Players are not being played on a merit-based system. Simeone insists on his trusted players all the time(even when they are going through a horrible spell and others would fill in better) and it literally takes injuries for another player to get an opportunity to play.

    4. Buys attacking players for millions of euros and doesn’t play them. Money could have been spent on somebody else. Remember that these players are his choices most of the time these days. Gaitan for 25 million was definitely his choice.

    5. And if he does play them, they don’t do well. But get this, the same players perform/have performed very well elsewhere (Vietto, Jackson, Gameiro, and some may even say Mandzukic). Makes you question, is it the players or is it the system?

    These are just some of the many complaints I could think of at the moment. Now, to you these may seem like futile complaints and they almost always are at such a small scale, but these concerns do exist. And we definitely should explore these complaints, especially when some of them are so obvious.

    Hope that helped a little bit. Have a good one!

  • The “system” has brought us to two finals in three years. We lost by slim margins each time.

    Simeone isn’t perfect.

    Our midfield underperformed in big Madrid Derby.

    Sevilla was a huge tactical battle in which we lost and didn’t play bad.

    Villarreal defeat was down to individual errors in first half but much better second half.

    The team has had to adjust to transition in tactics.

    Hell, Barcelona have MSN and they’re not even playing their best football this season.

    Atleti is under transformation. It will pay off.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    If you gonna talk about losing the two UCL finals on small margins then you must also talk about the two shootouts against Bayer & PSV. It’s a two way street.

    Do you really believe that Gabi-Tiago-Diego Ribas-Arda or Gabi-Tiago-Koke-Arda is the same system as Gabi-Tiago-Augusto-Koke or Gabi-Tiago-Koke-Saul ?!

    I’m probably the biggest Simeone critic here, I’ve been criticizing him just few months after winning La Liga in 2014, yet I said many times that the defeats against Real Sociedad, Sevilla & Real Madrid were normal considering the opponents strenght and their tough stadiums (in the case of the first two games), but what can you tell me about Alaves, Leganes & Espanyol, and the very difficult 1-0 wins at home against Deportivo and Las Palmas, which has happened many times last season too, small margins you say?!

    Gameiro is the only new player who has been playing regularly this season, so how are we under transformation?!

    After your first piece I said to you that “Cholismo” is not a style of play but rather a number of values, I mentioned some of them and other people added more, and I said that Simeone used several styles and formations during his 5 years at Atleti, but it seems you don’t believe that and insists on that Cholismo is a certain style of play that you think Simeone will stick to it in the Champions League while he could try a different style in La Liga.
    So could you tell me what Cholismo is, because I’m an idiot and I really don’t know.

    Tell me about Gaitan’s situation.
    What do you think we should do with him, give him more playing time, keep him a super sub, loan him, sell him, ship him to China?!

    Finally, I will say to you what I said to Billy after that tweet after Villarreal game, and I don’t care how are you going to take it:
    Asking Jeronamo “What don’t you like about Atleti at the moment?” after he has talked about it here too many times and for a very long time, this my friend is disrespectful.

    If you don’t read the comments here, then -in my stupid and worth-nothing opinion-, you don’t get to post articles here.

  • ssyoung

    This is the problem. The media and the websites never criticize simeone and I cant believe they are now promoting this new stupid formation which could probably bench correa, gaitan and carrasco too. All three attacking players will probably be sacrificed and no one would care.

    These delusional people will only realize their mistake after we miss out on the top 4, lose our star players, and end up like valencia.

  • Karlp

    After last game, I said that the decision to play safe by playing 3CMs-3FBs and sitting deep is a bit understandable. This is due to the low confidence of the team after the Villareal’s lost and playing 1 of our worst game ever in the 1-0 Las Palmas win (the La Liga one). However, after the player seems more confident, we shouldn’t play this defensive anymore, at all.

    Sitting deep with a midfield of 4CMs or 3CMs-1FB or 3CMs-1CB is really asking too much from Griezmann-Gameiro. Griezmann best attribute is in finding space and do some bursting run, and he can’t do this if he was the main build up play like in the last many games with this defensive system.

    Saul-Koke-Gabi needs to be rotate as the 2CMs, and the 2 winger position should be filled by rotating Carrasco-Correa-Gaitan.

  • Paulo

    Oh I think most of you’ve made your views perfectly clear. There’s nothing but constant crying and whining in the live comments and the feeling after reading a match report is always depressing because of the toxic atmosphere which many of you create in the comments and you dare to call yourselves fans!
    We win, but for you, it’s misery which clearly indicates you are not fans of us! I personally have always loved watching Atleti play since I was a little kid. It wasn’t even about the win, let alone the number of attackers, defenders or midfielders on the pitch.

    This site’s comment section has been Anti-Atleti for me the last few years. Most people thinking they could do a better job than Simeone and Mono and just call these two great tacticians idiots!
    Some little putas even call us SHIT here in our own english blog!
    Some call our players smurfs!
    Defendiendo sus colores!

    I would never take that from a supporter of another team, let alone a person who calls him/herself a fan of Atleti.
    It is just so disrespecting towards the whole team, coaching team and us aficionados, especially coming from someone outside Spain watching games from pixelated streams or whatever, not feeling the atmosphere and emotion.

    I can’t imagine a fan going home from Vicente Calderon after a game won 2-0 and bitching about his favorite promising youngsters not getting enough playing time. I know I never did. This is ATLETI! This is football, not Fantasy Football, FM or Fifa17.
    We sing for and support our team and Cholo (and Mono Burgos) during the game and if we win, we go celebrate and sing our canticos loud!
    If we lose, we might walk (not gonna do that from Nuevo Metropolitano because of the distance to the center which is a disgrace) home but we’ll still sing. Watch the game home again the next day maybe.

    I can find a different perspective to most things the coaches and the board does but I won’t let it go to my head and think they haven’t thought of it or say I know better than Cholo, Mono or Profe who train the players everyday and analyze hours of footage.
    I think you know the values of atleti: Unity, hard work, team above individuals, always helping each other, leaving everything on the field, cojones grandes and so on…
    Why can’t you accept that this is not a breeding ground for exciting media-hyped supertalent, because the team always comes first. The competition over minutes makes us stronger towards the end of season. There is exceptional unity in our dressing room and the players accept the methods and love their coach. After all, he is the only coach who can understand what it feels like to win titles for Atleti and be a Colchonero with a passion! I’m sure he wants Atleti to succeed even more than any of us here do.
    What happened to Nunca dejes de creer? Contigo hasta el final? Trust in Cholo?

    And I strongly suggest removing the comment section and directing the debate over playing time and Cholo’s tactics to the forum, which I believe it was created for in the first place among other chatter.
    That way maybe random “AtleticoFans” wouldn’t be “stepping on our own crest” so easily and those who have a point to make can have a intellectual conversation about it without talk about smurfs, gnomes or even trolls.

    Aupa Atleti! Adelante!

  • AndersAT

    Good piece Carlo, I am glad you try to spark some well argumented debate (although it also sparks a lot of unnecessary negativity)

    I think the two main subjects about Gimenez and Juanfran is very interesting, and quite surprising.

    Regarding Gimenez:

    I think he should only play in Midfield if we die hard have to defend a result against a very tough opponent (could very well happen in CL) and only for the last 10-15 minutes, because i think other players could be more effective in initiating counter attacks. It makes sense to try it out in this kind of match, so he gets familiar with the role, if it gets necessary.

    With regards to Juanfran:
    I was very surprised by this. I think he is a good footballer, but I am not sure he is the most effective choice. I would much rather play with 3 forwards. On the other hand Correa hasn’t been effective on the right wing. Gaitan hasn’t really contributed much the times he has been on the right side. So perhaps Juanfran is the most effective player on the right at this point, but I would much rather have Carrasco on the field with the 3 CMs.

    It will be interesting to see the next games. No matter what, I think it is fine that Simeone tries out a few things, but we really need to be careful not to loose anymore ground on Sevilla, Villarreal and Sociedad in the league.

  • Kris

    It’s amazing that Carrasco needs to be rotated at the level he’s been playing for us. He’s arguably been our best player this season, while the central midfielders have been performing at a quality much lower than what they have offered to us before.

  • Kris

    What you don’t seem to understand is that the people complaining don’t really care about losing individual games. Just as long as we avoid relegation, I personally don’t care what happens because I have seen it all with Atleti.

    The problem is with the team not performing to their potential, or being hindered from playing the best football they are able to play. Some could say that this is the best side we’ve ever had but when you watch us play you’d think that this is just an average team. Our squad has much more quality and cost a lot more than 17 of the 19 La Liga teams, but when we play against them why doesn’t it show? I am not even complaining about defensive football, the team can play as defensive as they want but there has to be a point in the match when we have to attack. When we attack, we look really inept. Maybe it’s because of the players under performing, or because the players who are playing really aren’t that great at attack. While on the bench, you have some great attacking players who can really make things happen.

    When you have the potential and ability to become great, why not take that risk to get to the next level, especially when the old ways aren’t working so well.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Without sending insults your way or even challenging your way of how you view my support of the same club as you, I’ll just say this. If being unhappy about the way we’ve played some games and voicing my concerns bothers you that much, I’ll just watch and read and not comment because it’s ludicrous for all of us to have the same views and just because they’re different doesn’t mean we’re not fans, were just different, it’s as simple as that.

    I don’t come here to argue with fellow fans because it’s dumb but it angers me when valid points are made and people like you are immediately dismissive because it differs from your views

  • Kris

    Thank you for your comment, Paulo.

    I have some questions for you.

    1) Does me watching pixelated live streams make me an inferior Atletico fan than you who watches it from the Calderon?

    2) Another value this club shares is, it never stays complacent. Now tell me, when you have the potential and ability and most importantly, the opportunity to take your side to the next level, would you do it?

    3) What do you think about Simeone buying players for 25 million euros only to put them on the bench for half a season already?

    4) Is Atleti a small club?

  • Kris

    I have to agree with you on the Gimenez part. Gimenez can perform sort of as a “stopper” in front of a flat back line. He would give us an aerial advantage and an extra defensive body when we are in need of closing a game out.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    What you said about it being unfair to Griezmann and Gameiro is true. My whole thing about so many defensive players is this; Griezmann and Gameiro also have to track back still, so after defending it falls on them to make all the attack happen and it’s obviously affecting how they usually play. I think it’s putting more strain on them and they need the other attacking players to be playing to take some of the strain off

  • Believe me, the Media ain’t the problem.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    May I ask what you think the problem is?

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I really wished people here used to read the comments to understand where the person is coming from instead of calling their views negative. Where’s the line between negativity and reality when it comes to proven concerns by some fans?

    I’ve never once dragged this club down, I’ve always been vocal about the things I didn’t like and when we played well I praised the team but for a while now I haven’t seen the need to praise the performances and I point out the areas where I’m most displeased. So let me get this straight, if I were to agree with every single thing that Simeone does would that make me positive? I think that would be more delusional than anything else.

    I’ve heard other fans from around the world who have recently watched these games say some of the same things I’ve been saying and their views are more nutural than any of us who comment here. So what is it that I’m missing? Tell me

  • Iamfaried

    What’s with the negativity? This is Egypt all over again. Spreading propaganda to split the people (fans) and make the country (organization) weak.

    We all have different opinions, sure but that’s not the right way to deal with it.
    Yes the club is still under transformation, and I think it’s idiotic to think otherwise. Sure some results have been bad, which makes you question Simeone. But here’s the thing, his tactics are continuously changing! Game after game!
    First few years we got away with “cholismo” the solid defending and quick counters, but there are good coaches out there that by now found ways to dismantle such tactics. Which is why simeone is updating his tactics in order to maintain the mysterious edge in his game. And most clubs don’t perform as good while transforming, let alone win. We are! We have been competing on threee fronts for the past couple of seasons, with not so bad outcomes. When simeone plays defensively and scrapes a 1-0 win you whine, and when he tries an attacking formation and concedes goals you whine.

    I say this, not as a cholista, but as a fan of football before being a fan of Atleti. We are better off than many other teams, solely due to our manager! Years ago you wouldn’t dream about playing good football vs the elites, let alone knock them out of the UcL! Keep that in mind. Simeone guided Atleti during their worst, and we are willing to bail on him when he’s just trying to adapt a new system?

    Sure I have never watched an Atleti game live at the Calderon, but even I know what it’s like to be a Colchonero!

    I’m not going to voice my concern about the new crest or stadium, because even though I hate change it is inevitable. With time we will get used to it. It happened before and will happen again. At the end we are still Atleti!

    Now enough with the negativity, we are not blaugranas or blancos we are rojiblancos!! We must unite, even more so when we do not agree!

    Lastly if you think you know what’s the best for the club, then Simeone knows 100 times more. He still believes he can help the club progress, and when he’s given his all he’ll leave.

    With all due respect, you remind of Arsenal fans. They win a game, Arsene is god! They lose a game, #wengerout.

    So please, we must stay united. This is the most crucial time.

    Aupa Atleti!

  • Andras Toth

    Guys, I think everybody needs to chill a bit. I love coming to this site, and I love reading the comments that are usually great and professional, regardless if I agree with all the points or not. And we all love this club, that thing unites us no matter where we come from, please always keep that in mind. I am from Hungary, pretty far from Spain, but lucky me, I can go to the Calderon every season for a couple games, I wish all of you the same, to be able to see the new stadium when it will be done. But most of the time I watch the games on TV, but live every moment of the games like I am one of the crowd at the Calderon. I think most of us like that. Please guys don’t fight, respect each other and the different views we have, that includes our Mister as well. I can get so angry at him when I think he is not making the right decision, but we have to be so thankful for the past 5 years. So everybody is welcome with their own idea, just respect each other. After all this club unites us no matter where we come from, let’s keep it that way, Aupa Atleti!

  • I appreciate all of you reading my pieces, I really do. Good debate here.

  • Alex21

    I have read these articles for over 4 years now. I spend my time outside of work and school to be united with fellow Atleti fans on this site to “get my fix.” I haven’t posted in probably over 3 years because I haven’t felt like I had anything to offer in regards to the article itself or the news surrounding the club at the time. I like to skim the comments sometimes to see some different perspectives and opinions and find common ground with other fans. I see a lot of great ideas, feelings, and opinions that many post on here and those comments are refreshing. However, there are also some toxic comments that, lately, have been in the majority in recent months. If we want to talk about our opinions, here’s mine (and it has nothing to do with the club that I love): I don’t believe that the writers on this site deserve the disrespect they receive. Without them, none of you could even comment in the first place. Carlo, Billy, and in the past, Martin have all received nasty comments towards them who have put in hours to positively affect every one who is on this site. And to counter those who I know will respond about how many hours they put into their careful comments: quit the hypersensitivity. Seriously. You are nothing but a bunch of hypersensitive people who think they can do a better job than the people who have actually lived and breathed football by playing and managing it as a career. I am not a writer on this site and therefore, I do not have to be professional when I say that everyone needs to stop bitching. You are beating a dead horse. And this goes to just about every topic that is posted here. New purchases not being played, too many CDM’s, Simeone is smaller than the club, can’t attack/defend, etc. Seriously, it has persisted for way too long. I don’t care if I get any lash back, because what does it matter? I’m not as strong of a fan as you because I don’t let it affect my day to day? Football is a game. That is all. If you don’t like the way things are run, I guess you could send a petition to the board and see how they take it. Consistently talking about the same shit is so overplayed. These comment sections have been littered with people getting offended by just about everything. We are talking about a game. Paulo has hit the nail on the head with both of his comments. I have visited the Calderon, I have enjoyed partying with fans after a game, and yet it seems like there’s still something that someone is bitching about on this site. Transition is obviously happening. If you can’t be thankful for the success we have had the past few years, then support another team, because that has Real Madrid fan written all over it. I’m done with the hypersensitive comments here and thus won’t be reading them furthermore. Plus the tactics everyone always spews has long been thought of by the club before your comment was posted.

    Also, thank you AtleticoFans for an English outlet for Atleti news. I love the articles and just wanted to say how thankful I am for worthwhile news and updates regarding the club. Aupa Atleti

  • Means a lot. Thanks for reading, Alex21.

    The team is in transition.

    You guys all want these “attacking” players to be thrust into an unfamiliar collective unit and expect them to keep the ball and be strong in defending counter-attacks? That’s not likely going to come to fruition.

    Fact of the matter here is that many if you lack tactical IQ. I, myself, am not a licensed coach, but I know that Simeone chooses his team based on what he sees in training, in real games and on what the opponent brings.

    He’s not perfect, however. But he’s done a phenomenal job. With that said, the biggest issue is our lack of clinical finishing is many games this season (Alaves, Leganes, Sevilla and Villarreal to be exact).

  • Alex21

    Precisely. I can understand frustration with results. I’m not oblivious. Sure I’d love to thrash people 7-0 every week, but the fact of the matter is that our identity with THIS team is currently being figured out. Feeding balls to a new frontman must be tougher than it sounds. I would also love to have a Koke-Saul pivot, but is that what is best for the team? I don’t know. But I do imagine that it has been tinkered with in practice and for some of our fans to say that it hasn’t is pure nonsense. I like my FIFA teams young with loads of potential, but that doesn’t correlate to actual life. I don’t believe Correa should start. I think Carrasco and Gaitan should play our wings. Why? Because they give us fast, creative outlets on the flanks which can add to our offense. Does this actually work? I honestly don’t know. But I trust that the people who have lived football their entire lives know who they have and what they can produce. For some of us who talk tactics must also be aware of the real picture: your opinion really doesn’t mean shit. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing different perspectives and dreaming about a team with Griezmann, Correa, Oliver, Saul, Lucas, Theo, and anyone under the age of 21, but is it realistic? Probably not. I actually got excited at the thought of the transfer ban because I knew that it would create a stronger and well-versed chemistry within the team. I would have loved more activity this summer, but we have a great team full of great players and we should trust the entire team. Goals will come. Defense will reemerge as the wall we know it. The club is finding itself. Have some patience everyone.

  • Los Indianos fans ??

    Sorry Paulo. I travel 1,600km’s+ to the calderon once every year to watch one game. And believe me it cost money but i doesn’t bothers me because of the love i have for the club.
    So if i ever share my opinion here out of frustration, you Paulo don’t have the right to tell me (i’m not in spain, not enjoying atmosphere, i’m watching it on stream, bla bla bla).

    Sorry but the way i see it everyone who spend time to comment here is 100% in love of the club and only wants this club to stay in the elite forever whether Simeone leaves or not.
    You may read and answer to everyone’s comment but please never tries to seprate us by saying who is a real supporter and who isn’t. Thanks #Aupa Atletico ✌️

  • Los Indianos fans ??

    I have already thought about your complain number 2 … i don’t know if Simeone is experimenting for his future somewhere else…very sad thing to say but it might be so.

  • Koke

    I see a lot of argument and hostility between die-hard Cholo followers who actually believe that fans should shut up and watch every game and never complain about a thing, and supporters who continuously criticize every point they don’t like about the team (I’d probably fall into the second category.) I think as always, the truth lies in the middle.

    1) “Simeone & co spent their entire lives playing football, and see the players in training, and generally know much more than anyone so all of their decisions are justified and can’t be questioned.”

    Seriously? Yes, I understand the logic. They know more, so their decisions are much better informed and potentially more reasonable than any of us can even imagine. However, you can’t say that their decisions are infallible and unquestionable. How do I know? Well, what if the coach was Pep? What if it was Klopp? Or Sampaoli? Or Mourinho? If each of these men was given our squad and got to study and train them for years, they would all handle the team differently, even though they would all know the team the same amount. In Mourinho’s last season at Chelsea he obviously saw everything that happened in training and knew more about the team than anyone else, and obviously, as we can see now, that didn’t mean all of his decisions or even most of his decisions were the right ones. If you seriously think that the person who is most familiar with the squad is the one who knows best, then that means there is no such thing as a bad coach on planet earth.

    When you say that fans cannot criticize the team because they do not know as much as Simeone, you’re pretty much saying “shut up and watch, you’re not allowed to talk at all other than to praise.” That seems messed up to me. Fans are the ones that put money in the club’s pocket. They buy merchandise, they buy tickets, they spend their limited time writing about and watching their favorite teams. A team could not possibly exist without fans. Are fans supposed to just give up so much time, money, and emotion and not have any ability to critique the team they love constructively?

    Yes, a lot of the criticizers (myself included) repeat a lot of the same points, yes we criticize even after victories. But that’s because nothing seems to change, and sometimes we win by luck while playing badly. Should we ease up and be more positive? Maybe. But for anyone to say that fans can shut up if they don’t like something? That’s wrong.

  • Koke

    Criticizing a team is demonstrating love and passion for the team. We love our colors and our team and want them to do as well as possible. When they are underperforming, it hurts us. It’s like if a family member has a drug problem. If you really loved them, you would attempt an intervention, even if it seems mean, rather than let them continue to do poorly.

    If we had bad players and were playing badly, people wouldn’t complain. But we have an INCREDIBLE team and are somehow struggling. It makes sense that people can get frustrated.

    It’s not like it’s all negativity. When the team plays well, people compliment them. In the 1-0 win against Bayern, everyone was commenting about how much they loved this team and how proud they were and highlighting the GOOD performances of Koke, Saul, Carrasco, Filipe, etc. Same as in the big scoreline wins we had earlier this season. If people are allowed to talk about how good the players are playing when they play well, how come we can’t talk about how the players are playing badly when the play badly?

    I’m against negativity and against trolls. But I simply don’t think that everyone should shut up and “be grateful” and not comment their opinions RESPECTFULLY.

    With all that said, I really appreciate the writers of this website. I don’t think any of you deserves any abuse or criticism whatsoever, because without you there would be no site and this site is very important to me for following my beloved team. Thank you.

    Everyone needs to chill a bit.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I decided not to say anything with all those heated arguments, but there are somethings Paulo said that I just couldn’t let them go:

    1- You can’t put all the people you disagree with into the same category.
    You can not compare intelligent people like Kris, Chewie, Jeronamo & @Koke who have been pointing out some legitimate opinions -either right or wrong-, some tactical points of view, to other people who only write stuff like “smurfs” and “gnome”.
    You can not compare us to those kids or trolls just because we said 4 CMs at the same time is too much!!
    In fact, we were the first ones to step up to those people, few weeks ago I told one of them who was trying to have a discussion with me that I’m sorry and I can’t do it, because I think from reading his comments that he is either a troll or a young kid.

    2- I have never seen anyone here attacking Mono and calling him an idiot, in fact, I suggested couple of times that he takes over after Cholo leaves.
    I did say “fuck Simeone” couple of times though, and I’m sorry for that, and for that I accept to be called “puta” by you, I deserved it, but as I explained before, in football you get frustrated and use this language, Simeone himself uses it with his own players, but I love and respect the guy, I praised him a lot here, just go look at my definition of “Cholismo” few weeks ago and how I talked about the great values he instilled in this club, but some people pick somethings from our comments and ignore the rest.

    3- I really really hate to say this, but I know for a fact that a lot of Atleti fans in Madrid and Spain are xenophobic, they hate the idea that the club have foreign fans, I wish you are not one of them.
    I have seen a lot of them on twitter, but I also know many great guys, we follow each others, and I keep asking them questions about the club and about Spanish language and they have been teaching me, and I’m very thankful for them.

    The Calderon fans are great, they are the best fans in Europe with Liverpool’s and BVB’s.
    But they are not perfect, when we were struggling after the promotion in 2002 some of them invaded the training ground and attacked the players, they used to whistle some of our own players, like Raul Garcia, they whistled Simeone himself last season when he took off Carrasco in one game, many of them are racists, and they killed a man two years ago.
    So, don’t lecture us about how to be an Atleti fan.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I don’t understand why some people keep asking to respect and appreciate the writers of this website, when did anybody disrespect them, or is me asking them to respect the readers is disrespect?!!
    Because they do have to respect them and not dismiss their opinions, and they also need to not vote up the comments that are asking us to shut up and not have opinions because they don’t agree with it.

    And who the fuck disrespected or attacked Martin?! everybody loved Martin, I loved and enjoyed his aftermath too much, and I told him that.
    I visited his tumblr account “I love Atleti” every single day when he used to post on it, we used to have long chats on twitter, I still follow him on twitter and Instagram, I said to him here that he is a much better sports writer than many famous journalists and pundits.
    Is there a respect more than that?!!

    I wish Martin was still here, Suzan too, and where is Nick ?!
    I feel that this website has changed after them.
    Two years ago, while I was posting my annoying, negative and stupid comments here as usual, Nick sent me a message on twitter asking me to write an article for this website about Atletico de Kolkata, at first I apologized saying that I really don’t know a lot about them and I didn’t watch many of their games, and he said to me “at least it seems you know more than any of us” or something like that, then I did write the article and I was very happy and very grateful to contribute to this website that I love. Now I have been asked several times by another writer to stop commenting here, and to stop supporting Atleti. And I didn’t change, I’m the same person who was asked by Nick to write an article for this website, so I guess the website is the one that has changed.

    If it was the same website, someone like @Koke would have been asked to share an article here as well, his writing is intelligent, well-organised, in depth and with a great language, I really enjoy his comments, and I think some of them should have been in the form of an article, since it seems that some people don’t care a lot about some of the comments that they ask some of the commentators who have been repeating their criticism for months : “What don’t you like about Atleti at the moment?” or say that “nobody knows what’s wrong about Atleti”

    Respect is a two way street, and some people really have to do some calm, deep and impartial thinking, because all those heated arguments, those attacks and insults are basically just because some people said that they don’t want us to play with 4CMs.