Copa del Rey: Atlético 2 – 3 Las Palmas (4 – 3 agg)

Two late Las Palmas goals give them the win on the night but Atleti progress

Correa and Griezmann impressed in attack

Correa and Griezmann impressed in attack

Atlético Madrid’s winning streak came to an end on Tuesday, but despite two late Las Palmas goals, the rojiblancos qualified for the Copa del Rey quarter-finals 4-3 on aggregate.

Antoine Griezmann and Ángel Correa put the home side in front on two separate occasions, but a Marko Livaja double and a late winner from Mateo gave Las Palmas the 3-2 win on the night.

With two goals and a commanding lead from the first leg, both teams came out with a sense that the tie was already won and played without the usual intensity we’re used to seeing in La Liga.

As expected, the visitors dominated possession and had the better of the chances in a quiet first half, Marko Livaja forcing Moyá into a smart save and Tana shooting just over from a tight angle.

Griezmann was busy up at the other end, having surprisingly made the team sheet despite attending the FIFA Best Player Award ceremony last night instead of training with the rest of the team.

He opened the scoring shortly after half-time, converting from close range after Nico Gaitán laid the ball across. It was Grizi’s 12th goal of the season and third in as many games.

However, red and white joy was shortlived as Livaja equalised less than ten minutes lately. After being allowed to run into the box, he lashed the ball across Moyá to level on the night.

Atleti were back in front almost instantly though, Ángel Correa scoring doing brilliantly to chase down a long ball and beat ‘keeper Raúl Lizoain from a tight angle after shrugging off his marker.

It was a goal that capped an excellent performance from him, and one that could give Simeone some decisions to make with the misfiring form of Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro.

Just as things looked as if they were starting to fizzle out, Las Palmas staged a fightback from nowhere, making it 2-2 in the 89th minute as Livaja tapped home his second of the match.

Then deep into injury time, Mateo put the visitors ahead with a clever finish from a free-kick. Suddenly, the visitors were just a goal away from going through.

Had there been another few minutes left they may have had the momentum to go on and get the goal they needed, but thankfully Atleti held on and will be in Friday’s draw.

Still, there will be question marks over Simeone’s team despite their recent four match winning run. All three goals were sloppily conceded, with Juanfran shouldering some of the blame for the last two.

Hopefully it will serve as a wake up call for the team ahead of an important run, starting with a home clash in La Liga against Betis on Sunday.

One player who will remember the night fondly is 19 year-old Keidi, who made his Atleti debut in the closing stages as a substitute. Fellow canterano Lucas didn’t have such a good night having picked up an injury in the first half. We’ll have more news on his fitness in the coming days.

Player ratings: Moyá 5, Vrsaljko 6, Godín 6, Giménez 7, Lucas 5, Juanfran 5, Koke 6, Saúl 6, Gaitán 6, Griezmann 7, Correa 7 (MOTM). Subs: Gabi 5, Torres 5, Keidi N/A.


  • iamfaried

    Harsh rating for Moya, no? I thought he did well. While at least two of the 3 goals he couldn’t do anything about.

    Hopefully Mono took down some notes for tomorrow’s training session.

  • Karlp

    Our 1st goal is really the type that came by playing 4-4-2 with real winger (which I think is the best formation for our small striker). With 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 without winger, our FBs mostly just give long crosses from outside the box. But with this 4-4-2 with real winger, our wingers can connect more with the FBs and give short crosses from inside the box for tap in.

    Happy with the performance although we lost, because those goals seems like a blip just because we switched off, which I think (or hope) will rarely happen to this team again.

    Godin’s forward run (that cause the 1st goal) I think can be potentially good, but none of our CMs are covering for him.

  • iamfaried

    1st goal was reminiscent of the 1-2-3 triangles on either flanks. I completely agree. At least until we find the right “Busquets” to our 433.

    In case anyone is triggered by my Busquets reference, I hate him as much as the next guy. But he fulfills this role better than anyone, even Xabi. Granted he had the best midfield to help him out.

  • Karlp

    maybe he could also direct the defender better. There are 2 occasions (Tana’s 1st half chance & the 3rd goal) where a player is clearly unmarked by anyone.

  • Karlp

    might work with that. Although our defense system is strictly set for at least 4 midfielders. Although we can use different formation between attacking and defense. 4-4-2 defense and 4-3-3 attacking.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Atleti does that sometimes, not just now, but since the start of Simeone’s era, I’m talking about losing concentration and dropping guard after having a comfortable lead, especially at home.
    We did it against Rayo in 2012 when we conceded 3 goals between minute 82 and minute 89 after leading 4-0, we did it in the 4-2 wins against Almeria in 2013, against Cordoba in 2014 and against Malaga this season, we conceded when we had two or three goals advantage.

    This is an old problem, and tonight there were other factors beside the lack of concentration and not playing till the final whistle and not killing the game off with the 3rd and 4th goals, like some individuals errors from some players and the substitutions Simeone made, we were a different team with Torres & Keidi.
    So, I REALLY REALLY wish that Simeone does not blame this on Gaitan and Correa, because it wasn’t their fault.

    But if I’m wrong, if playing with only two CMs in front of Oblak/Moya, Godin, Gimenez/Savic, Juanfran & Filipe makes us vulnerable, if those world-class 5 at the back are not good enough with only 2 CMs and they need another tow so they don’t concede 3 goals at home from a team like La Plamas, then we still have another problem, because with the 4 defensive, not creative enough CMs we struggle a lot to score, we get many 0-0s, and we still lose some games.
    We played the first half in UCL final 2016 with a defensive conservative lineup and we still conceded, then at halftime Carrasco came on for Augusto and we scored and did not concede.
    If starting with both Gaitan & Correa is a problem, starting with Gabi, Augusto, Koke & Saul is also a problem, so Simeone needs to find the balance, it’s his job, being the highest paid coach in Spain.

    I wish Simeone does not overreact to this and think that the problem is somewhere other than where it really is, like he did after those negative results against Sevilla, R.Sociedad, R.Madrid and Villarreal, even me, a big Simeone critic didn’t overreact back then and I broke down what went wrong in those games, game by game and mistake by mistake, and the biggest problem we had then and tonight -in my opinion- is the individual errors, especially from our CBs, we all talked about Savic’s -he made another one against Eibar but luckily Enrich failed to control the ball- but almost all of us -including me- are avoiding to talk about Godin’s repeated mistakes.
    I don’t know what’s wrong with our CBs, but I don’t think it’s the lack of enough CMs to protect them.

    Again, please Simeone, don’t blame fielding too many attacking players (by your standards) for this one.

  • Karlp

    Yap, I’m really afraid he will be back to full defensive mode, although in this game it’s not the fault of the attacking player or us sitting higher at the pitch at all. All of our attacking player always very discipline in defense.

  • iamfaried

    He did introduce Gabi which gave us 3 defensive midfielders. So we did have usual defensive lineup. The issue was definitely from the middle that left our defense exposed. Either on the quick counter, which was the case tonight as well as against Villarreal and Sevilla or through long balls as was the case with the third goal tonight and vs Real Madrid.

    Whether it’s Tiago or Gabi that failed to cover up behind Godin, though the 1st goal Gabi wasn’t on which is why he was brought in. But the second and third both lacked cover on the right. The second Saul should’ve aided Juanfran where as in the third Koke should’ve applied pressure in the middle and never allowed the long ball to even take off. This was similar to Barcas goal earlier in the 1-1 draw. From the corner the ball was passed to a free iniesta on the edge of the box who was allowed freedom to carefully take his time with a pinpoint his cross.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Before the game I said that Juanfran on the wing and Gimenez in the middle is simply a necessity since we are missing 3 players (became 4 now) while we already have a small squad (without Moreira & Cerci, we have 21 first team players).
    I have to say though that I believe that it’s a deep squad despite being small, the quality of almost all players in every position is so close. Few days ago I tweeted that we have a stronger bench than Barca.

    Tonight Simeone decided to give Filipe & Gabi a rest they desperately needed, he also rested Savic who has been committing many mistakes (though maybe Godin should have been the one who is rested), so, Gimenez & Godin were the only options at CB, since we needed Lucas at the LB as we don’t have other LB than Filipe, Koke & Saul were the only options in the middle, and that left Juanfran as our only option as a winger/AM even with playing with Gaitan.

    This situation could happen again, Carrasco, Augusto & Tiago are injured, Thomas is in Africa, Koke is one yellow away from suspension in La Liga, and Gabi is one yellow away from suspension in Copa del Rey.

    Again, I believe those two changes were necessity, I don’t think they are really a thing, I don’t think they are tactical changes and I didn’t get all that “fuss” about it in the media and social media.
    Am I oversimplifying this, or do people overcomplicating it ?!

  • Koke

    Out of curiosity, are you saying that you don’t think Gabi, Tiago, or Augusto are capable of playing a sole anchor role like Busquets? Not attacking your opinion, just trying to figure it out.

    I think all three of them are better destroyers than Busquets. I would like to think that any of them could effectively shield the defense on their own while Koke and one other midfielder work in front of them creatively. Unless there are other ‘Busquets’ qualities that they lack?

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    I’m not sure but I really wish all our players were currently fit so we could see where our coach’s mind is in terms of tactics at the moment. For now I don’t think he has much of a choice tho

  • Usavicente Calderon

    WOW! crazy game tonight. Three points to make…

    First Point: Titled: Oh where or where did our defense go:

    What the hell happened to our defense for the last 8 minutes of the
    game?!?!?! We totally fell asleep. Thought the game was over. Lucky for
    us, it ended.

    Second point. Titled: The missing link:

    This past week Barca players were complaining about the refs. I was
    like,”Shut up Barca, you win too much.” Then there were some other
    complaints from other teams. This game the ref did bother me.
    Inconsistency is the problem. Just in this game. Look at the last free
    kick. All game the body check defense was not being called. Then BAM! It
    gets called against Godin. Free kick is kicked and they score. I can’t
    stand it when refs change the rules while the game is going on. A ref
    should call everything. Not give a yellow for practically the first foul
    called after 30 minutes of the game as past. This guy was horrid. So
    Barca players, I guess I can feel your pain. Luckily for us, we did not
    lose. But I do blame our snoozing defense and not the ref.

    Third Point: Titled: To those that never play:

    Correa is a scoring machine. It seems like this kid scores everything
    he is on the field. Or ever other time and most of the time he is
    substituting. He needs to be on the field more. Also Gaitan is a
    offensive minded midfielder that also needs to stay on the field. I
    don’t care if you put Gaitan and Correa on at the 60 minute mark every
    game. Just do it and our goal numbers will go up.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    WOW! crazy game tonight. Three points to make…

    First Point: Titled: Oh where or where did our defense go:

    What the hell happened to our defense for the last 8 minutes of the
    game?!?!?! We totally fell asleep. Thought the game was over. Lucky for
    us, it ended.

    Second point. Titled: The missing link:

    This past week Barca players were complaining about the refs. I was
    like,”Shut up Barca, you win too much.” Then there were some other
    complaints from other teams. This game the ref did bother me.
    Inconsistency is the problem. Just in this game alone. Look at the last free
    kick. All game the “body check” defense was not being called. Then BAM! It
    gets called against Godin. Free kick is kicked and they score. I can’t
    stand it when refs change the rules while the game is going on. A ref
    should call everything. Not give a yellow for practically the first foul
    “called” 30 minutes into the game. This guy was horrid. So
    Barca players, I guess I can feel your pain. Luckily for us, we did not
    lose. But don’t get me wrong, I do blame our snoozing defense and not the ref.

    Third Point: Titled: To those that never play:

    Correa is a scoring machine. It seems like this kid scores every time he
    is on the field. Or ever other time, and most of the time he is
    substituting. He needs to be on the field more. Also Gaitan is an
    offensive minded midfielder that also needs to stay on the field. I
    don’t care if you put Gaitan and Correa on at the 60 minute mark every
    game. Just do it and our goal numbers will go up.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    I think Gabi is in flux. I am liking what I see from Gimemez. Plus Gabi, Tiago and Augusto are old for futbol players. Time to bring in fresh blood. Plus now you have Savic, Godin, Juanfran/Vrsaljko, and Luis on the field. That is a solid back 5.

  • iamfaried

    I don’t disagree that they are all better destroyers, but they lack what Busquets unfortunately boasts. Gabi and Tiago are getting way too old for the role, granted their experience really helps them a lot. But physically they just can’t preform for more than 60mins. Simeone knows that which is why last season and sometimes this season Gabi and Tiago were always subbed off when an alternative was available. Augusto on the other hand is the most capable one out of them right now, as I mentioned in another thread. But he is injured. While I also pointed out that Kranevitter wasn’t ready for that role yet.

    But yes they need to cut passing lanes, disrupt quick plays, cover defenders, orchestrate the midfield, dictate tempo, start attacks, provide extra number upfront and shoot from distance. (Amongst other tasks I’m not aware of) All of which Busquets did so well in previous seasons. He did so well that he forced Mascherano to the back four.

    Gabi in his prime could do most of them, might still do so but not for more than a half. And we cannot continue depending on him without finding his successor. I believe Saul could have potential to play this role, but perhaps Simeone doesn’t.

  • Gol

    Kevin Gameiro should be sold and be replaced by Facundo Ferreyra.

  • Paweł Kosiński

    Not really sure what to say.

  • AndersAT

    I am also worried about our defense. It is starting to look like the “good old days” with Fabiano Eller and Pablo. A lot of defensive errors.

    I think it is a little bit of both:
    Individual errors from defenders is hard to do anything about. But if the opposition has to much control and the defense has to little backup there will be more situations where defenders can make individual mistakes and more situations where an individual mistake will result in goals.

    All in all a very ambivalent experience. I really like the way Gaitan and Correa played (Correa could be a better choice than Gameiro, although Gameiro is also improving). And I hope they will get a lot more playing time. But I am worried about our defense. Maybe Lucas should get some time in the CB position, he has looked rock solid.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Lol , they’re believer in tall and tough players , nothing will convince them otherwise.

  • Gol

    Guido Carrillo from Monaco and Facundo Ferreyra from Shakhtar are some tall and tough strikers Atleti can afford to purchase this summer. XD

  • AndersAT

    Since we are on the subject, I really like Williams from Bilbao. I would make him a priority long term signing this summer (if we get the ban reverted), but I guess we will have some stiff competition.

  • Ringo

    A few weeks ago I saw an article mentioning he was among the top 10 most efficient players in La Liga this season, as number 8. This was based on goals and assists per minutes played. He needed about 83 minutes per goal delivered through either assist or goal. No other player in the team was on this list. For a player who has seen a lot of weird misses this season he is still extremely effective and perhaps should not be even judged on those mishits, which seem to be part of being a little rusty/insecure, two things usually overcome with more playing time.
    So even if not necessarily a scoring machine, he is a goals machine who can only get better with more time on the pitch.

    This is only based on statistics though, but when you see him play, I don’t get how you couldn’t expect him to deliver something, even if indirectly through his hard work and danger.

    Apparently the information comes from opta, but I don’t really know how to search on their own website. I came across it on a dutch website who shared this list from Opta.

  • Ringo

    I think looking at the style of play Tiago comes closest, Gabi might have the skills too, but purely looking at the positioning, etc, it seems Tiago would feel most natural in the role. Based on his play for youth teams, Koke could be one too, but he seems to move around more and more every year, so it might mean changing him ‘again’. I do have faith in him though, plus he sees things way faster than Busquets, so that could compensate for being shorter, perhaps.

    I don’t think it’s about purely being good at defending or being creative, but how natural a certain style of position play feels to you. While Gabi can defend the back 4 well, he naturally also seems to move elsewhere at times. So he would be able, but not as consistently as might be necessary if we would want a Busquets type player in that position.

    For the future I’d check if Koke would be able to grow into this role (again), because Saúl is probably best in more of a box-to-box role. Kranevitter is an option, but he might not be the passer you’d be looking for in this demanding role. The two partnering midfielders would have to be more moving around players, though. Koke could be one of those and Saúl the other. However, if you put Koke in the position, I think you’d need another player who’s the attacking midfielder he is…. with the ban the only option seems to be trying to get back Óliver or perhaps using Gaitán in that position…

    I am just speculating though. I could be completely wrong about everything. Also I just played FIFA so I think that probably influenced my ‘omg this works’ a bit (like I feel the urge to promote a

    Koke-Gabi-Saúl
    Correa-Carrasco
    Griezmann

    formation in front of the back 5 for it being stellar in a freaking video game (although I would like to see it very much), with Gaitán another option for Saúl’s position for more agile mobility)

  • iamfaried

    Yeah, i think it’s the atleti dream to have a functional Saul Koke Oli midfield. I have faith that Oli will be back.

    He’s been getting constant minutes and performing really well for Porto. Which I think was the point of loaning him out. Oli’s style of play requires the player to have fearless character full of confidence in his ability, as is the case with Iniesta. So let’s just wait and see. I know people will hate me for this, but I’m kind of glad we have a transfer ban. It paves the way for Oli’s return.

    Also I believe Saul can be our Busquets. He’s relatively tall, quicker, better dribbler, with good vision and he’s an aerial threat. He’s played there before, and as CB, while on loan at rayo scoring a crazy outside the box volley.

  • Koke

    Yes, Koke-Saul-Oliver is my absolute dream. All canteranos, and I genuinely believe they can be the best midfield trio to come out of any youth system since Xavi-Busquets-Iniesta. And honestly, if each of them fulfills their potential, they could even become just as good (look at how mature each of them has played even when they were teenagers/early 20s).

    Some might argue that none of them has the right defensive qualities, but I disagree. And even if that’s true now, they can be taught. If I’m not mistaken, Gabi and Augusto both used to be attacking mids. Busquets used to be a striker. Players can be converted to defensive mids if they are very intelligent and physically capable, and I think Saul and perhaps even Koke can fit the bill, especially if they play together.

    If we had those 3 in midfield, with any of Carrasco/Correa/Griezmann etc in front, (I really hope many or all of them stay), then we are guaranteed world class status for years I think. Not to mention the likes of Thomas and Kranevitter on the bench as well.

    By the way, I think Thomas might be a ‘Busquets’ type player. He seems so elegant and calm on the ball and I really liked his display in the first leg against Guijuelo. I don’t know why he doesn’t play more.

  • Koke

    I like Williams too – I’m surprised nobody has mentioned him here yet in terms of potential new strikers. He’s tall, fast, and skillful. I know he’s not a typical striker, but I think he could be taught. If he were to get a little stronger and train with Simeone the magic man, I think he could be the perfect striker.

  • Hannu

    Yeah that would be dream but have to say that I am really surprised if Oliver comes back and if he come that he would shine under Simeone..Maybe with another coach if he still is here.

  • Hannu

    I have thought him too! Would work.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Juanfran used to be a winger, Ramos used to be a right back, and Torres started as a goalkeeper, of course players can be converted into other positions, even at a relatively old age.

    I don’t think we will ever see Koke-Saul-Oliver under Simeone, Oliver is not a “Simeone player” -whatever that means- according to many Cholistas.
    So, if Simeone is not planning to stay after 2018 -I don’t think he is- then I wish he just leave this summer before he sells Oliver and other talented players.
    I honestly believe that the man doesn’t have anything more to give to Atleti.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Don’t get me wrong Ander , but i think we’re committing the same mistake by thinking a striker (a great one) can transform us in to a super team. I’ll repete again our strikers are not bad , they just lack someone like Modric , Kroos or Iniesta type CM who allow their front three attackers to feast on many chances. Put Griezmann , Correa in Barca or Madrid and i gurantee you they will score atleast 10 goals more than they score at Atleti. I wanted us to buy a creative mf this summer , imo , our midfield loses ball and control very easily while on posession that frustrate our striker. Oliver could’ve been answer but i think a loan to portuguese league means he just wanted to send him anywhere he could , better move would’ve been to a a better league.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Don’t be surprised, he wasn’t mentioned because people are sick and tired of signing really good attacking players then watching them struggle and fail because of the dysfunctioning system.

  • Vagabond Messi

    I don’t think we need Williams or any other reinforcement in strike force when we have players like Correa , Carrasco warming the bench, i’d like us to sign a creative player, i hope Man united bid some crazy amount for Saul , and we spend that money on Veratti or weigl , or PSG swap Veratti for Saul. Saul and koke are not attacking enough and defensively they’re not that great either, that explain why we leak goals when Gabi and Tiago don’t play.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Another intresting point i’d like to discuss is value of our squad , according to transfermarket our squad value is higer than Chelsea, Man city , arsenal and Juventus. I don’t know why people here still think we’ve b rate players. only Bayern, Barca and Madrid have better squad than us.

  • Gol

    Simeone should sign 4 good players this summer. 1 left back, 2 central midfielders and 1 striker. Because Torres is leaving this summer.

  • AndersAT

    Well i don’t recall me writing anything abort transformation or super team. My point is more in the line of Torres nearing retirement, Griezman probably moving on soon and Gameiro not being 25 anymore.

    So in the next couple of years we are going to need a new striker. And since Gameiro still have a couple of good years in him and we have Correa as a quality replacement for Griezmann i think a young powerful striker like Williams would be a great addition to the team.

    So besides that, a agree on your point with the feeders in the midfield.

  • Karlp

    At some point, I thought light-footed CM like Oliver might not survive in a team that sits deep like atleti. But Trigueros, who is a similar kind of CM like Oliver, is commanding the Villareal midfield, which also sits deep.

  • KO CESARO

    i think that we should try to bring this kind of players
    – Javier Martínez (midfielder)
    – Mario Lemina (midfielder)
    – Diego costa (striker)
    – Victor Vitolo (midfielder)
    and get rid of saul and gameiro

  • Paweł Kosiński

    No need for a left-back – Theo Hernandez will be ready to battle Filipe for a spot. It’s true though that we desperately need a new central / defensive midfielder in the mould of Spurs’ Moussa Dembele, who has physical presence, but can also direct play from deep.

  • Vagabond Messi

    We’ve Correa , and as far as Griezmann leaving and finding is replacement is concerned , i’d like us to buy Icardi , or a big name striker , but only if Griezmann and Gameiro leave, we can’t spend another 50m on a player while we’ve Correa, Gamiero, Carrasco and Griezmann. If Gameiro gets sold , fine i’d like a striker in his place , but we’ve not paid 32m plus to warm the bench, we’re not Barca that buy expensive players for bench.

  • Hannu

    Vitolo would be great as well as Costa but dont think we gonna get either..

  • Gol

    Dimitri Payet is available. He wants to leave West Ham United.

  • Vagabond Messi

    Vitolo of Sevilla is a left winger, we already have too many left wingers. I agree with getting rid of Saul though , he’s not great defensively , not very creative either. Keep Koke, buy a creative midfielder with Saul’s money. Another way is buy a Gabi’s replacement and play oliver and Koke with him.

  • Hannu

    Oh I thought he is right winger. I dont want get rid of Saul but he should be played at center but yes he needs to improve.

    This is waste of time but:
    Carrasco-Koke-Gabi-Vitolo would have been great if Vitolo is played at right.

  • Vagabond Messi

    I watch every single match of Sevilla , Vitolo is a great player but not a player that can take us to a new level , his last product is not that good for a winger , dives a lot. Yes , you’re right about need of a right winger in this 442, i objected strongly to the purchase of Gaitan since his main position is left and we already had Carrasco there, i wanted us to buy Mkhitarian , he costed only 10m more , plays on right , is far more productive than Gaitan. Another way is buying a midfield general like Modric or Veratti who allow posession game and play 443. This team is just one midfield general away from beinga super team, if we have such players , then playing 3 or 4 defensive cms won’t be a requirement. Simeone tried Oliver in 442 and that too on wings , i don’t know what else to say.

  • Vagabond Messi

    He plays on left and we already have Gaitan and Carrasco for left wing , moreover he’s not tall and tough 😉 you should check his height.

  • Gol

    Excellent deduction. Marco Verratti and Facundo Ferreyra are the two only players Atleti need to get this summer. It should only cost around 45m. XD

  • Koke

    Veratti would be a wet dream of a player, but I can’t see him coming to Atleti, let alone PSG being silly enough to trade him or Saul. He’s exactly the type of deep-lying CM that can actually make shit happen, he’s everything Koke should strive to be. He will be a Balon D’or contender one day and can reach Modric, Xavi, or Pirlo level. Anyway, I’d love to see him in our team but I don’t believe it could happen 🙁

    Yes, I know that attacking players that we sign rarely succeed here. Griezmann and Carrasco obviously have done very well, but who else since Costa has been a huge success? Correa might be next in line but I honestly believe he would be better off if he had spent the last 2 years as a starter playing 90 minutes or so every game for Villareal or Rayo or something. I fully agree that Atleti, a club who is responsible for producing some of the best strikers of the last decade, has also recently become a death sentence for the careers of many promising attackers. I feel sorry for the way Jackson and Cerci went from hero to zero in our custody and I refuse to believe that it was completely their faults. I hope Gaitan doesn’t follow that path.

  • Koke

    Yes, I think the things he brought to the club (balls, spirit, focus, and defensive masterclasses) were usually enough to justify some of his glaring weaknesses, especially when we reached 2 CL finals in 3 years. But lately all of his former strengths are now weaknesses: the players have no focus, spirit, or balls for months now, and our defense has been completely shocking. It was just a couple months ago that it was unheard of for Atleti to concede 3 goals in 1 match, even against Madrid, Barca, Bayern, etc. We wouldn’t even concede 3 goals in 6 matches. But we’ve conceded so much this season that currently it’s safe to say both our attack and our defense are below average.

    Simeone deserves the rest of the season at least to redeem himself. But if the team doesn’t improve drastically, I don’t see why we shouldn’t gamble on a new manager – if we aren’t even good defensively and aren’t even embodying the “Cholo” spirit, what exactly would we have to lose?

  • Kris

    Transfer speculations during transfer ban? Meh.

  • Vagabond Messi

    You’re right about Veratti not coming here though we don’t lack money now, he’s a Juventus fan and will leave PSG for Juventus , my point is 442 won’t work without proper creative winger or with 3-4 defensive minded cms, no matter how good strikers are they will struggle , moreover Costa had Turan on right wing , 442 needs it’s wingers to connect to strikers while 2 cms solely devout to defense (Gabi and Tiago). Another problem is you can’t play 433 without any one dominating posession and pulling the string, when Simeone tries to play 433 , team struggles to carry ball forward , then All long balls to our strikers start. Oliver was my hope at 433 transformation , he has ability to distribute ball and pull the string while 2 defensive minded cms can cover defense . Another problem that this team is facing is position of Saul , he doesn’t suit in either Atleti’s 442 or 433, he’s not a winger to play in 442, neither he’s very good defensively to play as CM in 442 system , he won’t suit in 433 either . Sure he gets nice goal once in a while but he defenitely brings problem to the system as a whole.

  • Gol

    Atleti is dead, face reality. R.I.P. Oct 23 2016 XD

  • Vagabond Messi

    It’s not dead , far from it , but league is over for sure , let’s focus on cup competetion .

  • iamfaried

    William Carvalho, Mario Lemina, Ruben Neves, Richeidly Bazoer, Davy Klaassen or, unrealistically, Nainggolan are ideal too.

    Striker wise, we could look for out of favor Gabigol. There’s Porto’s Andre Silva, Gaston Perreiro or Lacazette.

  • iamfaried

    The best managers are occupied at the moment. Klopp and Spaletti will definitely bring attractive 433 attacking football, but unfortunately none of them would be willing to leave the promising projects they both started.

    So realistically speaking we’ll probably end up with Sampaoli or another South American Manager.