Is Quique losing command of the squad?

The coach seems to be having trouble motivating his players


Quique shouts out instructions to his players

Atlético announced yesterday that manager Quique Sanchez Flores will remain with the club until the end of the current campaign.

But reports in the Spanish media have suggested that Quique has his mind set on leaving after this season no matter where the team finishes in the Liga classification table.

The Rojiblanco boss has reportedly grown increasingly disenchanted with Atlético’s front office, particularly because of the club’s decisions to let go of Jose Manuel Jurado and Simao Sabrosa.

If Quique’s departure is a foregone conclusion, what effect will this have on the squad’s motivation here on out?

Speaking to Spanish paper AS yesterday, the coach said he had addressed his men in order to remind them of the team’s objectives.

“I have told the players that with character, pride and solidarity, everything is possible,” he said. “But they can’t let their arms down. They all have to run and they all have to fight the same way.”

The squad’s zombie-like performances of the past month seem to indicate that the players have already let their arms down.

Are the players quitting on Quique?

For most of Quique’s time at Atleti, a rift between him and striker Diego Forlán has been a recurring issue, though both parties have played down talks of bad blood between them.

More recently, rumours have circulated about hard feelings between the tactician and young defender Alvaro Dominguez.

The centre-back’s representatives have publicly decried Quique’s harsh treatment of the Atleti youth product, as the 21-year-old has been banished to the bench for several games at a time following a defensive mistake while other players who commit similar blunders go unpunished.

Diego Godín and Filipe Luís have also been given the bench treatment for extended spells despite being signed over the summer in a bid to shore up our back line.

Quique’s line-up indecision has also been the subject of controversy all season long among the fans. The starting squad becomes increasingly more unpredictable with each passing week, which could be detrimental to the team’s morale and faith in their manager.

Certain players could be under a heightened level of pressure when they are on the field, conscious that a single lapse can cost them their place in the fold.

Once-established starters like Godin and Dominguez likely lose confidence when they are removed from the starting XI, and when they return, their insecurity might adversely affect their decision-making on the pitch, further threatening their chances of re-claiming a spot in the starting line-up.

It doesn’t make sense when players like Antonio Lopez and Juan Valera, who are clearly not the future of the club, play in place of talents like Godin and Dominguez.

If you’re Ujfalusi for example, are you going to be as motivated to play alongside Valera and Lopez as you would be if you were accompanied by Dominguez and/or Godin?

If you’re Aguero, Forlan or Reyes, are you going to be inspired by the completely different set of faces in the back from the ones you saw a week before?

I wouldn’t be.

Do you think the players are starting to quit on Quique?

  • Gert

    I don’t really think they’d quit on QSF, but as you mention, it’s not easy for them to play aside different players each time. I could understand this kind of line up changes in the beginning of the season or in test matches, but a team needs stability, and that’s clearly what we lack.
    On paper we have a good midfield with eg Tiago, Juanfran and Reyes. We have a good attacking section with Aguero and Forlan (when he’s not sleeming) and we have a decent defense with eg Ujfalusi, Godin and Dominguez … It’s crazy how one match they seem to have great combining skills, and the other day they lack passing abilities… I keep on believing in this team though!

  • Mert

    this is all such a damn shame cuz after the europa league triumph i really though QSF would be here for a while, with success and stability.


  • We don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. QSF can’t articulate any negative comments concerning the board because they could easily swipe him off the plate and hire a new, conforming coach.

    Let the press say what it may, results are what matter. Last year we won the Europa, this year we have had player traffic in and out and we have had an incoherent season, not least because of injuries. I believe we won’t win anything by sacking QSF, that would only mitigate continuity and consistency.

  • Mohammed

    QSF should stay. He just needs more time. He needs to find replacements and more attacking options. I think he should work on the passing and high pressure situations.

  • Javi

    QSF’s days are numbered, specially if we dont immediately go on a winning streak which keeps us in champions spot contention. Gil said QSF is staying for the reaminder of the season, but I think that if things continue like the past three weeks, he is gone by the end of February or maybe earlier.
    We have great players, and we should be up there with Villareal or Valencia. We have a much better team than Espanol. But there is a complete lack of belief in themselves as a sucessful team, and the continuing saga of lineups has to be unsettling. These two issues are completely withing the control of the coach. Cant blame anyone else.

  • Ringo Schut

    He receives blame that he does not deserve, but still, I actually wouldn’t mind to see him leave.
    I’m just fucking scared that they’ll sign someone like Rafa Benitez

  • darkness

    he should quit now, he lost the command of the team, do you think that valera is better than ujfa, perea better than godin or dominguez, filipe anf lopez??? why he punish players by putting them on bench???

  • Ringo Schut

    Well, in most games this year Perea has proven that, when in upmost concentration, he might be amongst the best defenders out there. He just needs a good mental coach or something to be consistent.
    Still, he’s over thirty and Godin and Dominguez (seemingly) have more potential.
    Filipe should start all games, but he has the same problem Perea has, I don’t think it’s just/still adapting, even though the pressure is much higher here than in A Coruna.
    On the right, sometimes Valera is better than mostly admitted, but once again mental problems seem to be blocking him or he is just very naive…
    Ujfalusi is usually decent, but I really think that he is becoming a weak link soon. Can’t Godin or Perea play rightback at times?
    Filipe just has his bad moments in most games, but can you really say that five bad seconds ruin 90 respectful/good minutes?
    The way he makes the mistakes, I’m certain it’s the pressure, you can see by his body language.

    Furthermore, the midfield is probably the biggest weak link, that’s where you have to take control and win (or lose) the game.
    A powerful midfield could help, but positioning alone might be enough.
    Fran Merida isn’t really great at positioning, perhaps because he tries too hard to prove himself or something, he’s pretty wild, at least on first sight.
    Koke, from what I’ve seen, is better, but I don’t know if he’s ready to start games and if the rest of the team trusts him, sometimes it seems like they’re trying to find someone else first, before passing to him.
    Assuncao is pretty good at it as well, but so far one player hasn’t been enough.
    Tiago is okay, sometimes he’s good, but he’s inconsistent… Against Barcelona, about a year ago, he destroyed Xavi’s play, but in other games I haven’t started loving him…
    Raul Garcia is the most inconsistent midfielder we have, perhaps. Maybe he just doesn’t fit, but I don’t get how he was so great before, like as a lone DM against Liverpool.
    I haven’t seen enough of Elias and Juanfran.
    Reyes was great last year, but this season he wants to be the hero to much and forgets that it’s hard for others to give a good pass to him when not in the right position.
    Forlan is hard to judge. Is his positioning game not well played? Is working harder all he needs? Has he lost his mojo? I don’t know, maybe he needs his ‘new challenge’ But who is up to another challenge: replacing Uruguayo?

    Aguero works hard and I think his positioning is terrific.
    He just doesn’t have the same assistance, for instance, Messi has.
    Perhaps a more creative midfield, with 3 (or all 4) of Assuncao, Tiago, Koke and Merida, might help…

    Also, Quique should really find a way to improve the positioning of the whole team, that way you can improve the passing game, if you’re playing this high you know how to kick the ball in a certain direction.
    Plus the confidence should return, which would (especially) make Merida and Filipe much more useful.

    Mr. Flores, follow this advice or look in the mirror and admit that someone else is better to help the club up.