Just when Quique Sanchez Flores was starting to nail down his best squad, possible dressing room problems have come to light following striker Diego Forlan’s tantrum after being substituted in the final minutes against Sevilla.
Forlan was visibly angry when Diego Costa replaced him in Saturday’s draw with Sevilla, and television cameras caught him yelling “the whore that gave birth to him!” Everyone had assumed his rage was aimed at his coach. Not so, claims a report by Spanish paper El Pais.
The target of the Uruguayan’s indignation? Jose Antonio Reyes.
“From my position I see things that I don’t like, that don’t transmit a message of team unity,” an unnamed starter of the match versus Sevilla told El Pais. “For example, I see Reyes ignoring Forlan, preferring to hold on to the ball and end up being pressured by four opponents before passing it to him.
“It’s a problem we’ve been having for a long time, ever since Diego qualified us for the Champions League in the 2009-2010 season with a spectacular second half.”
An Atlético coach at the Majadahonda training ground was quoted as saying that during the time leading up to Abel Resino’s firing last season, the dressing room turned on their manager because of his staunch defense of Forlan, even when the 31-year-old was underperforming.
“We learned that there was a sector of the dressing room that, whenever [Forlan] would be with the physios, they would conspire amongst themselves: ‘Not a single ball to blondie.’ That’s what they would call Forlan behind his back,” claims one of Quique’s assistants.
The actual phrase used in Spanish to describe Forlán was la rubia, which is blondie in its feminine form. Basically, they referred to him as ‘the blonde chick,’ an obviously more derogatory remark.
The report highlights the fact that Sergio Aguero has only passed the ball one time to his strike partner in the last two games, suggesting that Kun is amongst those that have conspired against Forlan.
The situation has gotten to the point that Diego has had to resort to dropping back more in order to receive the ball, seeing as his teammates up front aren’t even looking for him. This was evident against Sevilla.
When asked about our number 7 Quique insisted, as he has all season long, that his relationship with the player is “supernormal.”
“I’m tired of these situations and that every little thing that happens with Forlan gets talked about,” he said. “[Forlan] and I are well aware of our issues and that we have to unite for the good of the group.”
Has a plot like this been obvious in recent Atlético games?