Divisions in the dressing room?

Atlético players reportedly plot "'not a single ball to 'blondie'"

Atletico Madrid strikers Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan

Atlético strikers Sergio Agüero and Diego Forlán

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?

  • Mert

    quite unsurprising, yet very very sad. pity these professionals act so immature.

  • Ian

    unbelievable, so immature..
    If we’re scoring goals or winning games, maybe it’ll be a bit tolerable, but in our condition now if this is true, I really have no idea what they’re thinking, it should be an all hands on deck situation now..

  • 7th

    in the forum i am posting, there is a thread about this.

    very very sad. i loved forlan performance against sevilla.

    though koke and him connected well.

    hope he leaves if this true.

  • These kind of things are the responsibility of the coach. I regret to say that if QSF doesn’t get the team to work, with good words or management by ‘perkele’, then we should find another coach. The alternative is to give QSF time to sort this out. If unsuccesful, see option #1.

  • Gert

    This is very sad indeed… I suppose Koke is one of the few that isn’t participating in this conspiracy against Forlán. That’s why they connected so well in the last few games.

    If it’s been taking so long, I don’t think we should blame QSF. It’s his fault though this has been going on for so long!

    I loved Forlán’s performance as well against Sevilla (especially when he went back on our own half to get the ball, which is quite logic if you never get the ball from your teammates). Thi probably explains perfectly why he’s out of form. If Reyes or Aguero wouldn’t get a ball they would suck too.

    I feel for the guy and fear for his future at Atletico. I would have liked to see him next year at our side as well with his latest performance.

  • Mohammed

    C’mon, all this seems too dramatic. They’re playing football not living a soap opera. Reyes does hold the ball too much and this can be very frustrating for the strikers. I’d curse reyes too if I was in forlan’s shoes.

  • NiñoTorres

    I love Forlán and he has done wonderful things for Atleti, but I doubt that it would just be down to poor form that players won’t pass to him, he must have done something else. I get the feeling from this, his apparent relationship with Quique and the argument with Mario Suárez earlier in the season that he is the cause of a lot of division in the changing rooms. He has given us an awful lot but maybe it is time to get rid.

  • Really confusing, there must be something on if there is such a rumour. Its very sad, and that means that our players are not true professionals, and I would be especially disappointed in Kun if this is true, since he started to aspire to the role of the leader of Atleti…

    On the other hand, I dont excuse the conspirators, but Forlan might be the one to be blamed for that as well, after all they had their reasons to ignore him on the pitch, probably it refers to his poor form after the WC. Anyways I will watch the game with special attention paid to wheter Forlan is played or not today.