Newly-appointed Atlético coach Diego Simeone gave a press conference at the club’s Majadahonda-based training facilities following Tuesday morning’s practice. When asked what his goal for the club was, Simeone simply responded: “To be a team. That’s what I want.”
Atlético coach Gregorio Manzano surprised reporters on Friday by giving a press conference about the current state of affairs at the club following Thursday’s loss to Athletic Bilbao. Rojiblanco fans and the media alike have speculated that the manager’s days at the Vicente Calderón, after a month-long slump and seven-game winless streak, could be numbered. “Fear? I don’t fear anything,” Manzano said.
Atlético winger José Antonio Reyes hasn’t fully stepped up to the challenge of taking the reins of squad as fans expected of him prior to the start of the 2011/12 campaign. Speaking to AS, ‘La Perla’ offered his insight on the current season so far, on adapting to a new system and on his compatibility with his new team-mates.
Atlético resorted to their old ways yet again by turning in back-to-back stinkers in just a span of four days, with losses to Málaga and Racing Santander. Though los Rojiblancos still have a solid chance of securing a Europa League berth for next season, they felt it necessary to put their fans through the torture chamber one last time for the final stage of the current campaign.
Following back-to-back wins over Osasuna and Real Sociedad, Atlético supporters entertained themselves all week long by quietly indulging in daydreams about the possibility of Champions League qualification, however far-fetched they may be. That fairy tale came to a grinding halt on Sunday with two goals by Espanyol striker Pablo Daniel Osvaldo in a match that ended in a 2-2 draw.
Atlético continued their steady climb up the Primera División ladder on Sunday with an all-around dominant showing over freefalling visitors Real Sociedad. The lively 3-0 victory was los Colchoneros’ second win in a row, and they now trail 5th place by a single point ahead of next weekend’s clash against Espanyol.
Pamplona’s world-famous ‘Running of the Bulls’ event got off to an early start this year when Atlético striker Diego Costa was unleashed from his corral on Sunday evening. A surreal performance by the much-maligned Brazilian forward drove Atleti supporters to the brink of madness as they watched, in utter disbelief, how he coolly slotted in three successive goals to lead his squad to a huge 3-2 victory over Osasuna.
We recently wrote about Atlético manager Quique Sanchez Flores’ thoughts on Juanfran, who came to Atleti from Osasuna in the January transfer window to replace Simao. The right winger hasn’t seen much action during his short stint with los Colchoneros. Clearly dejected with how things stand at present, he told the Spanish press that “everyone, not just myself, expected that I would be playing more.”
MARCA is reporting that Atlético will part ways with Portugese midfielder Tiago at the end of the season. On loan from Juventus since January 2010, the former Chelsea man has reportedly failed to impress and no effort will be made to retain him. According to other news sources, Raul Garcia and Antonio Lopez are set to follow Tiago out of the club.
Last night we caught a glimpse at ‘what could’ve been’ with an uplifting victory over our once direct rivals Villarreal. Perhaps the triumph was somewhat bittersweet as many fans will likely wonder where this sensational team has been hiding all season long. Check out our notes and quotes from this magical evening at the Calderón.