Simeone’s rehab to compete for the title

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Simeone’s rehab to compete for the title

After so many steps back, Atlético must take a step forward and restore the signs of granite and an effective team

In what will be his twelfth season on the Atletico de Madrid bench – the 11th complete – and with a contract until 2024, Diego Pablo Simeone faces a real rehabilitation this year so that the Rojiblanco team can fight for the League again. As current champions, the illusion of the rojiblancos was shattered too quickly last season, which was disappointing, although at least they were saved by qualifying directly for the Champions League. After taking so many steps back with a lead on the scoreboard and betting on conservatism rather than ambition, the Colchoneros need to take a step forward and also restore their granite and effective team marks.

Forced to fight for the title until the very end and finish at least in the top three, this championship is a new starting point for Atlético to get back to what it was. And for the Argentine coach, it is an exam he must pass with flying colors after the mistakes of the recent past, which in the 2021-2022 season, with so many system changes and outliers that confused his footballers, outweighed his successes. .

Injuries aside, the unforgivable deficiencies in defence, Jan Oblak’s weakness in goal and lack of attacking power were also decisive in the previous campaign. As has always happened in the past decade, Atlético’s success or failure will depend mainly on Simeone, but there are several renowned footballers who must take responsibility and respond to what is required of them: Joao Félix, Morata Griezmann …

The Portuguese striker, although never to Simeone’s taste, is facing what should be his season of consolidation and final explosion. (Luis Suárez) and the Frenchman should ultimately be decisive for the team to make a quality leap. The goal goes through these three players, and the solidity behind them, through the collective effort that Cholo’s team usually displays and through a defense that has been strengthened with the arrival of a right-back (Nahuel Molina). This reinforcement to strengthen the bond Trippier pointed will also allow Simeone to have two players per position, one of his obsessions. In Atlético’s already senior squad, the versatile Witsel has arrived to physically bolster the midfield – he can also play centrally, as can Wass – apart from the return of Saúl, who is said to exhibit the talent of yesteryear. has opportunities. .

While a championship team is usually based on a rescue goalkeeper and a scorer’s caliber, intensity and defense in Simeone’s teams are the mainstays that the rojiblancos always cling to and, after last season’s fiasco, they remain for the center of defense Savic, Giménez, Felipe and Hermoso, whose disconnections and lack of concentration at decisive moments, especially in set pieces, cost dearly in all competitions. Also in the midfield, with a few exceptions, the pieces remain almost the same, although Héctor Herrera is no longer there. Marcos Llorente will be able to move his position definitively to right-inside thanks to the signing of Nahuel Molina, although he can continue to play as a fullback when the situation demands.

The wickers are well known and Simeone knows most of his players well enough to try to make the most of their qualities and turn Atlético back into a solid block that is also deadly on offense, with Morata as the protagonist, to for better or for worse, like Joao Félix, who is not discussed in class, but has to establish himself as a leader, if his coach allows it. The young Portuguese striker is being called on to be really decisive and score more goals (six, seven and eight goals in his first three competitions) in a team that, while working towards destruction, has enough quality to dominate, develop and reach its peak. chances.

Source: La Verdad

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