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Atletico de Madrid, 2017-2018: New Stadium, New Crest, Same Simeone Intensity

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by bosox4283, May 23, 2017.

  1. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Cholo confirmed that he's staying, so all eyes are now on Antoine Griezmann. Griezmann is flirting with leaving, with ManU as perhaps the most likely destination.

    Someone could interpret Griezmann's statement that he wants to win titles as an indication of his desire to leave Atletico. An optimistic may think that Griezmann is trying to persuade Atletico's board to spend big this summer.

    The idea that "Atletico does not win" titles is a bit unfortunate, mostly because Atletico does not realistically aspire to win La Liga given the financial gap between everyone and Real Madrid and everyone and Barcelona. I suppose that the Premier League is more wide open, so you could realistically play for six teams that have a chance to lift the trophy (Chelsea, Tottenham, Man City, ManU, Arsenal, Liverpool).

    Apart from Real Madrid, no one has been more successful in the Champions League over the last four seasons. Griezmann had a chance to beat them both years. It's a pity, really, that Atletico hasn't gotten over that Real Madrid-sized mountain.
     
  2. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico received a two-transfer-period ban for signing underage players last year, impacting the winter 2017 transfer window and this summer 2017 window. The club appealed the result. There was optimism the ban would be overturned since Real Madrid received a similar ban only to have the penalty reduced to one period.

    The ban was uphold. Atletico cannot sign until January 2018.

    There is a lot of pissing and moaning on Twitter and from Atletico, with everyone saying that Real Madrid has received different treatment. At the same time, there is talk that Atletico was charged with signing over 80 underage players while Real only signed 6-8. Yikes.

    This ban most definitely complicates the signings of Vitolo from Sevilla, Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon, and Fabinho from Monaco.

    I think the ban complicates to a lesser extent the signing younger players with higher upside, such as Dani Ceballos (20) from Betis and Sandro Ramirez (21) from Malaga.
     
  3. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    That said, if nothing changes, Atletico still has a strong squad (well, until top talent leaves and Atletico cannot replace them):

    Undoubtedly, one of the biggest problems is that club seems almost certain to lose Theo Hernandez, the young left-back, to Real Madrid. Hernandez would have been a great complement to Luis.

    GK: Oblak (24)
    RB: Vrsaljko (25)
    CB: Godin (31), Savic (26)
    LB: Filipe Luis (31)

    Midfield: Koke (25), Saul (22), Gabi (33)
    Up front: Carrasco (23), Gameiro (30), Griezmann (26)

    The first problem is the bench. Augusto Fernandez (31) returns after an ACL injury; if he returns to form, he can help in the midfield and provide rest for Gabi but who knows how Augusto will play after nearly a year off and one year older past 30. Correa (22), Fernando Torres (33), Thomas Partey (23), and Gaitan (29) are fine for what they are but not the sort of players that will propel Atletico one step higher to fight for La Liga.

    The other problem is age. Gimenez (22) and Lucas Hernandez (21) are talented CBs but Godin is the team's defensive leader and must be nearing the point of beginning to decline given his age. Juanfran (32) is a solid back-up to Vrsaljko at this point. Gabi is the heart and soul of the squad but he'll be hitting 34 next year. Torres and Gameiro, the two strikers, are over 30. The proposed signings would both strengthen the team and make the team younger.
     
  4. Morgan's Magic Snowplow

    Morgan's Magic Snowplow Well-Known Member Gold Supporter SoSH Member

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    To pick a small nit, Atleti can still sign players this summer. They just can't register them until the winter transfer window.

    So in theory they could do what Barca did with Arda Turan, signing a player this summer, having him practice with the team but not play during the fall, and then registering him on 1/1/18 and integrating him into the matchday squad. The advantage of that versus simply buying in the winter is that the player would have all fall to train with the team and learn Simeone's system.

    Of course, its hard to convince a player to sit out for six months. I doubt you'd get an established player with other options like Lacazette to agree but you might be able to find a young LB to replace Theo Hernandez who would do it.
     
  5. Schnerres

    Schnerres Member SoSH Member

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    Saul signed a new contract. His old one tied him to Atleti until 2021. His new one is for 9(!) years, until 2026. Nice to see great players sign such longterm contracts. But I have to admit, I always thought the longest contracts "possible" were for 5 more seasons, as that´s what everyone is signing these days. And he adds those five to the 4 he had remaining. WOW.
     
  6. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Really great move by Atleti. In a sense, Saul and Koke represent the club: moved up through the youth system and have emerged as star players. Importantly, Saul and Koke both play well in Simeone's system: tough, tireless, willing to play both ways, and will sacrifice for the team.

    Saul is immensely talented and young, so I'm excited to see how he'll grow as a player.
     
  7. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    The rumors are circulating that Atleti will sign Diego Costa, and that Costa will join the club and not play until January. There were rumors that Costa could be loaned to China, but the recent trend is that he'll train with the club until he can play.

    Conversely, Atletico are reportedly interested in signing Vitolo from Sevilla and loan him to Las Palmas until January. I'm not sure how the transaction would work, and it's possible that Alteti is dancing close to the transfer ban rules. We'll see how it shakes out in the next week or so.
     
  8. PedroSpecialK

    PedroSpecialK Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    The apparent mechanism will be that Atlético will 'loan' Vitolo the money to exercise his release clause (as in Spain, players themselves have to pay it, but are generally fronted the money by their clubs). Vitolo will then sign for Las Palmas as a free agent, and Las Palmas will complete a free transfer to Atlético in January.

    Not roundabout at all :)
     
  9. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Vitolo has extended his contract with Sevilla.

    The transfer ban seems to be the reason why Atletico is having, for its standards, a poor offseason. Griezmann was clearly recruiting his French friend, Alexandre Lacazette, who expressed interest in Atleti but ended up at Arsenal. Two young Spanish players, Sandro and Ceballos, were on our radar but signed with Everton and Real Madrid.

    Diego Costa remains a top target, and we'll see if Atletico is able to find a solution to the transfer ban to convince Costa to make the move. I really hope Conte despises Costa as much as we think he does, that way Costa have few if any options.
     
  10. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    A few months ago I met Gabriele Marcotti, the football journalist. We talked a bit about Atletico, and Marcotti opined that Atletico and a few other clubs--Monaco and Oporto were two he mentioned--were clubs that served the purpose of laundering money.

    Falcao seems like a good example of an operation when money moves around in a way that is hard to follow: super-agent in Mendes, teams desperate for cash, third-party ownership, a player moving somewhere he doesn't want to go, off-shore accounts, etc.

    Well, I mention all this because, now that Atletico has lost on Vitolo, the team appears to be going for Fabinho, the 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder from Monaco who is represented by Mendes.

    The word is that Atletico did not have the liquidity to buy Vitolo from Sevilla. If Atletico ends up with Fabinho, I imagine the money exchanged will be minimal, which seems to bolster the notion that someone--not Atletico--is making money off the deal.
     
  11. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

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    That seems insane, but it is my understanding that Marcotti is a pretty reliable voice.
     
  12. wonderland

    wonderland lurker

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    Look at the Jackson Martinez situation. Signed for $35 million from Porto then doesn't do much for AM but is bought a short time later by a Chinese club for $42 million. I'm sure that was on the up and up.
     
  13. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,717
    The chances are that Atletico put up little cash, if any, to get Jackson.
     
  14. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Well, much ado about nothing: Vitolo has now signed with Atletico. What a weird story: Sevilla announced that he had extended his contract, but apparently Atletico made a call at the last minute. Atletico's ownership apparently scrambles to find the cash to make the deal happen, comes up with it, and convinces Vitolo not to sign contract.
     
  15. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Not much happening with Atletico. The team has started loaning out players who were not part of Simeone's plans.

    One player to watch will be Diogo Jota, the 20-year-old Portuguese midfielder who had a good season last year with Oporto. Jota is rejoining Nuno Espirito Santo, who was the Oporto coach last year, at the Wolverhampton Wanderers.

    A few players that seemed likely to leave--maybe Angel Correa or Thomas Partey--are staying, either at the insistence of Simeone due to the transfer ban or maybe because Atletico is trying to strengthen its ability to negotiate.

    Diego Costa still appears to be returning to Atletico, though no news recently. Well, Costa did dance around in an Atletico kit in an Instagram video, but that's about it.
     
  16. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    All signs point to Diego Costa returning to Atletico but it's been strangely quiet the last few weeks. There is still time, of course, and Costa couldn't play until January, but I'll feel much better when this transfer is completed.
     
  17. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    With Griezmann sitting out the match for his two-game ban for insulting the referee in the first week, Atletico rolled to a 5-1 victory over Las Palmas.

    Interestingly, Atletico played a very young team:

    Oblak (26)
    Vrsaljko (25) - Godin (31 - old man) - Gimenez (22) - Lucas (21
    Koke (25) - Saul (22) - Thomas Partey (24) - Carrasco (23)
    Vietto (23) - Correa (22)

    Griezmann is 26, and Savic, the CB, is also 26.

    Really cool to see such a young team grow and compete.
     
  18. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Because I'm a bit obsessed, I ran through the Champions League scenarios for Atletico. It is essential for Atletico to win both games against FK Qarabag of Azerbaijan. Two victories would put Atletico at 7 points.

    In the meanwhile, Rome and Chelsea play twice. Rome is currently at 4 points and Chelsea at 6.

    Worst Case Scenario: Rome wins both matches.
    Chelsea could win both remaining matches and end up with 12 points, meaning Atletico would need to beat Rome and finish above them by the head-to-head measure.
    Rome-10
    Atletico-7
    Chelsea-6

    Best Case Scenario: Chelsea wins both matches.
    In this scenario, Atletico can advance by beating Rome at home regardless of what happens against Chelsea.
    Chelsea-12
    Atletico-7
    Rome-4

    Scenarios That Will Create a Thrilling and Challenging Final Two Matches: they tie both matches or both win one match.
    Assuming both Chelsea and Rome take care of business against Qarabag, Atletico will need to win at least one or perhaps both matches to advance.

    Tie both
    Chelsea-8 (11)
    Atletico-7
    Rome-6 (9)

    Split victories
    Chelsea-9 (12)
    Atletico-7
    Rome-7 (10)
     
  19. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,717
    Atletico and Barcelona tied this weekend. It's, obviously, better to walk away with a point against Barcelona than without a point, but I thought Atletico could have had the match. In the first half, Griezmann had two great chances but Ter Stegen made two wonderful saves.

    In the second half, though, we saw Simeone revert to his old defensive method of moving the lines backwards close to the area, and hoping to reduce the effectiveness of Barcelona's attacks. I understand the strategy: Atletico's defensive has been so, so good for the last several years, and Simeone trusts his players to shut down the opposition. At the same time, Atletico's team has shown signs of regressing a bit on the defensive end, but, more importantly, the team has the offensive firepower to go toe-to-toe against Barcelona.

    Consider Atletico can play: Koke, Saul, Carrasco, Griezmann, and Gabi/Thomas. That's four very talented players and some muscle/toughness.

    I mean, is Iniesta/Busquets/Rakitic/Gomes much better than Gabi/Koke/Saul/Carrasco? I know Messi and Suarez are worldclass and a huge threat, but I'd like to see Atletico be a bit braver to beat Barcelona in the midfield rather than sitting back waiting (hoping?) for a counter.
     
  20. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Agreed Bosox. I thought Atleti should've chased the points a bit more. You have it correct and I'd probably take the Atleti MF over the Barca group right now (although I'd say the ceiling for Roberto and Denis is higher as early as later this season but more likely next year). Put another way, I think Barca are happy with this result.
     
  21. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico continues to sputter. Thomas Partey, the midfielder, scored the game-winner in second-half stoppage time against Deportivo off a set-piece. At this point in the season, Partey is the team's top scorer. Yikes.

    The team sorely misses Koke and Carrasco -- Koke for his passing and vision, and Carrasco for his play-making ability.

    Moreover, the two-window transfer ban means that Costa and Vitolo cannot play until January. These two players will improve the squad.

    If I am being honest, though, I think the problem may be Simeone's tactics. I do not know enough about the game to identify the weaknesses and propose solutions, but I can say that to my eyes the team seems to play too far back, sacrifice offense for the benefit of the defense, struggles to circulate the ball with quickness, and lacks creativity in generating chances.
     
  22. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico and Real Madrid play to a nil-nil draw, the first time the derby ends this way in a decade.

    There are two simple questions for Atletico:

    1. Will the upgrade from Correa to Costa improve the team's goal scoring?

    2. Will the upgrade from Thomas/Gabi to Vitolo improve the team's ability to generate scoring opportunities?

    Offensively, the team is a mess. I'd like this line-up after January.

    Oblak
    Vrsaljko-Savic-Godin-Luis
    Vitolo-Koke-Saul-Carrasco
    Griezmann-Costa

    Correa is the first offensive substitution, with Thomas and Gabi there to strengthen the middle.

    As I write this, I realize two things: (1) how poor the signings of Gaitan and Gameiro were -- they have been awful and (2) how unfortunate Augusto's injury was last year, because he's a great player that has not regained his top form.
     
  23. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico keep their Champions League hopes alive with a solid two-nil win over Roma.

    The team played with the urgency that was completely lacking against Qarabag. Who knows why. Maybe Torres deserves credit for being the catalyst.

    Simeone also went for it, which was great to see, as Atleti finished the game with four strikers: Correa, Gameiro, Torres, and Griezmann.

    Gabi and Correa both came off the bench -- maybe these two players are better suited for the role.
     
    #23 bosox4283, Nov 23, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  24. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    We are about a month away before Vitolo and Costa join Atletico. At this point, I have to think that the team moves Gaitan and Vietto. I imagine Atletico will want to sell both players to maximize revenue, especially if the team misses out on the Champions League, but I could see Atletico loaning out Vietto rather than selling.
     
  25. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,717
    Atletico seems to have found a better rhythm, as they've now won four in a row. Atleti have not lost in two months -- the last defeat was to Chelsea on 27 September.

    Simeone's squad must win tomorrow at Chelsea and hope that Rome ties or loses to Qarabag.

    While the two ties against Qarabag really sealed Atletico's fate, the team also lost the match against Chelsea on the last play and Saul missed a sitter in the final minutes against Rome. If either play had gone the other way, Atletico would control its own destiny. Instead, Atletico will need a little help tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
     
  26. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Diego Costa is back!

    Within five minutes of entering the pitch, Costa scores a goal...and then appears to go down in absolutely agony. It turns out the opposing player inadvertedly stepped on his leg during the goal-scoring play, leaving a hole or two in Costa's leg plus a badly bruised knee.

    Vitolo, the other player that Atletico signed but can now finally play, said that "Costa would put his leg into a fan". Pretty accurate.
     
  27. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico played basically my dream line-up in yesterday's 2-1 loss to Sevilla:

    Saul-Gabi-Koke
    Vitolo-Griezmann-Costa

    Koke and Saul had poor matches, which probably offset any of the advantages of this offensive squad. Griezmann still looks a bit lost and not quite himself, while Costa has been fantastic since his return.

    At this point, I may consider replacing Godin with Lucas Hernandez, the young CB. Godin has been one of the team's pillars for so lunch, a rock on defense and a leader on the pitch. While Godin is not quite old at 31, I sense he's losing a step this year.

    Vrsaljko -Savic-Lucas-Filipe Luis
    Saul-Gabi-Koke
    Vitolo-Griezmann-Costa

    First-three: Correa, Carrasco, and striker (Torres/Gameiro)
     
  28. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,717
    All signs point to Carrasco, the 24-year-old Belgian midfielder, leaving Atletico for China for about 30M euros. Monaco retains 25% of his rights.

    The move is a bit hard to understand. Carrasco has been a bit irregular this year, and the internal competition is tougher this year on the squad. But he was great last year and offers great play-making ability and a knack for creating chances.

    I sense that he wants out of Atletico, views this move as a chance get out now to get playing time in a World Cup year, and will stay in China until another team buys him.
     
  29. trs

    trs lurker

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    There's talk here that he doesn't fit the Simeone mold in terms of work ethic and buy-in. Not to play TV psychologist but frequently his body language is horrible -- even for a soccer player. Perhaps in a somewhat vicious cycle, when he does get time on the field he only goes for goal and ends up being where good balls go to die. The 30mm figure makes more sense now given that Atleti get to rid themselves of Gaitan as well. I see similarities between Carrasco's exit and Turan's some years back. They didn't necessarily see the benefit of such a demanding system and wanted out. Turan took 6 months off waiting for his transfer to Barca to go through and seemed to enjoy the time off. Carrasco is agreeing to go to China and cash in.

    I don't see this being a big deal for Atleti other than the 17 man first team right now being a bit short, and the Europa season is intense in terms of creating fixture congestion. That being said, there is strength in the midfield and it gives more game time to Vitolo, and I see this as good.
     
  30. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,717
    Good post and thanks for sharing this perspective.

    I agree with the Turan-Carrasco comparison. Players like Gabi, Saul, Koke, Thomas, Filipe Luis, Raul Garcia, Tiago, and Diego Costa (seem to) have bought into Simeone's system and play with the intensity he demands and contribute on the defensive end as his style dictates.

    Others such as Turan, Carrasco, Gaitan and Jackson Martinez don't want to give what Simeone is asking.

    Edit: I added Raul Garcia and Tiago to the list of players that bought into Simeone's system.
     
    #30 bosox4283, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  31. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

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    1,231
    You know Athleti far, far better than I, but it feels like the Simeone-Athletic marriage is coming to an end. There's the uneven motivation of players and the struggle to recreate past success (wining La Liga, two CL finals). On the other hand, they are whipping Real in the league this season, so that has to count for a lot.

    It's hard to imagine a manager that could top Simeone's tenure, but maybe it's best for both parties to move along now? It's a high stakes call for Athleti because they could easily fall backwards with a bad hire. Simeone, for sure, would be one of the hottest names on the market. Imagine him chewing out Ozil next season...
     
  32. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    There is a some uncertainty about Simeone's future with the club.

    First, the club and Simeone sometimes don't seem to be on the same page with regards to transfers. There have been a few cases when the club took longer than Simeone would have liked to have sign a player, such as Gaitan and Costa v2. Just this month, the team sold Gaitan and Carrasco to China, two moves which leave the team with almost no depth for the rest of the season.

    Second, there is a constant battle for Atletico to retain top talent. The team has kept Griezmann (for now), Koke, Saul, Thomas, Oblak (for now), and Gimenez, to name a few, but it always seems like Simeone is fighting a battle with the club to keep these top players. I think Simeone recognizes he needs the best talent possible for compete for the titles he wants to win, but he could also think that he'd rather leave if he can't keep his stars.

    I think there are some personal things that keep Simeone with Atletico. I'm not sure he speaks English. He recently had a baby. He might be waiting to take the reins to Argentina. He might want to become the best Atletico manager in history -- to do so, he needs about 100 more wins to pass Luis Aragones. Simeone wants to win Champions League and knows if he does so at Atletico he will be a legend forever.
     
  33. trs

    trs lurker

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    71
    Agreed -- and speaking of Martinez, he was just let go of in China, so apparently he's still looking for his proper system.

    Aside from adding Godin, Griezmann, and Partey to your list, I think you've nailed it. The jury seems still out on Gameiro and Vitolo (obviously a bit early on him), and it seems that Vietto never really clicked either. Cholo has a unique style and it can wear out players -- he also seems to be especially tough on attacking midfielders and 9s. This somewhat makes sense given the lack of possession Atleti normally maintain in games -- I just read that during their Liga-winning campaign they averaged 47% possession for the season...

    These doubts have circled for a while now. Simeone was linked to Chelsea after Mourinho and many thought it was a done deal. As has been said, his English is known to be weak, and for a coach who relies so much on in-game communication and general huffing and puffing, this might be an issue, and I think he knows it. The wanting to win Champions is huge, and to be honest, that more easily done in La Liga than the EPL. The season is more spread out, the bottom 10 is much weaker, and most importantly, getting 3rd in Liga is much more easily attained than in England as the Sevillas, Valencias, Villareals, Bilbaos, etc.'s that periodically challenge are probably also in Europa and do not have the wage bill or income to maintain a depth of squad necessary to compete in both. There are 6-7 teams in England that can financially compete in multiple competitions -- not so in Spain.

    That being said, if he wants to stop worrying about losing his best players every summer, England may be his best bet. Others have argued his next step is Italy. This might seem like a lateral at best step in terms of upwards mobility, but that's where his son is, where he played, and you have a similar top-heavy league with 3-4 Champions spots. Also, it was only 12 years ago when Serie A was the best league in Europe and that can always happen again.

    My best bet is that Cholo stays through next year as does Griezmann. The real issue here is funding and the new stadium. The new stadium is beautiful but it sucks to get to -- believe me. It will fill during big games at good times, but it will be empty as hell at awkward times against less-glitzy teams. Tomorrow is a Europa match against Lokomotiv, starting at 7pm. This game supposedly matters as it's the only trophy we have a real shot at. If Wanda is half full, we're lucky. It's an early (for Spain) start on a weekday. No one likes competing in front of half-empty stadiums that only fill up when the opponent is strong -- that's a bit demeaning.
     
  34. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    This article includes the figure that Atletico has a debt of 585 million euros, which I believe includes the cost of building the new stadium (310 million euros).

    Atletico is trying to sell the land on which sits the previous stadium, Vicente Calderon. Selling the land could bring in upwards of 200 million euros.

    I don't know much about club financing, so I'm not able to state with any certainty if the club is a strong or weak financial position, but my sense is that Atletico is constantly in need of capital, hence the partnerships with Wanda and now Ofer and the many odd buy/sell tactics the team employs.
     
  35. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,717
    Atletico and Real Madrid tied at one this weekend. The match was sort of what we expected from two teams that know they won't catch Barcelona, know that they're guaranteed to finish top 4, and know that fourth place is now fine since it now puts a Spanish team in the Champions League group stage rather than the play-in match.

    As a result, both teams are focused on their European cups. Zidane took out Ronaldo around the 60th minute, and Simeone subbed out Costa shortly thereafter.

    At this point, for Atletico's season to be a true success, they need to finish above Real Madrid in the standings and win the Europa League.
     
  36. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    3,717
    Yesterday, Torres announced that this season would be his last (as a player) for Atletico.

    The decision is obvious to those following Atletico this season. Torres thinks he still has a few years left to play, and he's currently playing very little for Atletico. Correa, Gameiro, and Vitolo are ahead of him on the depth charts at this point.

    Plus, there seems to be a little tension between Simeone and Torres, though it's unclear if Torres is causing the problem, if Simeone is at fault, or if Torres' agents/team/handlers are responsible for the problem.

    Either way, it's sad to see a legend go again, even if it is his second departure. My guess is that he'll end up in the MLS.
     

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