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Atletico de Madrid: Griezmann Stays!

Discussion in 'Breakfast with Gazza (with Sachmoneious Bullcrap)' started by bosox4283, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Antoine Griezmann put out a thirty-minute documentary today to reveal his decision to either stay at Atletico or to go to Barcelona. Over the last several weeks, there was evidence pointing in both directions. Most notably, some fans booed Griezmann during Atletico's last home match of the year, even though he played an amazing match to win Atletico the Europa League, and Griezmann cried on the pitch in response. There was a fear that this moment pushed him away from Atletico and to Barcelona.

    But he's staying!

    Atletico has signed two players to bolster the squad: Rodri, a promising 21-year-old midfielder from Villarreal for about 20M Euros; and Lemar, the talented 22-year-old midfielder from Monaco.

    There are a few questions marks. Does Oblak stay? Does Atletico sell Gameiro? Does Atletico hold on to Vrsaljko?

    I get really excited thinking of a team of:

    ----------------Oblak----------------
    Vrsaljko--Godin-Gimenez--Luis
    Koke--Saul---Thomas---Lemar
    ---Diego Costa---Griezmann---

    Then, the team has:

    + Gabi to back-up Thomas
    + Rodri to back-up Lemar
    + Vitolo to back-up Saul
    + Correa to back-up Costa
    + Lucas and Savic to back-up Godin and Gimenez
     
  2. Kliq

    Kliq Member SoSH Member

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    Congrats on keeping Griezmann. I figured after the LeBron debacle anyone hyping a television special to announce their future has to be staying with their team. It’s also a bonus to watch the Barca fans whine about not getting another Ferrari.
     
  3. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Gracias. It's also been fun to see Barcelona chastise Pique for having his production company make the video for Griezmann.
     
  4. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Gabi, Atletico's captain, has accepted a three-year offer to play in Qatar. Good for him: he's supposedly going to make $19m for his years 35-38.

    The loss is more emotional than about on-field talent, especially considering Torres is now gone. Torres and Gabi were the emblems of the team, the heart and soul. Gabi embodied Simeone's take-no-prisoner attitudes and commanded the pitch with hustle and grit. Gabi lost a step this year and Thomas Partey took lots of his minutes, but Gabi was the one who played in the Europa League Final.

    I'll remember Gabi for his performance in the Champions League Final against Real Madrid in 2016. He was immense, dominating the pitch and working his ass off. Atleti lost, but everyone praised Gabi.

    I'm about Gabi's age, and it's weird to know guys my age are moving on. It's sort of fun to root for a peer rather than a twenty-something wunderkid.

    Atlético still has Godin, Giménez, Costa, Filipe Luis, and Saul, but we've lost some toughness and passion with Gabi.
     
  5. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    A few changes at Atletico:

    + Vrsaljko moves to Inter while Atletico picks up Arias, a Colombian RB, from PSV.
    + Atletico signs Gelson Martins of Sporting, perhaps on a free transfer because Martins had rescinded his contract.

    The updated squad kind of looks like this:

    ----------------Oblak----------------
    Juanfran--Godin-Gimenez--Luis
    Koke--Saul---Thomas---Lemar
    ---Diego Costa---Griezmann---

    Then, the team has:

    + Rodri to back up Thomas
    + Martins to back up Lemar
    + Vitolo to back up Saul
    + Correa to back up Costa
    + Lucas and Savic to back up Godin and Gimenez
    + Arias to back up Juanfran
     
  6. Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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

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    If this Atletico squad stays reasonably healthy, I think you make a real run at the La Liga title (Barca still the favorite, but not overwhelmingly) and have as good a shot as anybody at the Champions League.
     
  7. PedroSpecialK

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

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    Atléti reportedly doubled Oblak's wages, and have signed him through 2023 with a €250m release clause up from €100m
     
  8. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Good for Oblak, and good for Atletico.

    At this point, most teams are set with keepers for a few years: Bayern (Neuer), Real Madrid (Courtois), Chelsea (Kepa), Liverpool (Becker), ManCity (Ederson), ManUnited (De Gea), Barcelona (ter Stegen).

    So, it seems that if Oblak wanted to leave, maybe PSG (Areola?) and Juventus (?) would be the only options at this point. And if PSG were to come calling, Atletico would benefit from this increased buy-out clause.

    Edit: I didn't realize Neuer was 32, so who knows if Bayern may be looking for someone sooner rather than later.

    * Apologies to Tottenham and Arsenal for not including them on these two lists.
     
    #8 bosox4283, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  9. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico has signed Nikola Kalinic, the Croatian striker from Milan. Kalinic was part of the Croatian World Cup squad, but he was the one sent home early for not entering the Nigeria game due to a bad back.

    This move signifies that Kevin Gameiro, the French striker, is leaving town. Valencia is his most likely destination.

    Here's the updated roster:

    -----------------Oblak-----------------
    Juanfran--Godin--Gimenez--Luis
    Koke----Saul----Thomas----Lemar
    ----Diego Costa----Griezmann----

    Player: back-up player
    + Koke: Correa
    + Saul: Vitolo
    + Thomas: Rodri
    + Lemar: Martins
    + Costa: Kalinic
    + Juanfran: Arias
    + Gimenez: Savic
    + Luis: Lucas Hernandez
    + Oblak: Adam
     
  10. slamminsammya

    slamminsammya Member SoSH Member

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    And is Ray Hudson ready for the new season? This is important.

    Question for the experts: in English is it customary to say "the La Liga title"?
     
  11. 67YAZ

    67YAZ Member SoSH Member

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    1,336
    How about Godin playing ManU for a raise? The Guardian folks report that Godin's agent contacted ManU last week to express his client's interest in a move, and when ManU lodged a bid, Godin immediately started negotiating for an improved contract. Always happy to see people get over on ManU.
     
  12. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico had to keep Godin both for his defensive skill and his leadership.

    After losing Gabi and Torres, Atletico's emotional core, the team had to keep Godin because of his passion and Simeone-like intensity. Plus, Godin was instrumental in Griezmann remaining at Atletico -- Godin is Griezmann's kid's godfather, and Griezmann credited their friendship as one of the main reasons why he stayed.
     
  13. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    I've delayed responding to this post until I saw Atletico play a few games.

    Atletico looked really good against Real Madrid, conceding two goals -- one header resulting from a brilliant pass by Bale and a penalty -- and scoring four. Yesterday, Atletico tied Valencia 1-1 at Valencia, a result that is good enough considering Atletico just played the Super Cup and had many players gone this summer for the World Cup.

    The early signs are that Atletico have a very talented squad and that Simeone seems open to trying new things. Against Real Madrid, Simeone used new-signing Rodrigo in the role that Gabi would have filled, the defensive midfielder that helps control the pace of the match and supports the defense. Rodrigo played really well, especially since it was his first match for Atletico. Against Valencia, Simeone moved to a much more offensive scheme, with Koke and Saul in the middle with Correa and Lemar on the wings.

    Also, in both matches, Simeone used Vitolo off the bench to provide an offensive-spark (he may now be injured...) and Thomas Partey and Gelson Martins to go for a goal rather than sit back.

    Ultimately, the team can make a run at La Liga or Champions if (1) the team stays healthy, (2) Griezmann can play his best football and really control matches, (3) some players on defense, such as Juanfran and Godin, can remain as sharp as always given their ages, and (4) Oblak remains a hero.

    Atletico will need the newcomers -- Rodrigo (who goes by Rodri), Martins, and Lemar -- to really play major roles, so Simeone has an important task in getting them to understand his style as quickly as possible.
     
  14. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico had a pathetic match against Celta Vigo, losing 2-0. Worse than the defensive mistakes, Atletico did not have a single shot on target.

    There's a problem with the offense.

    Simeone has, at times over the last several years, adjusted his strategy based on the opponent or situation. So, while he's been a defensive-minded and counter-attacking coach for the majority of his time at Atletico, he has shown he can modify the team based on the squad's strengths.

    It is time to do so again.

    The problem -- and it is a problem since Atletico now has two goals in three league matches -- is with the midfield and the style of play. Griezmann and Costa will almost always play up front, so any adjustments will need to happen with the other four non-defensive players.

    In the midfield, Simeone needs to figure out how to utilize Thomas, Saul, Koke, and Rodrigo. I like Saul in a role that gets him closer to goal as opposed to a more defensive-oriented one that requires him to initiate the movement up the pitch. I'm not sure where Koke fits -- Simeone clearly trusts him, but Koke often seems like a man without a steady position.

    Ultimately, though, Atletico needs to be a bit more brave and really go for matches. A little less "sit-back-and-wait" and a little more of a style that keeps the pressure high and that looks to create more chances. The team has too much talent to let lesser clubs like Rayo and Celta dictate play, control the pitch, and take the game to Atletico.
     
    #14 bosox4283, Sep 4, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  15. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico's offensive woes continue.

    Interestingly, Luis Enrique, the new Spanish national team coach, dropped Koke and gave Saul a more of an attacking role and the move seems to have worked out. Simeone almost never leaves Koke out, but might this move work for Atletico?
     
  16. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    As I watch Atletico park the bus against Getafe, I have to imagine Griezmann is wondering "Why did I stay here?" while Lemar is like "Why did I sign with a coach that plays such a conservative style of football?".

    Atletico fans are indebted to Simeone but I wish he would play with more willingness to attack and go for it. How can a team with Lemar, Griezmann, Costa, Saul, Koke, and Rodrigo play so sheepishly and timidly?
     
  17. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Despite my concerns about Atletico's style of play, the season is going well enough for the team. Even though Atleti got shellacked 0-4 against Dortmund in the group stage, Atleti is positioned to finish first in the group with a win in the last match (or a tie and stumble from Dortmund).

    In La Liga, Atletico sits third behind a surprising Sevilla and Barcelona, just two points off first place. Through 13 matches, La Liga is incredibly difficult and balanced, so while Atletico has had some awful matches and dropped some easy points, everyone has so far.
     
  18. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Diego Costa has decided to have foot surgery -- ironically, in Brazil, his home country but not the country he plays for -- and will be out 10 weeks. Hopefully, this ailment is what has limited his effectiveness this year.

    Atletico is still struggling to score goals, and maybe Costa's absence will allow the team to find another rhythm, as backwards as that sounds.
     
    #18 bosox4283, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  19. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico has now gone 16 matches without a loss. This streak is impressive considering the team has been without Diego Costa since early December (and perhaps with a limited Costa before then) and a banged-up defense. Saul, one of the team's star midfielders, has had to play left-back for a few matches with both Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernandez injured. The back-line has been hit hard with injuries, which is one of the two most worrying parts of this season.

    The second most worrying part of the season is the team's continued struggles to score goals. Now, on one hand, Simeone has never crafted an offensive juggernaut: he's not Klopp, not Guardiola, and not Barcelona. That said, during this 16-game no-loss streak, the team has scored 1 goal or zero goals in 9 matches and has scored 2 goals or more in 7 matches. Something is not quite clicking. A team with Koke, Saul, Griezmann, Vitolo, Correa, Rodrigo, and Thomas needs to do better, or Simeone needs to find a way to harness their talent more effectively.
     
  20. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    A rumor has come out today that Diego Godin may be headed to Inter Milan next season as his contract ends with Atletico this year. If this rumor is true, I take the news with a bit of mixed emotions. On one hand, good for Godin to get paid -- he's 33, so a two-year contract with an option for a third year maximizes his earnings. On the other, it bums me out to see the heart-and-soul of the team go, but I think it's better for the team to let him go before he cannot compete at the max level.
     
  21. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Bayern Munich just made its purchase of Lucas Hernandez, the 23-year-old Spanish/French defender that was France's starting left-back for its World Cup victory, offical for 80M euros.

    It's a great move for Bayern -- Hernandez is young, fast, quick, athletic, can play at CB or LB, and projects to get better.

    For Atletico, the move is a bit disheartening since Hernandez came up through the club system and since Simeone molded him into a star. The 80M euros is a good piece of business, though, and Atletico will surely spend it on three defenders as Godin seems ready to leave for Inter Milan and the club is unlikely to bring back Filipe Luis. So, in a sense, Atletico will use the money to reinvent its defense.

    For Hernandez, I don't get it. I mean, yes, Bayern has a greater chance of winning the Champions League than Atletico and will win its league title just about every year while Atletico is unlikely to do so. Hernandez will make more money, too, which is certainly a factor. But, given what I gather from social media, he's a simple dude, probably speaks no German and probably little English, has a kid in Spain, and seems to fit the Spanish lifestyle better than Munich.
     
  22. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Atletico lost this weekend to Barcelona, 0-2, at Camp Nou, in doing so falling 11 points back of Barca and giving them the league title.

    The match was frustrating because Atletico looked sharped...until Diego Costa picked up a straight-red for insulting the ref. It was the perfect shit-storm: a temperamental player that doesn't control his emotions and a ref that is a bit too sensitive with a quick trigger. I guess an insult is an insult, but a straight-red seems harsh.

    Atletico managed to hold on until the 80th minute or so when Suarez scored a fantastic goal. Up until that point, Atleti held its own, managed to keep Barca from dictating play, and even had a few decent chances.

    At this point, Atletico is assured to finish top 3, which is a successful campaign. What's left is to finish ahead of Real Madrid. Basically, pride.
     
    #22 bosox4283, Apr 8, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
  23. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I didn't get to watch the match closely, but I'm still not sure what the hell happened there. Was the original call for an elbow? Arthur kept playing through it. THEN, Costa lost his mind?? Doesn't make sense to me.
     
  24. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Costa apparently threw an elbow or had a rough play in the first ten minutes but was not given a card for this action. The action that led to the outburst happened later when Costa thought he was fouled. He immediately went at/toward the ref after he got off the ground.
     
  25. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Ah, that makes more sense. With a player like this, I guess you just have to factor this into the calculation. i.e. He is an amazing talent, but you just have to recognize that he either cannot or will not control these emotions and he is a risk to get cards/expelled.
     
  26. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Costa deserves blame for not growing more intelligent on the pitch. While one can say "it is part of the package", Costa needs to be aware that his actions punish the team. It's a shame because, when healthy and when focused, he's one of the best in the game.
     
  27. bosox4283

    bosox4283 Member SoSH Member

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    Costa has received an eight-game ban for his behavior with the ref, so he's done for the year. Adios.

    I do think that the press covers La Liga as if it were a Spanish telenovela: break-ups and back-stabbings and changing allegiances and players feeling slighted and players wanting to play where they feel truly wanted and on and on. It's a bit exhausting, honestly.

    Given Atletico's success and the fact that the team is not quite a top-10 club in the world*, Atletico is in the middle of this soap opera: the press views each and every player as possibly leaving. This year, even though the season is not over, just about every player is being mentioned as maybe, definitely, without-a-question leaving.

    + Godin and Filipe Luis are likely to leave since the team does not offer multi-year deals to players over 30 and both want this sort of contract.
    + Rodri(go) and Thomas Partey are being coveted for their talented, potential to improve, and relatively low buy-out clauses.
    + Griezmann and Barcelona are dancing again.
    + Oblak is on the radar of any top-10 club* that needs an elite keeper.
    + Saul is viewed as a star that Simeone is not quite letting shine enough, so the Manchesters have their eyes on him.
    + Lemar, Atleti's most expensive signing ever, seems to not quite fit and there is talk Simeone is not maximizing his talent.

    The only players that seem certain to stay are Juanfran, Arias, Gimenez, Koke, and Correa.

    I honestly don't worry, mostly because Simeone has done very well with the core of his teams: (1) keepers -- De Gea, Courtois, Oblak, (2) CBs, and (3) midfielders. His problem is creating a dynamic offensive flow, regardless of who is on the pitch, so it is less about talent than it is about style.

    *Top 10 clubs are: Man City, ManU, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, PSG, Juventus, Bayern, Real Madrid, Barcelona. Dortmund, Tottenham, and Atletico are the next three.
     
  28. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    Top 10 club discussion is always fun! Are you measuring this in terms of squad quality, stature, or a combination?

    While Atleti does have players that pretty much every major club covets, I doubt they get picked apart like Ajax likely will. The club seems to be managed very well and they need to keep the Wanda full. Also, as you alluded to, Simeone may need to turn over the squad in order to get young hungry players who fit his demanding system.
     
  29. Dummy Hoy

    Dummy Hoy Angry Pissbum SoSH Member

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    Oblak reups. Congrats.
     
  30. Zososoxfan

    Zososoxfan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

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    I think he's the second best keeper in the world behind Ter Stegen.

    1. Makes all the Saves
    2. Oblak
    3. De Gea?? Szcezny?

    Everyone shits their dick over DDG and he obviously makes a ton of ridiculous saves, but I've also seen him make many more blunders than MATS or Oblak. After those 4, there's another tier of very good but not quite world class keepers like Allison, Ederson, Courtois, Lloris, etc.
     

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