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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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    3,716
    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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    8,120
    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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    3,716
    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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    3,716
    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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    3,716
    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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    15,741
    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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    23,177
    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

    Messages:
    3,716
    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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    3,716
    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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    2,615
    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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    1,225
    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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    3,716
    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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    3,716
    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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    3,716
    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.
     

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