On the 19th, when Atlético de Madrid sets foot on the Anoeta pitch to play the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey, it will be exactly 256 days or, what is the same, 8 months and 11 days, since the last time the team was able to keep a clean sheet in an away game. A defensive bleeding that explains why we are facing the worst stage in the ten seasons that the Cholo Simeone at the helm of the rojiblanco dressing room, with no options in the League, eliminated from the Super Cup, in the draw to face the round of 16 tie for the Copa del Rey and with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man’U soon to visit in the Champions League.
«The lack of aggressiveness in the area deprives us of being in more privileged places»Cholo Simeone said yesterday at the press conference after the match against Athletic. The Argentine has already tried everything and nothing works for him. The team pays in blood for the prolonged absences of Savic, the team’s best defender, and the irregularity of Gimenez, who has not been able to take over from his compatriot Godín as hierarch behind. With Felipe Y Handsome in residual performance and with no alternatives but to relocate midfielders –Kondogbia– or side –Vrsaljko- in the center of the rear, Atlético is a real colander. It doesn’t matter who you play against. His weakness is evidence.
“Talking is useless if we don’t solve it on the pitch”, lament cloud after playing his best game in the last two months. The Slovenian, whose contract ends in 2023, is also facing his worst season at Atlético and there are already several voices asking if it is really necessary to invest so much money in renewing it or if not It would be better to look for a much cheaper alternative, in view of the way in which its performance has deteriorated. Oblak has conceded 24 goals in 20 league games, just one less than he received in all of last season, in which Zamora won his fifth trophy.
In summer the defense will be completely remodeled. Some repair will arrive in January, but when the renovation will really begin, it will be when the season ends. Two full-backs will be signed, one for each band, and at least two central defenders. Not one of the current players is guaranteed continuity, not even Giménez, for whom Atlético rejected an offer of 90 million euros from Manchester City two seasons ago. There are many who now In view of the endless history of injuries that the Uruguayan carries behind him, they throw their hands in their heads.
Atlético will not play until next Wednesday. He will do it in Anoeta against Real Sociedad in a very important match because the Copa del Rey is presented as the only burning nail to hold on to to make up a horrendous season. However, the conditions with which the team will arrive in San Sebastian are limits. Giménez, sent off against Athletic, is a safe drop; doesn’t seem likely to come either Llorente, who relapsed for the third time from his muscle problems, and it would be a miracle if he recovered Griezmann. The only one that can be is Savic, but also he was expected in Arabia and fell out of the call.
They paint coarse in Atlético and among the fans the question of if it is convenient for Simeone to continue. The Argentine coach has a valid contract and enjoys all the confidence of the club, but the decision is solely yours. It will depend on how strong you feel.