The endless drama of Atlético

EI Atlético has lost its defensive solidity. Simeone’s team had always been sustained by its forcefulness and strength behind, that allowed the rest of the block to spread out with the security of having a wall in the rear. So much so that In seven of the coach’s first nine full seasons, his goalkeeper ended up as LaLiga’s Zamora. In the first two with Courtois under sticks and in the next five with Oblak, four of them consecutive. But, last season that wall was broken. Atlético found themselves at a crossroads, where each arrival of the rival made their defenders tremble an Oblak more doubtful than ever.

the slovenian conceded 43 goals in 38 league gamesthe worst percentage of his career, and only the arrival of Reinildo in January and the continuity of Savic and Giménez in the final dates allowed them to become a recognizable team again. His absences had infected a team that was trying to take refuge in the back to be strong, but could not bail out. And at this start of the championship he runs into the same stone again. Since the system change two years ago, the payroll of pure plants is short. The coach began betting on the three in the 2020-21 academic year, culminating in the League title thanks to the continuity of the best Savic and the great level shown by Hermoso.

But, the Montenegrin has entered an injury loop, in which Giménez was already established, and The man from Madrid has lowered the level as happened with Felipe, lowering the competitiveness of the alternatives. Atlético was not reinforced in the summer and it was Witsel, called to act as pivot and anchor, the player who has taken the chestnuts out of the fire. The Belgian has positioned himself as a central defender in the eight games played, but in the derby he suffered against the speed of the Real Madrid strikers in a position that is not yours. The white team only he needed three shots on goal to score two goals and decide the match in a first half where the rojiblancos were not inferior.

Giménez's injuries at Atlético.


Giménez’s injuries at Atlético.BeSoccer

Simeone lined up Witsel and Felipe as central defenders, with the invaluable help of Reinildo. It was the third consecutive game that he could not count on Savic or Giménez (after Celta and Bayer Leverkusen), a priori the two holders in the position. The Montenegrin fell injured on matchday two against Villarrealleaving his place for the last 15 minutes to a Giménez who has been in the infirmary since the visit to San Sebastián. Both have not coincided this course on the grass. and last season they could only do it in 22 of the 51 games the team played. According to the statistics of BeSoccer, Giménez has been out for 579 days since his arrival at Atlético in 2013. And Savic has been out for 486 days since signing in 2015. Some injuries that are a burden for the squad, which feels weak without its two bastions behind. Recovering them in the break is the great rojiblanca mission. The Uruguayan already touches the ball and it could be the best news for Seville, where Cholo apparently will not be able to count on Hermoso due to suspension.

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