Diego Simeone, before ‘his’ League

“The opportunity is there, it depends only on us,” he remarked. Diego
Simeone, the coach of the Atletico Madrid, which enters ‘his’ League of the last five days with his leadership at the expense of the result of Thursday of the Barcelona, but not the title, which will be his if he is able to win all five games; a plenary session still unattainable for him in the previous nine campaigns.

The difference between what happened this Sunday in Saint
Mamés, the defeat by 2-1, and another result is that it would have allowed the rojiblanco team to be the winner of the tournament without attending to other markers with four victories plus a draw in the Camp Nou, in which the demand is now growing substantially: it needs to overcome the Barcelona.

Also win, as before, his other four games; the most immediate next Saturday against him Elche in the Martinez Valero, the following the aforementioned duel on Barça terrain; after two consecutive home games against the Real society and the Osasuna and finally the final clash in the Jose Zorrilla with the Valladolid.

There is no other choice Athletic, which has exhausted its margin of error. He no longer has it because he only adds two points more than Barcelona and Real Madrid, in the case of the Catalans with one game less, and is three above the Seville, which the League also intends: it has been the best of all the last five appointments.

“Reaching the last five days of a League so complex, so competitive, so difficult and as tough as the Spanish one, where the Madrid and the Barcelona They have us used to the fact that in the last ten years they have always won, except for us in 2014 … We ask for that. Hopefully we can reach those five dates. As before Luis (Aragonese) said ten o’clock, time has passed and at this time I say the last five ”, he said. Simeone two weeks ago.

It is already before those five dates. It depends on itself. But his downturn is evident: in the most committed and definitive section of the season he has discovered his worst moment of the course, with only 23 of the last 39 points, and four consecutive games without winning as a visitor, in which he has lost 10 of all 12 points.

Comparison with his first 19 games in this league adds to that feeling. Then he added 50 points out of 57 possible (87 percent) and won 16 crashes (84 percent); now he has won just six of his 14 games (42 percent) and has scored 23 of 42 points (54 percent). It is half of Athletic than before.


The causes are varied, often depending on the subjective interpretations of a situation that, by numbers, is obviously much worse than the previous one, in contrast to its opponents: while Atlético has added 23 points in the last 14 games, the Barcelona has achieved 13 more than him (36) and the Real Madrid and Sevilla five more than him, with 28 out of 42 each.

The derby of the first round (2-0) was already a turning point. From that conclusive and overflowing football until then of the rojiblanco team, which had chained seven victories in an almost incontestable way, they went to a more predictable and hurried game, vulnerable defensively and sustained by the punch of Luis Suárez, no matter how much later he linked eight victories as a leader.

But, of those eight encounters, there are at least four that described offensive effectiveness as the argument – perhaps the only one – of the Athletic to win those duels: 2-4 at Cadiz, 1-2 to Eibar, 1-2 to Alaves and 1-0 to Getafe. In 3-1 to Valencia and 3-1 to Elche its efficiency above was also basic. Likewise, in the 2-0 at Real
Society and 2-0 to Seville, although in both it was a tremendously competitive and unapproachable block in defense.

The results then sustained the irrefutable fall of Atlético in the game, in defense and in attack, until 2-2 with Celta, which marks the beginning of the collapse of the leader. Ferreyra’s final draw in the 89th minute, when the rojiblanco team was the winner -and it deserved to be-, definitely changed the inertia.

Then came the 1-2 victory in Granada -very hurried, with Correa’s final goal with the rebound in an opponent-; the 1-1 draw and the 0-2 defeat with Levante in which Atlético deserved the most; the 0-2 victory at Villarreal, also by punching; 1-1 with Real Madrid, achieved by Karim Benzema in 88; the 2-1 comeback against Athletic; 0-0 with Getafe; the 1-0 in Seville; 1-1 with Betis; the excessive 5-0 victory at Eibar; the 2-0 with which he beat Huesca … And the 2-1 at San Mamés that threatens everything done before.

Because in 14 days he has only been able to string together two wins in LaLiga Santander once. He scores fewer goals (2.10 on average of the first 19 games to 1.42 now, which if he takes away Eibar 5-0 down to 1.15), receives more (0.52 from before to 0 82 on average now) and has maintained a clean sheet – one of his hallmarks – in only five of the 14 most recent duels.


It is true that he has suffered casualties, also the incidence of covid-19 in his team (Yannick Carrasco, Joao Félix, Thomas Lemar, Héctor Herrera, Mario Hermoso and Moussa Dembélé between the end of January and the middle of February), but neither of the two situations seem to be causes of such weight as to justify such a downturn.

Without Lewis
Suarez, for example, he won at Osasuna (1-3), to Valencia (0-1) and at Barcelona (1-0) in the first round and at Eibar (5-0) and at Huesca (2-0) in the second. He only lost points without him in the 1-1 against Betis, in which he was not Marcos Llorente placeholder image. It is the only match in this league without the decisive midfielder.

The only time you didn’t have Koke Resurrection he won in Eibar; without Yannick Carrasco achieved five victories and suffered two defeats on Athletic; without Thomas
Lemar he won another three games and drew another three; without Joao Felix five wins, two draws and one game lost (1-0 against the Seville) …

These are some of the names that appear within the eleven type of Simeone when he has had all – or almost all – to put it together in is Bell. Among them are also Stefan Savic, the undoubted leader this course of defense, whose team lost in the two games it did not play, and Kieran trippier, whose decline was noticed, especially since he had to relocate a crucial man like Llorente to the right lane at times. Still, his team won seven out of ten. And since his reappearance he has managed to beat only four out of nine.

In the case of covid-19, the most impact it had on Atlético in the last fourteen games was in five games: it won 2-4 at Cadiz, drew 2-2 with Celta, beat Granada 1-2 and drew 1-1 and fell 0-2 with Levante. But in that series of crashes the lack of punch had much more incidence than the covid, because it had more than enough opportunities to have won them.

“We had many points of advantage, but we also understood that clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid were not going to get out of the continuous fight of every year. Sevilla also appears very well and this generates important situations for us, because there are already four of us who are in that search to finish as high as possible. He who has mental strength will be closer to winning it, “he remarked. Simeone, before his League, his moment, the lastThe five quotes: Elche, Barcelona, ​​Real Sociedad, Osasuna and Valladolid. If you win everything, you will be champion. If not, the League will probably be impossible.