On the Wanda Metropolitano side, we are doing something new with old. To finish a ninth consecutive season on the podium in La Liga, Atlético Madrid have signed Alvaro Morata and Yannick Carrasco. These two players, ready for the Colchoneros in recent months, had already played for the Madrid club in the past. If they played an important role in Atlético’s excellent end to the season, 16 unbeaten games to end the 2019-2020 financial year in third place, the two attacking players will have to be even more effective this year to to confirm. And allow the whole team to shine.
Last year, Atlético conceded 16 draws in La Liga
In Diego Simeone’s team, the values of sacrifice and defensive effort are always as important. But until when ? For eight years now, Jan Oblak’s teammates have used and abused weak possession and great defensive rigor to triumph over their opponents. A philosophy that showed its limits last year. The Madrileños, conceding 16 draws and dropping 14 points after leading in the score, were slow to settle in the top 5 in La Liga. In the Champions League, they were eliminated by a seemingly weaker Leipzig team.
Holders on the go?
Despite these warnings, no renewal has taken place, neither in the workforce, nor in the game project. Worse still, holders could leave before the end of the transfer window. Thomas Partey or José Gimenez are very much in demand. Two losses that would do a lot of harm to a club that has developed the habit of failing to retain its best elements. Last summer, Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin, two players who guaranteed the balance of Diego Simeone’s project, were sold. Without them and as long as Joao Felix does not manage to have the same level in La Liga as with the Portuguese selection, Atlético Madrid will have to face its own limits.
So in the game, but also physically. In a team that is used to string together efforts and duels won, the short inter-season and the preparation disrupted by cases of Covid-19 could have a significant impact on the performance of Colchoneros whose strength is is not necessarily as important as you think. This is one of the risks that we take when we seek to progress without succeeding in innovating.
Carrasco: “I am more mature”