Will Diego Simeone’s era at Atletico Madrid come to an end after the derby loss highlighted the growing problems?

When greatness becomes dull, when the extraordinary becomes so ordinary, it is always difficult to tell a story.

The reason why Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is still popular to this day is that the king is blinded by reality and deceived by the weavers into not wearing anything at all, yet the subjects of the kingdom prolong his humiliation by saying anything, not just to teach us A lesson on the societal drive to appear at the feet of the supreme and the powerful. One part of this moral tale also explains that it can be embarrassing, ungrateful, even opportunistic, to scream “Take a look in the mirror!” When the once majestic became myopic, disoriented and mean.

Which, of course, leads us to: Madrid my derbyThe state of Atletico Madrid, targeting racism Vinicius Jr, how Emperor Diego Simeone performs, and when someone will cry out, like the honest, savage child in the Danish fable: “Cholo wears no clothes!” Please don’t be fooled by Real Madrid’s one-goal margin from a hot Sunday, which was amazing at times, but annoying. Madrelino derby.

Atleti was pretty much terrible. second.

The short-sighted, the misleadingly loyal, those who fear change, and those who waver at Simeone’s eight annual salaries multiplied by the 20 months remaining on his contract (about €33 million if there is no less specific cancellation clause amount.) would suggest that the two best of the Atleti defenders, Stefan Savic And the Jose Maria Jimenezwas missing.

They will be proud of it Rojiblancos won this my derby In Metropolitano only last May. The home team achieved their first active 15 minutes on Sunday. They will say, “Can’t you see the beauty of his fur and how detailed Chulu’s fine robes actually are?” They will say: “Can’t you be satisfied with the former [trophy] magnificence?”

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But recalling the current deteriorating state of Atleti match sharpness, stamina, tactics, defense, attention to detail, competitiveness, mentality, creativity, injury prevention, playing system and player morale does not just come from this defeat witnessed by the 2021 champions. They were limp, baffling. , third best in a race between two horses, and in the end, they were awarded a consolation goal.

That lackluster attitude, this loss that left them eight points behind Real Madrid after just six games, is evidence of a worrying decline. It requires a turning point. Chulo Simeone’s post-match assessment Like many managers under pressure, it carried little to no actual relationship with what happened.

The hard truth is that at what point then Rodrigo merciless record Aurelien ChuaminiA well-crafted pass for the opening goal in the 15th minute, did Atleti really think they could win. No urgency, no strength – little self-belief.

Simeone’s hugely entertaining, all-important and undeniably historic reign at Atleti was built on aggressive self-belief, talented players pressing every last drop of their effort, and red-and-white striped footballers making it all the more horrific for an opponent to play against them. . , a very scant defense and a real, tangible thought that “we fear no one; close your eyes for a moment and we’ll pull you out of who you are.”

In comparison, the central identity of Atleti over the past 11 years is completely unrecognizable. Competitors view them as easy choices. Last season, nearly half of La Liga conceded fewer goals than them (including Getafe who finished a point from relegation). Atleti’s players look confused, cold-blooded, unfit and sporty.

The coach appears uncertain and tactically weak – unsure of which individuals are in his best lineup, and even more unsure of which formation could make Atleti formidable again. (Simeone trained all week at 5-3-2, he started this way, then changed to 4-4-2 five minutes into the match that was 12 minutes before Real broke through them to lead 1-0!)

Only five times in the previous 59 official matches did Atleti fall behind by one goal and win. Significant decrease in the ability to recover. Last season, they lost three games in a row (Madrid, Seville and Granada) for the first time since the Argentine Goro took over in December 2011.

This latest defeat means that they are in danger of losing three consecutive home games for the first time in Simeone’s formerly impressive tenure. (The fact that the next contender at home is the humble Girona would make that very disastrous if it did.)

These criticisms, and many more, have to be placed in the context of how talented, how deep and how expensive Atleti’s squad is. To be fair to Simeone, in two respects, we should not forget that, last season, they beat the soon-to-be Italian champions away from home and also won at Old Trafford and Porto.

Nor should the general malaise be thought of as Simeone’s fault. Fitness trainer Oscar Ortega hasn’t cut mustard, and he hasn’t cut it for long. The return of Antonio Bentos to Madrid sparked a spark eggs’ The absolutely astounding ability to win or finish the big games late, has brought that out.

It’s clear Simeone is unaffected by some of the club’s recent signings. It’s just as obvious Chulo And the Joao Felix Enjoy what LaLiga TV commentator Pete Jenson called a “nuisance marriage.” The club still loves the talented Portuguese, but Chulo It is better to get rid of him and find a new version of the youth Diego Costa.

Practically speaking, what Atleti does in terms of their coach’s situation may ultimately be influenced greatly by the board’s debate over ‘Which horse are we going to get back here? Our record investment of €126m which is still only 22…or the man we are paying more for.’ 20 million euros a season and who is currently playing lukewarm football?”

One test, for you, and not just the guys judging at Atleti, is to think: “If Simeone had come from a team showing the look, attitude and competitiveness that Atleti has shown over the past 16 months, he would have been hired back in 2011? ” Or: “Will Simeone’s replacement, when that happens, get the job having shown the equivalent of Atleti’s level for the past year and a half?”

If I’m being honest, the answer is quite straightforward.

Recently, eyewitnesses in training heard Simeone yell at his players: “You earn big pay… you work harder… Anyone who doesn’t want to be here shouldn’t be here.” No sophisticated stuff.

There is something else indicative of the great breakdown in which this lively, inspiring, lovable, and extremely hungry man finds himself. Look at his playing record. Not just what he won, but what those titles meant and his arrival at the club. When was Simeone Rojiblancos Midfielder, Atleti won the league and cup double in 1995-96 – they’ve never done it before and haven’t done so since.

It was Atleti’s first La Liga title in 19 years. Something that was not repeated until he became a coach. At Inter, he helped them lift the European Cup – only their third cup in nine years. It took another 12 years for Nerazzurri To win another European Cup. In Lazio, the Romanian club has won only three titles in the past twenty-five years and has won the Serie A only once. Simeone’s arrival into midfield inspired Sven Eriksson to win four titles in less than a year. Lazio has not won the title nor the European Cup since then.

With Argentina in 1991, Simeone drove a car Albiceleste In their first Copa America win in 32 years. As a coach, he won the Argentine championship with Estudiantes – his first title in 23 years.

Excuse me for blowing up the stats, but throwing in his historic accomplishments at the Atleti leadership, you see patterns, right? Simeone, who has been stripped to his raw heart, is a catalyst. Driven, ambitious, hungry, talented, inspiring – successful.

Fierce, insatiable, inspiring. Compare any of this information, this accurate characterization, to current team performance, personality, apathy, confusion, and susceptibility to fault – Arsene Wenger-esque “Top four would be fine, thank you”. What is your conclusion?

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Julian Lorenz has called for the next Atletico Madrid match to be played at home without an audience after fans chanted racist chants about Vinicius Junior during Sunday’s Madrid derby.

It would be great if Atleti held a summit with his coach – he reignited his fire, demanded higher and more inspiring standards in the daily work. Freshness, ferocity, a rejuvenated, ambitious engine, in short, a near-complete reset.

However, I’m afraid the brutal law of revenue minimization, between club, team and coach, has set its steel claws and won’t compromise. If so, the main question for Atleti is, “What do I do?”

The only unacceptable answer is: “Head in the sand.” The same thing that Atlético de Madrid applied to the atrocity of their “Ultra” fans who called themselves “Frente Atletico”.

Other people will have more direct and more sustained experience with this group showing disgusting attitudes, but I can say, without a doubt, the worst and most brutal racism I have experienced in two decades in Spain (or anywhere else for that matter). ) They came from this segment of Atleti fans.

It was the Copa del Rey in Madrid my derby, at the Bernabeu in February 2014. The coaches were… Diego Simeone and Carlo Ancelotti. After Madrid’s 3-0 victory, Ancelotti’s unprepared players were doing warm-up exercises on the pitch and Marcelo He had his 4-year-old son with him while the distant fans, for security reasons, were still confined to their section of the stadium.

What the Atleti crowd chanted and sang to Marcelo and his young son, simply because of the color of their skin, was sinister and unforgivable. I immediately called the TV station I was working with at the time to report that something terrible had happened. Fair Play – they immediately dedicated their newsletters to him.

In the immediate aftermath, some Atleti fans and staff were outraged and denied the situation was disgusting – until, late at night, Marcelo tweeted a social media post about how he and his son had heard it all but never been. They are afraid, altered, or intimidated by these fools.

Since then, until now, Atleti hasn’t done so much of meaning or effect that a good number of his fans felt empowered to racially abuse Vinicius Jr. in a similar way this weekend. It is a very dangerous situation. It would require severe punishment (for any club and/or fan base, with stadium closures being the only meaningful way to get the point across).

Most importantly, racism in football requires a deep, lasting and robust education at all levels of Spanish society. On the sporting and social front, it is time to tell Atletico that they are engaging in self-deception.

Emperor without clothes.