Atletico de Madrid, 2021-22: CAMPEONES

bosox4283

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Even though I'm going to be riding the high this whole year after last season's spectacular league title, I'm still very excited about this team and its potential.

Atletico has added only one player, Rodrigo de Paul from Udinese, who played spectacularly for Argentina during the Copa America.

Given that Atletico returns almost the exact same squad from last year, team's success depends on players maintaining their outstanding form from last year. Can Luis Suarez score 20+ goals? Can Angel Correa continue his growth into a formidable scorer? Can Marcos Llorente be one of the league's best players again, posting double-digit goals and double-digit assists? Can Joao Felix, after recovering from ankle surgery, maintain his brilliance he showed during the first half of last season for a full campaign? Can Carrasco be a difference-maker on the wing?

With Koke, Oblak, and Savic, I know the team will be emotionally tough and defensively solid.

I should note that, with the transfer window weirdness, Saul and Trippier may still leave. Saul would be an emotional loss since he has spent his whole life at the club, but he's far from the player he once was and can be. Trippier would be a loss of a major player in Simeone's 3-5-2, so if he goes, there will be a need to bring in a replacement as I don't think Vrsaljko or Arias offer what Simeone wants in this position.
 
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Stanley Steamer

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Congratulations on last year- it was close, but they gutted it out. What with the financial turmoil and lack of impact signings thus far from your two chief rivals, who shall remain nameless, it feels like La Liga is wide open, and you may well be favorites. DePaul was linked with Leeds for a while last year, and I liked what I saw in the Copa this summer. Should fit well in Simeone's system.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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View: https://twitter.com/jamesdrodriguez/status/1427405031813361664?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1427405031813361664%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Froyalbluemersey.sbnation.com%2F2021%2F8%2F17%2F22628226%2Fjames-rodriguez-transfer-rumour-atletico-madrid-hint-nunca-dejes-de-creer-slogan-everton-latest

In what looks like a scheduled post on Twitter, the forward has a picture of himself smiling, with the words ‘nunca dejes de creer’ in Spanish along with emojis of a grin and an arrow saying soon.

The words translate to ‘never stop believing’, but more importantly, they are a slogan of Atletico Madrid. While this could be a massive coincidence, with his future on Merseyside up in the air it does seem too well-timed and planned to be an accident.
https://royalbluemersey.sbnation.com/2021/8/17/22628226/james-rodriguez-transfer-rumour-atletico-madrid-hint-nunca-dejes-de-creer-slogan-everton-latest

Rafa has told James that his services will not be required on Merseyside this season. It seems insane for Rafa to turn away the most technically gifted player at Everton in a long, long time, but:

--He's made of glass.
--His best work is as a freelancer, on the right or behind the striker, but not really keeping to any shape. He does his magic when he has free rein to find spaces and thread passes, which he does as well as anyone I've ever seen. But the team needs to be built to accommodate that, and Rafa has sussed - correctly IMO - that this group of players sorely needs discipline in keeping a shape in order to succeed.
--as the second half against Southampton showed, he wants the side to play his historically favored style of direct, uncomplicated football. Forward movement, quick buildup, no side to side, lots of crosses into the box for DCL and Richy, not too proud for some Route 1 long ball (which, when you have one of the best punters in Pickford and IMO the best header and target/holdup striker in the game in DCL, is OK with me), crunching tackles. That's the best of Everton's DNA, that's what the Goodison crowd wants to see. When the Toffees turned it on in the second half by playing that way they blew the roof off of Goodison (check out Doucore's goal - a real BLAMMO that caused pandemonium in the stands and at the Everton bar where I was watching the game). A player like James is a show horse in a side full of workhorses.
--He doesn't put in a shift defensively, see above.
--He and Rafa supposedly have bad blood going back to their RM days, owing to the stylistic mismatch.
--He's one of the few Toffees who might command a fee before the window's out. He really only came to Everton because of Carlo, but it's been made clear that Carlo's not having him in Madrid. A couple of Italian sides were rumored but they're out. No one in England wants him. Atleti is probably his only shot at getting out.

Do youze want him?
 
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bosox4283

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I've seen that post and I don't know what to think. James is the type of player that Simeone could try to squeeze every last ounce of talent out of and I could see Simeone finding a way to get James back to his best form. That said, I don't want him. Atletico needs a striker or a maybe a defender, not another midfielder.
 

coremiller

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I've seen that post and I don't know what to think. James is the type of player that Simeone could try to squeeze every last ounce of talent out of and I could see Simeone finding a way to get James back to his best form. That said, I don't want him. Atletico needs a striker or a maybe a defender, not another midfielder.
Also freelancing #10s who won't can't keep the shape and don't put in a defensive shift aren't exactly a great fit with Simeone's style.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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James is now saying that he didn't mean to evoke Atleti with that tweet, which is of course nonsense.
 

bosox4283

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Matheus Cunha (22) from Hertha to Atlético for ~30m €.
Any thoughts on Cuna? Atletico was apparently trying to land Vlahovic of Fiorentina, but that move seems very unlikely to happen. So, while the intent was to land a striker, Cunha does not appear to be a traditional "9", so I'm not sure if he fits within what Atletico is seeking.
 

candylandriots

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Any thoughts on Cuna? Atletico was apparently trying to land Vlahovic of Fiorentina, but that move seems very unlikely to happen. So, while the intent was to land a striker, Cunha does not appear to be a traditional "9", so I'm not sure if he fits within what Atletico is seeking.
I know my friend who is a Hertha supporter is going to be devastated and convinced that they won't survive the season now. He had pretty much all of his hopes pegged on Cunha, and he definitely impressed in the little bit I saw of him.
 

bosox4283

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With the addition of Griezmann, this team is arguably Simeone's most talented ever.

When Atletico last won the league in 2013-14, the next year Simeone key players and almost the whole team -- Filipe Luis, Diego Costa, and Courtois to Chelsea; Adrian Lopez to Porto; David Villa to Melbourne City/NY City; Diego Ribas to Fenerbahce,; Javier Manquillo to Liverpool; Toby Alderweireld to Southampton; Emiliano Insua to Rayo Vallecano; Jose Sosa to Besiktas.

This time, Atletico and Simeone have been able to keep their core, hang on to the stars, and add talent. It is really exciting.

Simeone will clearly reserve Suarez for the biggest matches and balance his workload so that he's his sharpest for these matches. Since Atletico did not sign a pure "9" this summer to take some of his minutes, Simeone will end up using a rotating system. Correa will be the main feature when Suarez is resting, but Griezmann, Joao Felix, Marcos Llorente, and Cunha will be asked to score goals.
 

Zososoxfan

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With the addition of Griezmann, this team is arguably Simeone's most talented ever.

When Atletico last won the league in 2013-14, the next year Simeone key players and almost the whole team -- Filipe Luis, Diego Costa, and Courtois to Chelsea; Adrian Lopez to Porto; David Villa to Melbourne City/NY City; Diego Ribas to Fenerbahce,; Javier Manquillo to Liverpool; Toby Alderweireld to Southampton; Emiliano Insua to Rayo Vallecano; Jose Sosa to Besiktas.

This time, Atletico and Simeone have been able to keep their core, hang on to the stars, and add talent. It is really exciting.

Simeone will clearly reserve Suarez for the biggest matches and balance his workload so that he's his sharpest for these matches. Since Atletico did not sign a pure "9" this summer to take some of his minutes, Simeone will end up using a rotating system. Correa will be the main feature when Suarez is resting, but Griezmann, Joao Felix, Marcos Llorente, and Cunha will be asked to score goals.
As the resident Argentina NT fan, I think A Correa has deserved much more consideration for a starter spot on the NT, and his form for both club and country is very good ATM. A Correa, Lautaro, GLC, RDP, et al. could make Argentina a really good high-pressing squad. [/threadhijack]
 

bosox4283

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As the resident Argentina NT fan, I think A Correa has deserved much more consideration for a starter spot on the NT, and his form for both club and country is very good ATM. A Correa, Lautaro, GLC, RDP, et al. could make Argentina a really good high-pressing squad. [/threadhijack]
I hope Angelito earns this spot with Argetina. When he's on, he really adds a spark to an offense -- he's creative and is unafraid to take on players.