The 2010s were amongst the most successful years in Atletico Madrid’s history. A league title success was seen as an exceptional achievement given how strong both Barcelona and Real Madrid were at the time. But Atletico also won the Europa League 3 times and were runners up in the Champions League twice. It has been quite a ride for the club.
So after such an incredible decade and with coach Diego Simeone starting his 10th season in charge of the La Liga team you would have been forgiven for thinking that Atletico were not up to spec.
But Atletico are not a team that have good moments and wield that thorn into the sides of Barcelona and Real Madrid temporarily. No Atletico are here to stay. They sell Antoine Griezmann no problem they bring in Joao Felix. Diego Godin veteran swashbuckler moves on, no problem in comes the underrated Kieran Trippier from the Premier League. They move stadium, no problem, they won’t suffer the Arsenal syndrome anytime soon. Atletico do what they do best and that is continue to compete and move on.
This season the club has taken advantage of Barcelona’s many off the field problems that almost saw Lionel Messi leave the club. In fact in being 2nd and Barcelona being out of the top 10 the clubs have changed places from the beginning of last season. Atletico know the real threat is from their city neighbours Real Madrid but they will also be respecting how Real Sociedad have started the season.
With Atletico though they look the real deal this season to go on and win the title. You want goals, well Atletico have 18 of them and only Real Sociedad in 1st position have scored more with 21.
One of the revelations in terms of attack for the club has been Joao Felix. True we knew that last season when the club signed him he was something special but Felix didn’t get a good run of games and would need time to adjust to his new surroundings. It wasn’t the mind blowing debut season that many expected. This season could be it though. Felix has already scored 5 goals and assisted twice and there will be plenty more to come from him.
But a lot of credit also needs to go to Luis Suarez, the surprise signing in the summer who was let go by Barcelona. While it may be easy to laugh at Barcelona’s decision Suarez had lost something in the past 18 months. It felt like he was a few yards slower, but the truth is he needed change, now he is thriving under a coach that has been part of the set up for 10 years and Atletico are seeing the results. Suarez has scored 5 goals also like Felix.
But let’s talk about what is happening in defence. It is rare that an English player goes abroad and does really well but Trippier is carving out a name for himself and the fans love him. The former Tottenham player has been part of a mean defence that has conceded only 2 goals so far this season from 8 games played. One at home and one away and that is simply remarkable.
Trippier has the most clean sheets in the team with six. Another player who has impressed at the back is Mario Hermoso. His value is just 5m and he has helped keep five clean sheets.Of course it also helps when you have one of Europe’s best goalkeepers and in Jan Oblak Atletico sure do have that. Oblak has 42 points already and has six clean sheets.
Presently six of the top 10 players in La Liga in the fantasy rankings play for Atletico Madrid. They are all inspired and fired up by the pure energy, passion and intelligence of Simeone, who this year celebrated his 50th birthday- how fitting then if the club can indeed go on to win La Liga for the 2nd time in seven years.
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