Thoughts on Offence & Defence
Posted by atleti on August 10, 2007
Los Rojiblancos had a non-strenous training session yesterday (Thursday) after their return from Vigo. Luis Garcia, who didn’t travel with the squad for the friendly, rejoined the team and participated in the session. Centre-back Ze Castro, who also didn’t travel to Vigo, is still slightly injured and participated in a much lighter session in the gymnasium.
Antonio Lopez and Jose Antonio Reyes were the only ones absent from training: they exercised earlier that day and took the rest of the day off for personal time.
Perea, Cléber Santana, Diego Forlán and Sergio Agüero are back in Madrid from their holidays. They’re expected to train tomorrow (Saturday) with the rest of the squad.
According to MARCA (be wary of the source), Atletico are apparently keen on signing one more midfielder (central midfielder, that is)– especially if rubbish Costinha finds a club that’ll take him. Manager Aguirre has been focused on improving the offence after last season’s countless goal droughts. I still worry about defence and am a bit surprised nothing has been done to improve that aspect of the team (sorry to sound like a broken record!).
Mind you, there has been plenty of speculation this pre-season about the defence (one rumour linked Perea to Villarreal during the Forlan transfer, Ze Castro was linked to a move back to Portugal, and Barcelona’s Rafael Marquez was briefly linked to the club when his future at the Catalan capital was in doubt). Nothing has become of any of the speculation. Having said all this, from what I’ve seen so far, we are vulnerable to counter-attacks. If the backline stays as is, they need to work on organisation and concentration. If not, pacey strikers will cause us trouble.
Yesterday evening, I was pondering about our offensive line. The new signings have added pace and attacking edge as I’ve mentioned previously, which is fantastic. We are creating goal-scoring opportunities and troubling defences– what’s missing at this point? We haven’t converted many of these opportunities to goals. Of course, it’s still pre-season, so I do believe the pieces will come together once Forlan and Aguero return to training.
If manager Aguirre continues using a 4-2-3-1 formation, Forlan would undoubtedly act as our strong centre-forward. This would mean, though, that Aguero is benched. I’d personally prefer a Forlan-Aguero frontline with Braulio as 3rd choice striker.
In other completely unrelated news, I will watch Aston Villa v Liverpool this Saturday to see The Kid‘s first Premier League game.