Atlético de Madrid

The love that hurts.

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    26 year old in New York; Passionate fan of the beautiful game; lover of Argentina (los Albicelestes); long-suffering, devoted supporter of Atlético Madrid (los Rojiblancos) for the past 13 years.
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More Venting on the Defence

Posted by atleti on November 5, 2007

The day after Jornada 11 and I’m still a bit shell-shocked over the loss. In retrospect, the same result could have occurred to us against Sevilla. We were fortunate then to have the result go our way, considering we defended in the same suicidal manner.

Aguirre, Jurado, Pablo have all come out to express their opinions of the game and all of them basically echo the same thing: that we need to defend better. When asked about the defensive problems, Aguirre said, “We need to work on them. We go forward, which leaves us very open.” And, of course, he mentioned we lacked ‘balance’ and ‘organisation’ as we are now a very attack-minded team this season.

Meanwhile, midfielder Jurado said  that ‘defending is the job of everyone’, from the goalkeeper to the main striker. I don’t agree with this entirely. I believe the job, first and foremost, falls on the defenders (obviously!). When the defenders are confident and protecting the team in the back, our attacking players can move forward without worrying about rushing back to defend. As Aguirre mentioned, we need to achieve a balance.

At the same time, we simply do not have the quality in the back-line, so  changes ( at least two) MUST be made this January.

Let’s be honest: all of our defenders have had more bad days than good days.

Goalkeepers
Leo Franco (shaky, adds to our defensive worries; doesn’t instill any sense of confidence)
Abbiati (not good enough to play in Liga week in & week out)
Falcon (inexperienced keeper from the B team)

Centre-backs
Pablo
Perea
Ze Castro
Eller

All unreliable; I’d get rid of all of them. Realistically, that won’t (& can’t) happen. I still think we should offload at least two of them in January. Which you ask? Does it honestly matter? They’re all horrendous.

Right-backs
Seitaridis
Valera

I can’t put any fault on Valera– he hasn’t played at all (well, a little bit) since returning from injury. He still deserves an opportunity to prove his worth. Seitaridis– sometimes he’s fairly solid, other times I cringe when he’s in a one-on-one situation.

Left-backs
Pernia
Antonio Lopez

Dreadful. No further comments.

Shout-out: Armon (blog commentator) hit it on the head: our defence is sabotaging us. If we don’t secure a Champions League spot, we are at risk of losing our best players in the summer (Kun, in particular).

At the end of the day, we still have plenty of games up for grabs. It’s just frustrating because we SHOULD have won this game. Hell, I would’ve have been OK with a point. I would have been disappointed, but something is better than nothing.

OK, enough venting from me.

Monday Training Notes
Everyone except Raul (who fractured a bone in his nose) participated in today’s ‘relaxed’ training session. Of note, two of our Atleti B players participated with the top team: strikers Batres & Senel. Both Spaniards have been in good form with the B squad.

Motta & Mista worked with the physical therapist in the gym. Please, please, please, MOTTA come back from injury already! WE NEED YOU!

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14 Responses to “More Venting on the Defence”

  1. Leivinha said

    To say that “everyone must defend from the forwards to the goalkeeper” might be a true statement on some teams but that isn’t the problem on this team.

    If Atleti’s style is an attacking style that leaves holes in the midfield, then we might also consider obtaining a stronger and more athletic defensive midfielder like Barsa has with Toure Yaya or like Makele used to be with Real Madrid. One who can cover more ground, strip the ball, cover the passing lanes.

    But at the end of the day, our back line sucks and it cost us clearly two goals yesterday. They play like they are walking on egg shells….

  2. atleti said

    Sadly, true. No matter how good a defensive midfielder we get, we’ll still suffer the same problems because we have awful choices for the back-line.

  3. day1star said

    We need two defenders, one experienced central defender and one left sided defender and then a defensive midfielder like Biglia, who can both go forward and backwards alongside Motta in the tougher games. In the other games one defensive miielder will be enough.

  4. atleti said

    Agreed 100%.

  5. day1star said

    Why a right-back? Seiteridis is ok, and if we keep Perea he can also play on the right. The left-side is more problematic Pernia keeps passing the ball to the opposition, and Lopez sometimes plays ok but against better teams sort of panics.

  6. Mohammed said

    What about Fabio Grosso as a left back, he’s 29, that’s why i think we can get him easily plus he plays for Lyon now, and everybody knows that Lyon will sell for the right price. He’s good in defence and offence but mainly defence which is why I think he’s ideal for us. There’s also the Brazilian Dede of Borussia Dortmund. For the centre back position, I think we can get the forgotten defender of Bayern Munich, Valerien Ismael. He’s 32, but I think he can be a temporary solution in January.

    Those are the names that I could think of as available replacements.

  7. atleti said

    You’re right. Sorry about that; it’s been a long day & I spaced out that Pernia is on the left.

    I don’t trust Perea in any position. The sooner he goes, the better.

  8. atleti said

    NB: We’d need a player who hasn’t been involved in Europe this season.

  9. caligula said

    Echen a Perea por favor.
    Buen blog!
    Saludos de Buenos AIres.

  10. atleti said

    Gracias!!

    Tenemos una defensa de pena.

    Un saludo,

  11. Luiz Pereira said

    After recovering from yesterday’s VERGUENZA TOTAL, here’s my opinion about out defense . . .

    Leo Franco: I’m alwas scared whenever there’s a cross or a corner kick. Whenever’s there’s a one-on-one, it’s a goal 80% of the time. Although Abbiatti messed-up against Barsa, I would give him another chance. Besides that, I like what I saw of him. He has a strong track record in Italy . . . actually, both would be make good 2nd string goalkeepers.
    El Greco: we can keep for now
    Pablo: we can keep for the short-term. Kind of a gump, but is playing better and has some history of scoring with his head.
    Perea: we might as well hire a world class sprinter with no skills. When are Colombia’s Olympic tryouts?
    Ze Castro: has potential, but is too young to be at such an important position, mental mistakes.
    Pernia: get him out. Ship him back to a 2nd division team in Argentina –oh, I forgot! He’s a spaniard now. Okay, then he should go to Alaves, Rayo Vallecano, Logrones, Tenerife, or Celta.
    Antonio Lopez: what a joke. I think he’s just happy to “ride the pine” and be on Atleti’s payroll.
    Maniche: as a defensie midfielder he’s not very althletic, does not pass the ball well, and has never lived-up to what we saw in the World Cup and Euro 2004. I agree with Leivinha, we need a Makelele-like player that is going to roam like a hungry wolf and not let anything happen. What comes to mind is a player like Mauro Silva when he was in his prime (Brazilian Volante from WC ’94), or even Dunga for that matter. Should we have let Luccin go?

    All in all, I was happy to see on As.com that we’re considering Lugano as a center back for the winter market. Alex Silva sounded interesting, but the idea of getting someone who is recovering from an ACL surgery, does not thrill me (from personal experience as a defensive player who had that surgery playing college ball, you always lose half a step, no matter what). Plus, Silva has another 6 months to recover. No way!

    I think we all knew from the beginning that this team was going to be a roller-coaster ride. Just look at the score and the way things happened yesterday. Look at last week’s score against Sevilla. The same embarrasing thing could’ve happen then, as one of your readers pointed-out.

    Not to get too down on the team, I should point-out that there were a couple of things yesterday that could have led to a different outcome:
    1. Forlan wasn’t playing
    2. We missed a penalty kick
    3. I thought Aguero was pushed towards the end of the game in what could have turned into a PK, but then again, we might have missed :)

  12. atleti said

    Luccin was a liability– horrible tackler, slopping passing, received too many cards. I’m glad he left! I’ve seen him play a bit for Zaragoza and things have not changed.

    Can Lugano play for us in UEFA if he has already played in Champions?

  13. Luiz Pereira said

    I agree regarding Luccin. He can’t pass worth anything and is a complete hack. Never seen him score a goal either.

    Is Cleber that bad that he couldn’t even get a start over a guy who’s been out with an injury for 1.5 mos? They must have seen something in him if they signed him! (I have yet to see him play). Plus, we don’t want to force anything with our delicate Motta. If he’s our answer (for now), let’s bring him on when we’re he’s 100% healthy, strong and game-ready.

  14. atleti said

    Cleber is an average central midfielder– I’ve seen him play in some of our UEFA games. Nothing truly amazing about him, which is probably why he has failed to attract attention before his arrival to Atleti.

    I agree, though: I’d give him a shot over Motta as he’s fit & more than ready.

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