Atlético de Madrid

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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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Jornada 21: Mallorca v Atlético de Madrid

Posted by atleti on January 26, 2008

“We’re going to Mallorca to win” said Aguirre during today’s press talk.

Here’s the info he provided:

STARTING 11: Abbiati; Valera, Pablo, Éller, Pernía; Motta, Cléber, Reyes, Luis García; Mista & Forlán.

SUBS: Falcón, Perea, Miguel, Álex Quillo, Camacho, Rubiato, Agüero.

Kun will be in the starting 11 because, as Aguirre puts it, rotation is necessary to keep everyone well-rested. Same thing goes for PereaValera will play in his place for this game (after performing well against Valencia in midweek).

Ignacio Camacho, Álex Quillo and Rubiato, all Atleti B team players, have been given an opportunity to join the top team. It would be great for one, two, or even all three of them to be given some playing time. It all depends on how the game pans out, of course. Still, it’s always good to see the top cantera in the squad list.

It’s a weakened side, no doubt about it, but I think we’ll do just enough (albeit barely) to get the 3 points. 

INJURED: Leo Franco, Seitairidis, Zé Castro, Jurado, Raúl García & Simao.

SUSPENDED: Antonio López & Maxi.

In terms of Mallorca (in 13th place with 23 points), they will have two key players available up front: Ibagaza (ex-Atleti player) & Güiza (11 Liga goals for the Spaniard).

Here’s Mallorca’s previous five Liga games:
2-2 away draw against Levante.
2-2 away draw against Zaragoza.
0-2 home loss against Barcelona.
3-1 away loss against Osasuna.
0-0 home draw against Athletic.

A disappointing string of results for them in Liga recently. There are only ‘real’ highlight has been beating Real Madrid in the Copa and advancing to the quarterfinals.

Previous Results for Mallorca v Atlético fixture:
06/07 season: 0-0 draw.
05/06 season: 2-2 draw.
04/05 season: 1-1 draw.
03/04 season: 0-1 win (90′ goal).
02/03 season: 0-4 win.

Three consecutive draws in this fixture. A draw wouldn’t be of any help to our Champions League aspirations. The team need to go out there and seek the victory… The supporters have had a rough week of results (two consecutive) losses in a row)– a win would lift both team & supporter morale.

Ah, Aguirre acknowledged that the club are in talks with Juventus over a possible loan deal for Tiago. This wouldn’t be such a bad idea, I think. He’s 100% fit, having played so little for the Italian club this season. Plus, it would only be a loan deal. BBC have said that Tottenham failed in attracting him to White Hart Lane (apparently he would prefer a move to Spain instead). Let’s see how this turns out.

35 Responses to “Jornada 21: Mallorca v Atlético de Madrid”

  1. Ram said

    This is going to be a tricky match and Forlan must score to get his confidence back up. Off-late he looks very frustrated.

  2. atleti said

    I agree. This is also a good game for Mista to score a goal or two, too.

  3. Ram said

    I just want the strikers to stay near the opponents penalty box instead of the mid field. Though we can brand them as hard working it is always good that the midfielders do the dirty job rather than the strikers.

  4. day1star said

    That midfield doesn’t look very good to me, there’s only one attacking player, i don’t count Reyes coz the way he’s been playing recently i don’t see him playing any better 2morrow. Oh, well, not much choice really.

  5. atleti said

    Yeah, that’s the worst part of it all: Aguirre has no choice but to include Reyes in the starting 11, given the list of injuries/suspensions.

    Hopefully the team will reach half-time with a 1-0 or 2-0 lead.

  6. Armon said

    Guys, good news, apparently on top of Tiago, Atletico’s gonna battle w/ r*#l for Quaresma’s signature. That would be for summer though, so hopefully we do a good job signing lots of defense this winter, but come summer, Simao better give a good sales pitch to his compatriot.

  7. atleti said

    Yeah, I read about Quaresma yesterday. My initial thought: Ya empezamos otra vez/Here we go again!! To be honest, if he wanted to join the club, he would have made it known in the summer. He didn’t and it became a huge saga. Real can have him, as far as I’m concerned. Better to spend that sort of money to improve the defence & playmaker situation, I think.

    If Depor are relegated, Guardado would be available. Cheaper, but still a very good left winger to cover Simão.

    Heitinga might be a good addition in the summer, too. I think I remember reading he was keen on a move to Spain. He has the same agent as Sneijder, no? We’ll need at least three new defenders if we let go of Pablo, Pernía, Zé Castro, and/or Eller. That would raise some bit of money.

    We also have three players who will be back from their loan spells at the end of the season: Braulio, Julián Vara, & Diego Costa.

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see! Hopefully the best decisions will be made.

  8. Luiz Pereira said

    For me, Mista starting is like initiating the match with 10 players. I’d give one of the canteranos a try up-front if Aguero’s legs are not ready. Otherwise, the starting lineup looks good enough for what we got. The difference is that we’ll at least have Motta for the full game this time –this translates into good passing, one-touch and or long balls to Forlan. Also Motta knows how to trap the ball well and can start the play on the ground. We missed all of that from him in the last game.

    Part of Forlan’s frustration is that he doesn’t have anyone that can make the nice through-ball passing for him like when he was with Villareal. Of course he had Riquelme and a stronger center-midfield to aide him. Without Motta, we’re dust. Cleber Santana is gumpy, albeit physical midfielder that has not provided much value offensively.

    Long term, I don’t believe Quaresma would come to Atleti (would love to have him instead of Reyes though), but I do believe the team would improve dramatically with with a couple of changes in the defense and one real playmaker. I would let Pablo, Pernia, Perea and Ze Castro go. Antonio Lopez has been consistent and his a hard-working professional. Although Eller is somewhat slow, he doesn’t make the dumb mental mistakes that both Pablo, Perea, and Ze Castro make. Pernia is slow, hot-headed, and gets easily juked by the likes of Joaquin.

  9. atleti said

    Agreed on all of your points.

    You’re right: with a few changes in defence and a true playmaker, the team would be complete.

    re cantera: It’s a shame Aguirre isn’t the type to make a gutsy decision like that (eg playing Rubiato instead of Mista). Speaking of which, hopefully Mista will be another one shown the exit at the end of the season. That way, the club can promote Braulio, Batres (still recovering from an injury, I think), and/or Rubiato to the top team.

    The other disappointing bit is that the club had received offers for both Pablo and Pernía during the summer, but opted to keep them, claiming they were ‘key players to this season’s campaign’.

    (I edited the corrections to your comment, Luiz, by the way.)

  10. Ram said

    Pablo had been bad, in what the last 4 games? I think he has a dip in form off-late. He was doing quite good so far in the campaign. I think he should have been rested in this match instead of Perea. I dont think the team will need a total new defence. It is highly impossible cause we cannot revamp/ sell all the 4 central defenders. I can see that Ze Castro might be sold and maybe Eller ( which is highly doubtful because of his better performances when compared to others).

  11. atleti said

    Pablo has always been a bit on the inconsistent side. It’s lately that his errors have been costing us goals. I would say that I wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed next season (probably Pernía, Ze Castro, & Eller will go instead). If we acquire better defenders, though, he’d probably be benched.

  12. atleti said

    One of the worst games ever.

    Three losses in a row.

  13. Ram said

    good news is that Reyes will not be available for the next match

  14. day1star said

    I’m gobsmacked, we looked at times like a team of amateurs.
    Do you know what happened to Liverpool with Benitez’s rotation policy, they went crap, lost rhythm and what looked like one hell of a team has become lame, but they have got a very good squad. Whereas we don’t have that depth in our squad so rotation and injuries are creating a big setback. I said before that the midfield was not right it’s too defensive, so when we conceded there was no real way to get back into the match.
    Aguirre, i don’t think is very adept at tactics, we could have played 4 3 1 2 with Aguero as the playmaker, after getting ahead take Aguero off and change to 4 4 2 and play defensive if you think he needs to be rested.
    We are so lucky that Espanol have lost too, so we should stay in 4th place.

  15. atleti said

    Not a single shot on goal. AT ALL.

    I wouldn’t shed a tear if Aguirre was sacked. His tactics are crap. Why include canteranos if he’s not even going to use them?

  16. day1star said

    Mallorca are going to sell Jonas Gutirrez in the summer, he would be a good buy for us, he played great today, very good midfielder, should offer Reyes in exchange.

  17. day1star said

    I am really pissed off, there’s no point in bringing on any forward to replace a forward when you are a goal down and your midfield is not creating anything, what’s the forward going to do? You have to actually get the ball to do something with it, crap service might as well not play Aguero.

  18. Armon said

    Goddammit, as bad as we need new defenders, I almost feel that the need for a playmaker is greater. Every goal we’ve had as of late has been aguero individual magic or crosses from the wings (simao). Now that Simao’s out, and were not even starting aguero, we have literally had no other people to link up w/ the strikers and get our offense going. Disgusting.

  19. atleti said

    Mallorca weren’t even at the top of their game– that alone speaks volumes on how badly we played.

    I can’t even bring myself to do a mini write-up.

  20. Leivinha said

    I lost interest in the game it was so bad and went to get a latte at Peet’s instead.

  21. atleti said

    I sat through the full 90 & contemplated slitting my wrists on several occasions.

  22. day1star said

    I feel really pee’ed off, which is not like me, that game yesterday was terrible.
    I find it amazing that the answer to the problem that we have at the moment is in front of Aguirre but he seems to be blind, lack of creativity in the midfield is destroying our game, three games no goals, i’ve said it so many times that all Aguirre has to do is play Aguero behind Forlan and Mista/whoever and play through him. Ever since Aguero came to Athletico Aguirre has played him as an out and out striker, but that was not his role at Independiente, and it’s taken him a year to adjust to this new role, the boys done good, but we don’t get to see a lot of what he can really do, in other words his creative side because the position we have him playing in he doesn’t get on the ball enough and he’s playing too far up the pitch.
    Such a waste of his talent.

  23. Ram said

    But have you noticed that just like any other striker Aguero likes to have a go at the goal rather than to pass which is essential for the playmaker role.

  24. atleti said

    Aguirre doesn’t have a single idea on how to manage this team. His seems unaware of each players’ capabilities, he’s afraid to shake things up by substituting very good canteranos for underperforming players, et al. The Reyes situation is really pissing me off more than anything.

    Had things been done differently, we could’ve won yesterday’s game. We had a lot of key players missing, but Mallorca were hardly playing well either. It was the sort of game that neither side doesn’t a victory.

    Meanwhile, Juve want Tiago to accept a move to Spurs.

  25. atleti said

    Oh, and Mista is injured again. Isn’t there a clause in Braulio’s contract somewhere that states he can be brought back to the club if absolutely necessary?

  26. Ram said

    We might still get Tiago I think. All this is news from English media so nothing is done until you see the player in the press conference.

  27. atleti said

    Good point on the English media. He’d be a good loan addition to the squad.

  28. Ram said

    All I can say is that we need to forget the last 3 matches and move forward. Bulk of the team should be back for the Copa match and it is a do or die for us. Also saw that Vicente and Silva are doubtful due to injury and Baraja is ruled out. So good chance for us to beat Valencia.

  29. atleti said

    Hopefully, we’ll win. Apparently there’s a rumour that Aguirre is ready to call it quits. If we don’t advance to the next round of the Copa, I’m 99% certain he’ll resign. Might be the best decision for the club, in truth.

    Just read that Juve’s sporting director has ruled out a move out of the club for Tiago.

  30. Atleti is depressed. Playing very sad. Two matchs without shoot. I wait a victory vs Valencia, but…

  31. Ram said

    I don’t see a reason for Aguirre to resign now. They will always say that we are still in CL spot or UEFA cup and will continue with the same coach, which actually is a wise decision. Yes..the last 3 results were bad, but don’t forget the good work he did so far this season and the last thing we want is a coach to change. How disastrous it can be??????.

  32. day1star said

    Ram, he’s playing in a striker’s position, of course he’s going to try and score rather than pass the ball it’s the role that he has been given. But, he is very versatile he can play on the wings also, if you watched him play for Argentina then you would know he is constantly changing positions, it’s why they compare him with Maradona. Maradona was not a striker he was an attacking midfielder who could also play as striker, same as Messi, same as Aguero.

  33. day1star said

    By the way, i don’t see any point to Aguirre going mid-season, if Athletico want to change coach then it should be at the end of the season.

  34. Luiz Pereira said

    Letter to Aguirre after Mallorca fiasco:

    Dear Cantinflas,

    After Sunday’s match I’ve come to the conclusion that you miss home, or maybe it’s hard to find decent tacos al pastor, chiles rellenos, and tamales in the Madrid. By the way you coached the other day, you must want to go back home. You could coach Chivas –they have almost identical uniforms. Or even Chivas USA. There’s decent Mexican food in this country too . . .

    Also, you lied to us by declaring that “We’re going to Mallorca to win” during yesterday’s press talk. Please watch your mouth, because I honestly believed you when you said that.

    Today we played with 9 players most of the game. Mista is completely ineffective and Reyes has no desire to play with Atleti (to me, he left his heart in the Bernabeu). Why couldn’t you have tried a Miguel de las Cuevas or a canterano or two after the 1st half when we realized that Reyes nor Cleber were not being effective? Instead, you only make one substitution (due to injury), and you let the team lose a game that we could have at least tied. Let’s keep Reyes on the bench for the rest of the year or let’s trade him in the next 2 days. With so many ridiculous slide-tackles followed by yellow/red cards, he’s doing more harm than good.

    We all know about the problems with our defense, but our forwards need help from midfielders that can provide accurate passing. Otherwise, we’re under-utilizing our world-class front line. On a positive note, Valera is looking good. If we want to play in the champions league next year, you better start making better starting lineups and game-time decisions!

    Cantinflas, please go back to your country and let’s sign Reina (and maybe his coach) from Liverpool!

  35. atleti said

    Wishful thinking, Luiz! Benitez doesn’t get along with our current sporting director, Pitarch. The two got into major disagreements when they were both at Valencia. The thought did cross my mind too, maybe they won’t renew Pitarch’s contract in the summer…

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