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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Archive for February, 2008

Jornada 26: Atlético de Madrid v Barcelona

Posted by atleti on February 29, 2008

Under-fire Aguirre: “We aren’t the favourites, but we expect to give a surprise…”

Maxi, our often times non-existent capitan, on the game:
“…we need to worry about ourselves. We need to be calm and not leave ourselves exposed, because in one chance they can break the game…We learned that last season.”

Maxi continues: “We went through a bad time, but we’ll fight back. We’ll raise ourselves up. We’re out of the UEFA Cup and the Copa del Rey, so no cups are left. Our goal is clear now, so let’s fight. There’s no crisis – we just need everyone’s support.”

Here’s a mini-recap of our away game against Barcelona earlier this season. Click here & here.

So, have we learned from those mistakes? Not really. Our defence is still rubbish and we’re struggling to score goals at the moment. If this isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know is. That said, I still hope that we get something out of this game. The players need it, the supporters need it. These are desperate times, my friends. We’ve dropped enough points in the past weeks. Will the abuse end this Sunday? For the love of God please.

STARTING 11: Abbiati, Valera, Pablo, Perea, Antonio López; Camacho, Raúl García, Maxi, Simao, & Forlán.

SUBS: Falcón, Cléber, Luis García, Zé Castro, Jurado, Reyes, Miguel, Mista, Perea.

The only major doubt is Agüero— he’s still recuperating from his midweek injury– Aguirre will determine if he’s fit enough to be included in the starting 11 tomorrow (Saturday).

Who is Ignacio Camacho?

An incredibly talented B/cantera team player. This kid won the U-17 European Championship with Spain (a team which he captained). Camacho is known to idolise Claude Makelele— he shares a similar midfield style to the Frenchman, by the way. Basically, he’s exactly the sort of player we need at the moment: a defensive midfielder. His presence will essentially allow Raul to take on a more attacking role.

STILL INJURED: Leo Franco, Seitaridis, & Motta (for the rest of the season).

Eller & Pernia have been completely left out (tactical decision of Aguirre). If this doesn’t spell the end of these two players, I don’t know what does.

Previous Results for this fixture (Atleti v Barcelona):
06/07 season: 0-6 loss for us– absolute humiliation.
05/06 season: 2-1 win for us.
04/05 season: 1-1 draw.
03/04 season: 0-0 draw.
02/03 season: 3-0 win for us.

Besides last season’s disaster, we have a fairly good record against Barcelona at home. Of course, that’s when we had Torres- who had a knack for terrorising Barcelona.

Barcelona’s previous five games away from Camp Nou (in Liga):
1-2 win against Zaragoza.
1-1 draw against Sevilla.
1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao.
0-2 win against Mallorca.
0-3 win against Valencia.

Not bad at all. If I remember correctly, a few of their goals and/or victories have been as a result of dubious ref decisions…draw your own conclusions.

They enter the game unbeaten in 8 games.

Barcelona’s selected 18: Valdés, Pinto, Zambrotta, Puyol, Milito, Abidal, Sylvinho, Thuram, Edmílson, Xavi, Deco, Ronaldinho, Gudjohnsen, Iniesta, Messi, Henry, Eto’o & Giovani.

No Bojan, but this is still an incredibly strong squad.

Former Atleti coach Radomir Antić believes that Barça’s visit will revive our current slump: “Perhaps for Atlético, the visit of Barcelona is the best thing. A team in poor form must look for incentives. The motivation that playing Barça will give them can cause the talent that has been dull to arise. The Calderón also will be an added aid that the team needs to succeed.”

Antic has managed both teams (Atleti for longer stints) and hopes for an Atleti win: “I am with Atlético, even though I am not a supporter. I like the style in which football is played rather than the results. I like to see expansive play that takes advantage of the whole field rather than watching a team that defends for ninety minutes to get a result.”

Of course, he says our chances are increased if we have Kun & Forlán— which is a doubt at this point in time.

LET’S JUST GET SOMETHING OUT OF THIS GAME, I SAY.

VAMOS MI POBRE ATLETI!

Anything missing? 

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Posted in Atletico Madrid, Fabiano Eller, Ignacio Camacho, Javier Aguirre, Raul Garcia | 43 Comments »

What the hell?

Posted by atleti on February 28, 2008

Truly one of the saddest photos I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Thanks, Cerezo, for continuing to dishonour our club.

Posted in Atletico Madrid | 13 Comments »

Squad Reconstruction?

Posted by atleti on February 26, 2008

A couple news sources have written about our purported transfer/clear-out plans for this summer.

Here are the highlights:

[WARNING: This is all speculation at this point in time.]

In terms of the defence, who’s definitely out of the club?
Seitaridis, Eller & Zé Castro. The club will listen to offers for Pablo, Pernía, and, to a lesser extent, Perea.

By offloading all of this rubbish, we can bring in the likes of Ajax’s Heitinga & Fiorentina’s Ujfalusi, both of significantly better quality. Plus, there are supposed plans to promote Dominguez to the top team.

Valera and Antonio López are expected to remain.

In terms of the midfield, the club is keen on keeping:
Raúl García, Simao, Maxi, & Luis García. It’s still unclear on whether the club will keep or let go of Cléber. Jurado’s situation also appears to be a bit unclear as well.

Who is definitely out the door?
Motta (hopefully he’ll be fit enough to leave in the summer), Reyes, & Maniche.

Ignacio Camacho, talented B team player, looks set to be promoted to the top team. Javi García at Osasuna is rumoured to be a target of ours.

In terms of goalkeepers, Leo Franco’s role in the club will depend on how well he recovers from his current injury. Abbiati looks likely to return to Milan, despite repeatedly saying that he’d like to renew his contract with us. The club still look to be interested in Liverpool’s Reina, and more recently, Mallorca’s Moyá.

Offensively,  Agüero & Forlán will remain our top choices. Mista will be shown the door. Will Braulio be afforded an opportunity to play with the club, then, or will be shipped out?

Any thoughts on any of this?

Keep in mind: Most of these changes largely depend on whether we secure Champions League action for 08/09– considering how we’re playing now, it would be an absolute miracle.

Then again, we have recovered quite a few players from injury and suspension, so perhaps this will change things for the better in our upcoming games…

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Rumours | 19 Comments »

Jornada 25: Osasuna v Atlético de Madrid

Posted by atleti on February 23, 2008

Our final game against Osasuna this season. We played them at home back in September (2-0 win for us). Click here for that wrap-up…Happy days. How long ago was that? Seitaridis was fit and Maniche was still playing for us. Yes, that long ago.

Anyway, here’s Sunday’s STARTING 11: Abbiati; Antonio López; Eller; Perea; Pernía; Luis García; Cléber; Jurado; Reyes; Maxi; Forlán.

SUBS: Falcón, Zé Castro, Valera, Miguel, Camacho, Mista.

Eller replaces suspended Pablo. This is a lose-lose situation, hm? They both commit horrendous tackles and challenges. We can only hope that Eller doesn’t screw up too much. 

Aguirre‘s only doubt at the moment is whether to play Luis or Miguel.

Osasuna are currently #17 with 26 points.

Their Most Recent Five Liga Results:
2-1 away loss against Levante.
1-0 home win against Zaragoza.
1-0 away loss against Barcelona.
2-1 away loss against Sevilla.
2-0 home win against Athletic.

Their home record is rather inconsistent: some wins, some draws, some losses. Estadio Reyno de Navarra is far from a fortress.

Then again…

A bit history on this fixture (Osasuna v Atleti):
06/07 season: 1-2 win for us (and we were fortunate to collect 3 points).
05/06 season: 2-1 loss for us.
04/05 season: 1-0 loss for us.
03/04 season: 1-0 loss for us.
02/03 season: 1-0 loss for us.

Dreadful record. It doesn’t help that we’ll be without Kun and Raúl, both suspended.

Nevertheless…I hope for a victory…my faith is hanging by a thread. A very thin thread, invisible to the naked eye.

VAMOS ATLETI!!!

Posted in Atletico Madrid | 41 Comments »

Moving forward…hodgepodge entry

Posted by atleti on February 22, 2008

Firstly, I just want to say it’s snowing A LOT over here.

Just a brief summary of things after yesterday’s disaster: Aguirre & just about every player interviewed by the press have said the same thing– that we will concentrate on securing a Champions spot. If we don’t, we stand the chance of losing our best players over the summer, namely Agüero, and we’ll fail to attract quality talent to replace the current rubbish.

Do we have what it takes? I honestly don’t know.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

In terms of Aguirre, it appears that the club are set to keep him until the end of the season: “I have this job until 30-June. My contract will continue until then.”

Is this the best decision for the club? Again, I honestly don’t know. I hate Aguirre and await the day that he, Gil, Cerezo, and Pitarch are out of the club.

In terms of players:

Motta is on his way to Colorado to see the highly-rated Doctor Richard Steadman…this means, of course, that he won’t play for the rest of the season. Seriously, why did it take him this long into his injury-riddled career to visit this doctor? This is something he should have done two years ago. What an absolute waste of a player.

SUSPENDED for this Sunday’s away game to Osasuna: Agüero, Pablo & Raúl García.

Recuperated from their respective injuries: Simão, Zé Castro & Valera.

Still injured:  Motta, Seitaridis & Leo Franco.

For anyone unfamiliar with Sergio‘s “¿Hasta cuando?” comment (in the below entry), here’s a video with an origin of it (with English subtitles):

There’s a strong, ever-growing movement of Atleti supporters who want to force Gil & Cerezo out of the club.

 

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Javier Aguirre, Juan Valera, Maniche, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta | 7 Comments »

Goodbye, UEFA…

Posted by atleti on February 21, 2008

…goodbye Cerezo. Goodbye Aguirre. Goodbye Pitarch. Goodbye Reyes, Pablo, Pernía, Motta, Seitaridis, Maxi, Zé Castro, Mista, Perea, Valera Leo Franco. GOODBYE.

……………………………..

So, what’s left…?

Our Goals for 07/08 Season:
Win the League.
Win the Copa del Rey.
Win UEFA.

Secure a Champions spot.

Considering how things are going, I’d be surprised if we maintain a top 4 finish.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, UEFA | 17 Comments »

UEFA: Atlético de Madrid v Bolton Wanderers (0-1)

Posted by atleti on February 20, 2008

DO OR DIE…

I don’t have much to say about the game except the obvious: we must win it. 0-1 is a terrible first leg result, but it isn’t the end of the world. I have some hope that we’ll do enough to progress to the next round in UEFA.

STARTING 11: Abbiati; Antonio López; Pablo; Perea; Pernía; Luis García; Cléber; Jurado; Reyes; Maxi; Forlán.

SUBS: Falcón; Eller; Zé Castro; Dominguez; Álex Quillo; Miguel; Mista.

SUSPENDED: Raúl García & Agüero (Kun, for two games, which is ridiculous).

STILL INJURED: Motta, Leo Franco, Seitaridis, Valera & Simao.

Bolton’s squad list: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, A O’Brien, Cahill, Meite, Guthrie, J O’Brien, Giannakopoulos, Nolan, Campo, Taylor, Diouf, Davies, Samuel, McCann, Al Habsi, Alonso, Teymourian.

Aguirre on the game:
“We must remain calm with the referee, with the supporters, with our opponent…be cautious and intelligent. Tomorrow, we need to be patient and intelligent, and play good football […] We have 90 minutes to stay alive in Europe.”

Luis García on the game:
“We know what we are playing for against Bolton.  It could be one of the most important games of the whole season […] We will treat it like a real final and we are confident that we can succeed.”

PLEASE. JUST WIN.

I think I’ll go mad if we get knocked out of this competition by the likes of Bolton.

RUMOURS
A few items have been in the media: Salcido,PSV/Mexican defender, is ‘flattered’ with the interest of Atleti & Valencia. Then there’s a major rumour about us ‘monitoring’ Rafa Benitez‘ situation at Liverpool, perhaps as a possible replacement for Aguirre.

Anything missing?

Posted in Atletico Madrid, UEFA | 28 Comments »

Jornada 24: Atlético de Madrid 1 Athletic Bilbao 2

Posted by atleti on February 17, 2008

Excruciating. Embarassing. Disgust. Disgraceful. Painful. Awful. Sickening.

OTRO AÑO, OTRO TIMO.

Nothing more to say.

Posted in Atletico Madrid | 25 Comments »

Jornada 24: Atlético de Madrid v Athletic Bilbao

Posted by atleti on February 16, 2008

Firstly, this game will be televised (en vivo) in the US– 3.00pm, NY time, GolTV.

Secondly, this is a must-win game against a team that is struggling to avoid the drop this season. [At the moment, they’re #15 with 26 points.]

NB: We’ve played them already (0-2 victory); Refresh your memory on that game here and here.

Previous Results for Atleti v Athletic fixture:
06/07 season: 1-0 win for us.
05/06 season: 1-0 win for us.
04/05 season: 1-1 draw.
03/04 season: 3-0 win for us.
02/03 season: 3-3 draw.

We have a fairly good record against them…May lightening strike me dead if we lose or draw this Sunday.

In terms of Athletic’s recent five results:
*1-0 home win against Levante.
*1-0 away loss against Zaragoza.
*3-3 home draw against Racing (Copa)
*1-1 home draw against Barcelona
*2-0 away loss against Racing (Copa)

Not particularly impressive, with the exception of the Barcelona game.

Anyway, here’s Aguirre’s chosen squad so far:

STARTING 11: Abbiati, Antonio López, Pablo, Eller, Pernía, Maxi, Jurado, Raúl, Luis Garcia, Forlán, & Agüero.

SUBS: Falcón, César, Álvaro Domínguez, Miguel, Mista.

Unbelievably, Aguirre is uncertain about who he’ll pair Raúl up with: Cléber or Jurado. The choice seems painfully obviously: JURADO. In terms of the left wing, he’s also uncertain on Reyes or Luis García. Is this some sort of bad joke? LUIS is far more deserving of a starting 11 spot. Shit, I’d sooner pick my 86 year old grandfather than Reyes.

In any case, Aguirre will make his decision tomorrow.

[UPDATE] He has chosen Jurado & Luis!

INJURY LIST: Leo Franco, Seitaridis, Zé Castro, Valera, Motta, Simão.

SUSPENDED: Perea.

Luis & Raúl are back from their respective suspensions, which is great.

New canterano in the squad: César, 18 year old defender. Will he play at all? Probably not. We’re short of defenders at the moment, though, hence his inclusion alongside Dominguez.

Anyway, here’s hoping a big victory…VAMOS ATLETI!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa | 21 Comments »

Pause. Colchonero Blogosphere Time.

Posted by atleti on February 16, 2008

(FYI: I’m still recuperating from the 1-0 loss against Bolton. Disgusted, angered, annoyed, demoralised, and yet not really surprised. Same shit, different game. The one good bit of news is that we’ll be appealing the ridiculous straight red given to Agüero…this is his third of the season, by the way.)

Things have been a bit hectic over here for me, but I have had an opportunity to browse through many blogs recently.There have been some very interesting, worthwhile entries written by fellow bloggers. They’re in Spanish, so I’ll share some of what they have to say to any English speakers out there.

Sergio’s (now at Reserva India) two most recent entries are about his experience in England as a traveler and away supporter. Photos included. Worth a look.

Jagsolla, a new addition to my blogroll, has discussed in his recent entry the unfair treatment that Kun has received this season. The title of the entry? “The referees spit at Aguero every game”- in reference to his most recent sending off, which was a complete joke. I’d also like to point out that, from what I’ve seen, the English media has overlooked this. Go figure?

At Baluarte Rojiblanco, c.ramone, ended his entry on the away loss with this paragraph (my paraphrasing):
If we considered 0-0 a bad result and 1-1 a not-so-bad result, then 1-0 is a disastrous result. We’re basically in the same situation that we were in when we played Valencia in the Copa– the only difference being that this team (Bolton) appears like a much weaker opponent and we have a very good shot at making it to the quarterfinals with a strong home performance.

On the other hand, Atletista at Forza Atleti blog is less optimistic, basically stating that we have once again complicated things for ourselves. He doesn’t feel confident with the way the team has been playing and without Kun in the home leg things seem rather grim. “Bye UEFA?”

JOSÉ I. FERNÁNDEZ shared his thoughts in one his many detailed entries. It’s difficult to condense as it is long, so I’ll share a couple points that popped out at me:
*That it’s sad that Maxi, a player who was such a crucial part of our previous campaigns, sometimes even moreso than Torres, is stuck in a web of mediocrity this season

*In terms of Mista, Jose’s spouse had this to say about rubbish Mista: “How did he ever score 20 goals at Valencia?”

Fernando at Sentimiento Atletico has focused on the cantera in his latest entry: that the underutilisation of the cantera is destroying the very history of the club. The very objective of a cantera system is to eventually promote the most talented  to the top team– in this regard, we have failed. In 10 years, Atleti have only promoted two players from the cantera…Antonio & Torres.

My thought: Why does management have so little faith in cantera? We have a few players in the system who are quite talented; with more playing time with the top team, they will grow in confidence, maturity and, who knows, probably play significantly better than the  rubbish players we’ve brought in from elsewhere….We’ll never know unless we give them a shot.

Be back later on with a Jornada 24 entry.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Maxi Rodriguez, Sergio Aguero | 13 Comments »