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 the ‘Antonio Lopez’ Category

Jornada 19: Atlético de Madrid 1 Valencia 0

Posted by atleti on January 13, 2008

Los Colchoneros climb to #3 after another bizarre night at el Vicente Calderón– the final minutes were unbearable! Pure suffering.

Agüero scored the only goal thanks to a shocking error by Valencia goalkeeper Hildebrand.

Abbiati; Perea, Pablo, Eller, Antonio López; Raúl García, Cléber Santana, Maxi (Luis García 91’), Simão; Forlán (Reyes 71’) and Kun Agüero (Valera 93’)

Truth be told, it was another odd game: we went up before half-time as the better side, but allowed Valencia to dominate play in the second half (with Joaquín & Silva causing the most havoc). We played far too much in our own end — up until the dying minutes. Not to mention losing possession in the midfield all too frequently.

SERGIO at La Grada Blog makes a few points that I most definitely agree with: with the exception of Raúl & Agüero, the overall play & attitude of the team leaves much to be desired. That’s not to say that the team (as a whole) doesn’t play well. We’ve all seen them play great football with quick touches and fantastic combinations. It’s just disconcerting that they don’t MAINTAIN that same level of play for the ENTIRE 90 minutes…particularly when they score first.

Switching gears a bit…the sooner Cléber returns to the bench (or, leaves altogether), the better. He is NOT starting 11 quality. Hell, he’s not Liga quality. It’s an absolute shame that a class player such as Raúl has him for a midfield partner. Speaking of which, Raúl has been playing practically non-stop for us. Incredible talent, but I’d hate to see him burn out before the end of the season– or worse, suffer an injury. It’s driving me insane that Jurado is re-injured and Maniche had to act like a dick and get himself banished from the club. Our options are so slim at this point.

Defence looked good, for the most part. Antonio, I think, has proven that he deserves a regular starting 11 spot instead of Pernía. It’s good to see him receiving more minutes of play and proving that it was a tactical error to keep him benched during the early part of the season.

The thing that pissed me off was the substitution of Forlán for Reyes. What the hell? Did anyone else notice Forlán’s reaction? I was watching the game at a bar, so I couldn’t hear what the commentators had to say about it, but he looked rather peeved. Pernía had to settle him down a bit at the bench, it seemed. When I came home, I didn’t notice any online headlines about the outburst. Anyway, I completely understand and sympathise with Forlán, if that was the case. It seemed like an idiotic, risky tactical move by Aguirre, removing the Uruguayo when we’re only 1 up for rubbish Reyes. WHY DOES HE CONTINUE TO USE REYES INSTEAD OF LUIS OR MIGUEL? I will never understand this at all. He got the substitutions all wrong, again, but thankfully it didn’t cost us. A better manager wouldn’t make the sort of decisions that Aguirre makes on a weekly basis.

Aggravations aside (it’s been a day of mixed emotions, as usual), I’m very happy we collected 3 points today. 3 points AND we’re in #3 Champions spot. I’m loving it…suffering, but loving it.

If we play this way against Re*l, we won’t stand a chance.

Here’s our next 6 fixtures:
16-Jan: away to Valladolid (COPA)
20- Jan: at home, MADRID DERBI (LIGA)
27-Jan: away to Mallorca (LIGA)
3-Feb: home to Murcia (LIGA)
10-Feb: away to Racing (LIGA)
13-Feb: away to Bolton (UEFA)

Anything missing?

(Check out all comments on the game in the previous entry, if you haven’t already- lots of good thoughts on it.)

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero | 26 Comments »

Jornada 18: Deportivo de La Coruña 0 Atlético de Madrid 3

Posted by atleti on January 6, 2008

After 18 long years, Los Colchoneros finally collect 3 points at Estadio Riazor– against a very poor, clueless Deportivo.

BRIEFLY: Our overall game was average, but the goals were of the highest quality.

Abbiati; Perea, Pablo, Eller, Antonio López; Raúl García, Jurado (73′ Luis García), Maxi, Simão (75′ Reyes); Kun Agüero (67′ Cléber) and Forlán.

GOALS
39′ Forlán (great pass from the left flank by Antonio)
52′ Agüero (counter-attack goal; cool, world-class finishing by Kun)
64′ Jurado (powerful header!)

A Few Thoughts
*Great game for Antonio, in both defence & when moving forward. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be given more playing time. Pernía is passed it.

*Surprisingly good game for Perea, who continues as right-back with Seitaridis unavailable. Very efficient and focused.

*Raúl García– always a consistently good player. He cleared a ball from the line before Kun scored our 2nd goal. That was certainly the turning point of the game.

*Jurado was average, I thought. Apart from his fantastic goal, his performance was adequate at best. Jurado & Cleber aren’t our answer to the central midfield, but they’ll have to do until Motta is fully recovered.

*Good, untroubled game for Abbiati despite one minor slip.

SUBSTITIONS, EH?
Why does Aguirre insist on replacing Simão with Reyes all of the time? Simão was playing well, for the most part. There was no need to take him out at all. Maxi, on the other hand, was practically non-existent for most of the game. It would’ve have been much better to remove ineffective Maxi & replace him with Luis García. Luis is deserving of much more playing time than Reyes, as far as I’m concerned.

*Cléber could have replaced Raúl instead, I thought.

*Fernando at SENTIMIENTO ATLETICO thinks that Miguel should have been included in the squad list & had a few minutes of playing time instead of Reyes. This is another good substitution option that Aguirre didn’t consider.

*The decision to sub out Kun was OK. Like I said in the previous entry, the TV commentator suggested that Kun seemed annoyed at the substitution. Not sure about that.

Anyway, there wasn’t much to the game. Depor were just awful and didn’t look like they would ever get anything out of this clash.

So, we’re back into a Champions spot, I’m happy…and that’s what matters.

Next up: at home to Valencia!

Have you guys seen them play lately? Just awful. They drew against Levante (0-0) today…the Valencia crisis continues. Now’s the time to add further salt to their wounds.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Diego Forlan, Jose Antonio Reyes, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa | 10 Comments »

Moving on…

Posted by atleti on December 18, 2007

Two more days (the 20th) until our final UEFA game, home to Panathinaikos. A win will mean finishing #1.

Today, Antonio López rejoined the team after taking time off to mourn the recent death of his sister. Best wishes to him & his family.

Agüero was back from his trip to the  FIFA World Player Gala, where he won the award for best player of the U-20 World Cup. He had an opportunity to mingle with the likes of Kaká, his good friend Messi, Ronaldo, et al. Congratulations to him!

Maniche seems to have recovered from that slight injury he picked up a few days ago; he trained with the rest of his teammates. Hopefully he’ll be back to good form in time for Thursday.

Meanwhile, Jurado & Seitaridis seem to be recuperating well from their respective injuries. Both trained in an alternative session with the physical therapist.

Motta, Leo Franco & Pablo (gastroenteritis) didn’t participate in today’s session.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Giorgios Seitaridis, Leo Franco, Maniche, Pablo Ibanez, Sergio Aguero, Thiago Motta | Leave a Comment »

Jornada 15: Atlético de Madrid v Getafe

Posted by atleti on December 8, 2007

The other Madrileño derby!

For those of us in the USA, it will be live on GolTV.

STARTING 11: Abbiati, Eller, Perea, Pernía, Maniche, Raúl García, Simao, Maxi, Agüero & Forlán.

Will Aguirre choose Antonio López or Valera as right-back? We’ll have to wait & see. At this very moment, he’s unsure. Personally, I’d go with Antonio as he is match-fit.

SUBS: Falcón, Cléber, Zé Castro, Reyes, Mista.

A Few, quick observations:
*It’s great to see Simao chosen instead of Reyes.

*Perea will be playing his first game since returning from returns from injury.

*Omissions: Motta and Miguel. Both are recovered, particularly Motta, but Aguirre has chosen to omit them from the squad list, to avoid further injury setbacks & to most likely use them in Atleti’s upcoming Copa game against Granada.

CURRENT LEAGUE STANDING:
#4 Atlético 27

#10 Getafe 18

Previous ATM v Getafe results:
06/07: 1-0
05/06: 0-1
04/05: 2-2

GETAFE’S RECENT FORM:
AaB v Getafe 1-2 (UEFA)

Getafe v Levante 2-1 (LIGA)

Getafe v Hapoel Tel Aviv 1-2 (UEFA)

Real Zaragoza v Getafe 1-1 (LIGA)

Getafe v Barcelona 2-0 (LIGA)

Getafe had a rough start to the season, but have picked up form since their victory in London against Spurs. Fairly good squad, but I’m confident of a win. VAMOS ATLETI!

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Juan Valera, Luis Perea, Miguel de las Cuevas, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta | 10 Comments »

Jornada 14: Real Betis 0 Atlético de Madrid 2

Posted by atleti on December 2, 2007

Two goal-scorers, Raul & Forlán. Crucial win lifts Los Colchoneros to Champions.

Thoroughly deserved victory. It was a game that we dominated from start to finish, although the 2nd half was brutal. And by ‘brutal’ I mean downright ugly. In other words, we invited unnecessary pressure on ourselves. Nevertheless, we remained focused enough to secure the victory. Raul’s goal was icing on the cake.

STARTING 11: Leo Franco (Abbiati, 86´); Antonio López; Pablo; Eller; Pernía; Raúl García; Maniche; Maxi Rodríguez; Reyes (Simao, 62’); Agüero (Motta, 69’); Forlán

GOALS
33′ Forlán
92′ Raúl García

Real Betis are a limited, woeful team with very little quality & practically no creativity. There were only three maybe four occasions where I felt they had an opportunity to equalise. Those occasions aside, Betis did not look like they were going to get anything out of the game.

REVIEWS OF PLAYERS

Leo Franco had an incredibly good game, making a double save against Betis’ only real attack in the entire game. It’s unfortunate that he was subbed out with an injury. More on that if it is severe.

Pernía played surprisingly well as left-back, I thought. He made a few unnecessary mistakes, but overall, it was a decent display by the Argentine.

Pablo had a solid performance, although I thought that his yellow card could have easily been a red card had it been a harsher ref. Either way, this means he will serve a suspension for our next game, home to Getafe.

Eller. I’d never thought I’d say this, but the Brasilian actually had a good  game. It was far from sparkling, but it was efficient and not as sloppy as his previous performances.

Antonio López played as right-back and struggled in the 1st half– the Spaniard truly had a difficult time controlling play at that end- in fact, many of Betis’ runs came from the right. He redeemed himself in the 2nd half with an improved, composed performance. Far from perfect, but efficient, for the most part.

Maniche & Raúl García controlled that central midfield area. Class performances by both midfielders, particularly Raúl, our most consistent player. It was great to see him add another goal to his tally. Easily my favourite new signing.

Reyes. Hm. Leivinha wrote a little critique of him in the below entry. I found that the ex-Sevilla midfielder was very industrious in the first half & was unfortunate to be targetted by many of the Betis players. The Spanish commentator on GolTV rightly pointed out that there seems to be a rift between Reyes & Forlan as Reyes tends to waste great attacking opportunities by shooting at goal from long distances.  I can’t blame the Uruguayo if he is indeed frustrated with Reyes being wasteful.

I found that Reyes disappeared in the 2nd half & was deservedly subbed out. I agree with Leivinha in that he has a foul attitude when he is replaced. He had this sarcastic smirk on his face.

I would have preferred Simao to start than Reyes. Not only does he have great technical ability & vision, but the Portuguese midfielder is a ‘team player’.

Maxi had a fairly good game, although he disappeared for moments at a time. At the end of the day, his presence on the pitch adds a certain amount of balance into our game.

Forlán. As far as I’m concerned, he did his job– scored the opening goal with absolute class. Did anyone feel that he disappeared for long spells of the game? I honestly don’t mind, as long as he reappears for goal-scoring opportunities. Good game for the Uruguasho.

Kun- I cringed a bit when Aguirre subbed him out for Motta;  it seemed risky & far too defensive a change at that point. Remember what happened when we played against Murcia? Aguirre subbed out Kun for a defensive player when we were winning 0-1…it, unfortunately, ended as a draw.

I suppose the decision to sub him out wasn’t entirely bad: I continue to remind myself that Kun has been playing practically non-stop since the summer. He’s a professional, but still a young guy and that amount of playing does take its toll out on a player.

Motta was, again, quite impressive. It’s wonderful to have him back & fully fit. With Pablo out with suspension next week, he will surely receive more playing time.

Aguirre didn’t want to comment on Motta’s performance against Aberdeen, but he has broken the silence in his post-game interview tonight: he has praised Motta for adding much needed ‘security’ to the side.

Simao. He didn’t have much time to make his mark in the game, but whenever he is on the pitch, he always tries his best & is always a threat to the opposition.

All in all, I’m thrilled with the win and the fact that we are back in Champions contention. It is also great that the Barcelona derby ended as a draw; that Villarreal lost to Valladolid; and that woeful Valencia lost to Athletic Bilbao!

Next three games:
5-December: away to FC Copenhagen (UEFA)
9-December: home to Getafe (Liga)
12-December: away to Granada (Copa del Rey)

AUPA ATLETI

 

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Leo Franco, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta | 11 Comments »

Jornada 12: Almería 0 Atlético de Madrid 0

Posted by atleti on November 11, 2007

Leo Franco; Seitaridis (Eller, 46’), Perea, Pablo, Antonio López; Maniche, Cléber, Simão (Motta, 73’), Reyes (Luis García, 59’) Maxi; Kun Agüero

We had a glorious opportunity to return to a Champions League spot & failed miserably. Instead, we are #6 with only 1-2 points separating us from Racing Santander & Sevilla.

What else is there to say?

Seitaridis had a terrible first half, which included a sloppy tackle in the box. Fortunately, Leo Franco saved us from further misery. The Greek nearly made a mess of a short-range back pass to Leo Franco. His display was so poor that he was subbed out in the 45 minute.

Who replaced him you ask? Rubbish Eller. Another poor performance by the Brasilian– I was literally biting my fingernails every time he had the ball at his feet.

Perea, Pablo, & Antonio weren’t much better. Yes, we didn’t concede a single goal, but the truth is, we were fortunate that Almeria lacked finishing quality to make our visit even more miserable.

In terms of the midfield, I frequently found myself asking, throughout the game, “Where’s Maxi?” He appeared maybe a few times, but it was a very quiet performance for the Argentine. Simão had a rather quiet game as well. I wasn’t particularly impressed with Cleber— he continues to prove he’s a mediocre player (at best) with no real presence in the midfield. Luis had a surprisingly poor game, in terms of passing & overall impact. Reyes, who was fouled quite a bit, was involved in a couple good exchanges, but failed to capitalise on any of them.

In terms of Kun, without a true centre-forward like Forlan, he has a difficult time playing up front. There were a few times where he found himself in a good position, but had no one around him to pass the ball to. Again…”Where was Maxi (who was supposed to play as a support striker)?”

Not much to say about Motta since he came on in the 73 minute. He looked OK, for the most part, but still needs more time to return to good playing form. He hasn’t had much time to gel with the team since his arrival. I just hope he remains injury-free because we’re going to need him more than ever in our next game. 

Why you ask?

Perea & Seitaridis will be serving suspensions in our next game: home against on-the-up Valladolid. Surely this means Valera will receive a starting 11, to replace Seitaridis. In terms of centre-backs, Aguirre will probably pair up Ze CastroPablo. Raul might not be available, which means we might see Cleber or Motta in central midfield with Maniche. Forlan won’t be available. Perhaps Mista will return from injury, by then. Even so, he won’t be 100% match-fit.

Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to the next coming weeks.

These recent results don’t look good for Aguirre either. Will he be sacked? The jury is still out.

 

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Juan Valera, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Maniche, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta | 8 Comments »

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!

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Giorgios Seitaridis, Javier Aguirre, Juan Valera, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Perea, Mariano Pernia, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Thiago Motta, Ze Castro | 14 Comments »

UEFA: Locomotiv Moscow 3 Atlético de Madrid 3

Posted by atleti on October 25, 2007

Kun, Kun, Kun!

Brief wrap-up of the game since it was been discussed quite a bit in the previous entry (check comments). 

TACTICS: Christian Abbiati; Antonio López; Pablo Ibáñez; Eller; Pernía; Cléber (65′ Maxi); Raúl García; Jurado (75′ Maniche); Simão (69′ Luis García ); Forlán; Agüero

GOALS
16′ Agüero (assist by Jurado)
27′ Bilyaletdinov
47′ Forlan
61′ Odemwingie
64′ Odemwingie
85′ Agüero

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEOS OF GOALS!

It’s disappointing that our defence was atrocious and cost us the win, but the important thing is that we left Russia (never an easy place to play) with something– a crucial point. 

 Positive news: Our two strikers– Kun and Forlán— scored the goals, something we desperately lacked last season.

Other positives? Jurado had a very good 1st half, which included a shot at goal that hit the woodwork. In the 2nd half, he disappeared for moments at a time, so it was a good decision to sub him out and put Maniche in his place. Also: another solid display by Raul, truly one of my favourite players this season- always focused & composed.

I thought the substitutions (Maxi, Luis García and Maniche) were spot-on; note that Aguirre did not remove players that were doing well.  They reinforced our attack– to make sure we didn’t leave empty-handed. Our defending was atrocious, but since we had no defensive options on the bench (Seitaridis, Perea, Ze Castro, & Motta out injured and Valera unavailable), Aguirre had no choice but to leave the back four for the entire 90.

THE UGLY
As mentioned for the umpteenth time, horrific defending; soft goals conceded. I think I speak for all supporters when I say we need to desperately revamp the defence in January. Why on earth do we have Brasilian Eller occupying a crucial foreign player spot when he’s absolute rubbish? We need to offload him in January! He lacks pace & concentration. I saw most of the 1st half and was extremely disappointed with Pablo, Antonio, & Pernia (to a lesser extent, which says A LOT, as Armon points out in the entry below). Judging by descriptive accounts of the game on other blogs, it didn’t get better in the 2nd half.

I hate to end on a negative note, so I will say once again, all things considered, it’s not a bad result. Thank goodness that we have a great attack and equalised.  KUN KUN KUN!

AUPA ATLETI

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Javier Aguirre, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, UEFA | 9 Comments »

Jornada 7: Barcelona v Atlético Madrid

Posted by atleti on October 5, 2007

I’m not one to write detailed previews, but I like to make exceptions for certain fixtures, such as the Madrid derbi and games against Barcelona (a derbi in its own way). Since our return to top flight football, we have been a sort of bogey team for Barcelona, frustrating them at home and even winning at Camp Nou twice. The difference this season than previous ones is that we no longer have Torres. El Niño had an impressive goal-scoring record against Barcelona– some truly memorable goals, it must be said.

Do we have what it takes to frustrate them with our new squad? I think so. Now, don’t get me wrong, despite our current winning streak and our good record at Camp Nou, this is still a very complicated fixture: Barcelona are a powerhouse and their record speaks for itself. That said, I respect Barcelona, but I do not fear them.

Their injury list, at the moment, is long and composed of key players: Eto’o, Zambrotta, Yaya Toure, Marquez, Edmilson, et al. Despite the rearranging  Rijkaard will have to do (eg Puyol & Milito paired up in the back), I think this is an opportunity for los rojiblancos to exploit these defensive absenses. We’ve been looking incredibly threatening attack-wise, creating opportunities & scoring a variety of impressive goals, from long-range gooolazos to short-distance shots & headers.

DEFENCE
Our main concern should be our defensive performance. Although we have an impeccable record of clean sheets entering this Jornada, defence is always an area that I’ve felt we need to beef up. For this game especially, it’s incredibly important that the back-line remain focused & aware of their surroundings. Messi, Henry, and Ronaldinho will always pose a threat.

It’s unclear who Aguirre will choose at this point. Normally, he would use Pablo-Perea. With Perea out, Aguirre has two options: Ze Castro and Eller, both of whom have their weaknesses and strengths. In terms of left-backs, I expect Aguirre to choose Pernia over Antonio Lopez. As far as right-back position is occurred, Seitaridis is fit, so I don’t doubt he’ll be chosen. Although Leo Franco is deemed fit for the game, I hope that Aguirre chooses Abbiati.

EX-BARCELONA PLAYERS
Luis Garcia
and Simao are prepared to face their ex-club and what a fantastic time to be facing them! Luis Garcia is in fantastic form and Simao, with each performance, continues to show signs of incredible technical ability & creativity. He still hasn’t shown us all that he has to offer– as I mentioned before, he still needs to find his ‘niche’. This is the sort of fixture I expect both players to go above & beyond, to prove how far they’ve come since their days at Camp Nou.

Messi v Aguero (or, Messi < Aguero?)
Good friends. Both tied for Pichichi at the moment. It adds another interesting angle to this fixture. KUN KUN KUN!

MAXI?
I expect him to remain benched for this game. From what I’ve seen, he still hasn’t given Aguirre any reason to include him in the starting 11. I hope that his appearances as sub improve so that he can regain his top spot. That position will be handed to Reyes.

CENTRAL MIDFIELD
Maniche was rested in mid-week and will return to play alongside the always impressive Raul Garcia— a proven key player in midfield who isn’t afraid of taking a shot at goal from long distance.

CHOSEN SQUAD [UPDATE]:
Abbiati; Seitaridis; Pablo; Zé Castro; Pernía; Maniche; Raúl García; Simao; Reyes; Agüero; Forlán

SUBS: Falcón; Eller Antonio López; Cléber; Luis García; Maxi; Jurado

AGUIRRE PRE-GAME INTERVIEW [UPDATE]:
“It would be a lie if I said we [don’t enter this game in good form], but they are also strong. Barcelona have demonstrated, in the Champions League as well as Liga, that it’s very difficult to win at Camp Nou. Hopefully it’ll be a good game; one that will give the people something to celebrate…

In closing, here are some excerpts from Luis’ recent interview.

On the possibility of a rojiblanco victory:
“I think it’s going to be an interesting game[…] I’m confident that my club will win. Barcelona are a complicated club and we should not make any mistakes and remain concentrated in not conceding any goal.

On Barcelona:
“They have a great squad, with plenty of talent and any player can complicate [the game for us.] [We must] be wary of all the players. Ronaldinho is a great player…

In terms of us, he said that we are working well as a team and that we are creating many goal-scoring opportunities. Evidence: In our last 5 games, we have scored 17 goals, thanks to Kun, Forlan, Raul Garcia, et al.

AUPA ATLETI!

VAMOS VAMOS VAMOS

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Fernando Torres, Javier Aguirre, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Maniche, Mariano Pernia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Ze Castro | 22 Comments »

UEFA: Atlético Madrid 4 Kayseri Erciyesspor 0

Posted by atleti on September 20, 2007

 

Good result that virtually assures us of progressing to the group stages of UEFA.

GOLS
Mista 12′
Forlan 16′
Luis Garcia 82′
Luis Garcia 91′ (assist by Maniche)

According to match reports, we scored our first two goals during 10 minutes of ‘inspiration’. It’s disconcerting to read, though, that we continued to play unconvincingly (wobbly) for long  portions of the game, especially in defence and midfield. Still, a win is a win and I’m happy.

POST-GAME THOUGHTS FROM LUIS
The main objective was to score  the most number of goals. It wasn’t an easy game because they were  tight in the back…but with 4-0 we will go to Turkey with  [much more tranquility].

A Few Brief & Random Notes:
-Antonio Lopez is completely out of form and Pernia, though mediocre, should continue to occupy that position. Yes, between the two, Pernia is the most reliable at this point.

-Forlan had a fairly good game and with a bit more time will come through for us in Liga. His form in Europe has so far been very good, in terms of goals, then again we haven’t faced stiff competition.

-Maniche, poor, lamentable

-Luis is in good form at the moment; I’d choose him over Maxi because he has an accurate eye for goal. We lack that in Liga– why not bench Maxi and start Luis on Sunday to see if his goal-scoring form in Europe translates well in the domestic league?

-Simao, pure class and talent, and should take on a greater role during Liga games

Abbiati; Perea; Eller; Antonio Lopez; Ze Castro; Maniche; Luis Garcia; Cleber Santana (Raul Garcia 82′); Jurado (Simao 22′); Forlan; Mista (Aguero 68′)

INJURY NEWS
Jurado was injured in the 22nd minute.  More on this in a new entry.

Posted in Antonio Lopez, Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Diego Forlan, Luis Garcia, Maniche, Simao Sabrosa, UEFA | 2 Comments »