Atlético de Madrid

The love that hurts.

  • About Me

    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 ‘Cleber Santana’ Category

The Midfield

Posted by atleti on July 26, 2008

RAÚL GARCÍA
CAMACHO
MOTTA
MANICHE
CLEBER SANTANA
MIGUEL
SIMAO
MAXI
REYES
LUIS GARCÍA
ASSUNCAO

I read recently that Maniche is trying to ‘patch things up’ with Aguirre, his teammates, and club officials for his wreckless behaviour that led to his loan spell last season. Of course, we all know why he is humbling himself: He’s not attracting worthwhile offers!

I am motivated to return to work. I want to be at my best physical form so that I can have a good season.

Can we trust that he won’t act out again? I’m not so sure. Do we even need his services? He’s not in top shape at the moment and we do have Camacho, Assunção, and Motta as holding midfield options.

Meanwhile, we have less than a month before the season starts and an even shorter amount of time before Champions qualifiers begin…I worry that we still have not signed a decent playmaker.

What’s more, we still have Cléber in our ranks– I thought he would have been one of the first to make his way out of the club. I read a rumour that the club received offers for him, but nothing became of that.

Anything missing?

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Maniche, Thiago Motta | 19 Comments »

Thoughts on the 07/08 Season

Posted by atleti on May 19, 2008

It’s been another rollercoaster of a season, hasn’t it? Lots of highs, lots of lows, and I’m glad it’s all over because my nerves are shot…

Let’s have a look at our pre-season objectives:

-Be crowned Liga Champions. (too many dropped points)

-Win the UEFA Cup. (dumped out at the hands of rubbish Bolton)

-Win the Copa del Rey. (dumped out at the hands of rubbish Valencia)

-Qualify for Champions League football.

Well, at least we accomplished one of our goals. It’s already paid off in terms of 08/09 signings: we’ve secured the services of John Heitinga and, although it hasn’t been officially confirmed, Tomáš Ujfaluši looks like he’ll be our next signing.

Speaking of transfers, I choose SIMAO as our best signing of the 07/08 season:

Worst signing of 07/08? I choose the always-injured THIAGO MOTTA.

Yes, I’d rank him as worse than Cléber and Reyes. Had he been fit, we would not have had to use Cléber so frequently. In truth, though, all three of these players were nonsensical signings.

Consistently good players this season: Raúl García & Agüero.

I’d give the industrious award to Forlán. He continually put forth a lot of effort. He can be frustrating at times when he misses absolute sitters, but he creates plenty of goal-scoring opportunities for Kun and other players.

Worst players? I’m torn on this. For me, it’s a threeway tie between Eller, Pablo,  & Pernía. Pablo, I think, takes the cake because of his disastrous own goals. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE SHOW THIS RUBBISH THE EXIT? PLEASE?

Who had a disappointing season? I choose Maxi. Not a bad season, but most definitely not a good one. There were far too many times where I felt that he should’ve been removed from the pitch. He had a horrible tendency of disappearing for long portions of some games.

Surprise mid-season addition to the squad: the promising young Ignacio Camacho. The future is bright.

Anything else to add? Any memorable moments that stick out in your mind? Any forgettable moments you want to dredge up?

[These are the players I’d like to see shown the exit now: Pablo, Pernía, Cléber, Eller, Zé Castro, Reyes, & Mista. They’re all dead weight and have proven to be good for nothing.]

And, no, I’m not happy that Aguirre will stay with the club for another season. He has proven time and time again that he is NOT a tactical genius.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, Fabiano Eller, Ignacio Camacho, Javier Aguirre, Jose Antonio Reyes, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta | 24 Comments »

Jornada 33: Atlético de Madrid v Real Betis

Posted by atleti on April 18, 2008

#4 Atleti 54 points.
#13 Betis 41 points.

We played Betis in their stadium back in December and won them (0-2).

Now we must play them at home…

Here’s Aguirre’s starting 11:
STARTING 11: Leo Franco; Seitaridis, Pablo, Perea, Antonio López; Cléber, Raúl García, Maxi, Simão; Agüero & Forlán.

SUBS: Abbiati, Eller, Pernía, Luis García, Reyes, Miguel, Camacho.

New faces in the starting 11: Cléber & Seitaridis. Any predictions on how this will affect our play?

PREVIOUS ATLETI V BETIS RESULTS IN PAST SEASONS:
06/07 season: 0-0 draw.
05/06 season: Betis were in the second division.
04/05 season: 1-2 loss for us.
03/04 season: 2-1 win for us.
02/03 season: 1-0 win for us.

Betis will be without injured Edu & Caffa. Plus, their Argentine striker Pavone will be serving a suspension.

Betis’ recent five results:
Betis 0 Levante 1
Zaragoza 0 Betis 3
Betis 3 Barcelona 2
Osasuna 0 Betis 1
Racing 3 Betis 0

Fairly inconsistent run for Beticos, which explains their position in the league table.

Here’s a likely lineup:
Ricardo (or Casto), Ilic (or Damiá), Juanito, Melli, Fernando Vega; Arzu, Capi (or Juande), Odonkor, Xisco (or Babic); Sobis & Fernando.

Biggest threats, I think, are Sobis & Odonkor.

A win is crucial for us to secure a Champions spot! I don’t care how we do it… let’s just collect the three points.

In other news, it looks like Abbiati is set to return to Milan at the end of the season. A good long-term decision, I would say.

Meanwhile, Jurado could be headed to Mallorca as the club seek to improve and offload several players ahead of the 08/09 season.

Anything missing? Share!

Saludos y Aupa Atleti

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Cleber Santana, Giorgios Seitaridis, Jurado | 44 Comments »

This & That

Posted by atleti on April 7, 2008

WORDPRESS, the site that hosts my blog, has changed a few things recently. Long story short, I finally figured out how to update my sidebar with the goals.

Next five games:
-away to Real Valladolid
-home to Real Betis
-away to Getafe
-home to Recreativo Huelva
-away to Espanyol

With the exception of SuperGeta and perhaps Espanyol, I think we have a fairly good run of games coming, no?

JEERS & TAUNTS
Reyes and Cleber continue to receive abuse from supporters. Keep it coming– both players need to be continually reminded that they are not wanted at the club.

EL URUGUASHO MAKES HISTORY

After Sunday’s game,Forlán enters the history books of Uruguay and Liga as the highest scoring Uruguayan to play in Liga. 68 goals and still going strong! Congratulations to him!

AJAX SUPPORTERS SHOW APPRECIATION FOR HEITINGA
The Dutchman was thanked for his 150 appearances for the club by supporters– a large banner was created and supporters sang songs in his honour. 

RUMOUR-MILL
We’re linked with Bolton’s El Hadji Diouf. Sorry, but I don’t care for this player. NO THANKS. I hope this rumour remains a rumour.

Meanwhile, according to Tuttosport & MARCA, Juventus continue to ‘dream’ of signing Maxi this summer. I highly doubt it.

Anything missing? Share!

Saludos y Aupa Atleti

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, John Heitinga, Jose Antonio Reyes, Maxi Rodriguez, Simao Sabrosa | 31 Comments »

Jornada 28: Atlético de Madrid 3 Levante 0

Posted by atleti on March 18, 2008

Three goals scored, we’re still in Champions– a good day at the office for Atleti.

Abbiati; Antonio López, Pablo, Perea, Pernía; Cléber Santana, Raúl García (Ignacio Camacho 56’), Luis García (Miguel 62’), Simão (Jurado 83’); Forlán & Kun Agüero.

GOALS
24′ Simão header
38′ Forlán, assist Simão.
52′ Forlán

Great build-up to the goals, but the finishing for two of the three was downright ugly. Still, a goal is a goal is a goal and that is all that matters.

Injured list is still short: Valera, Maxi, and Motta.

Speaking of which, Motta‘s surgery was a ‘success’ and he will now begin the recuperation process. We can only hope that he has an equally successful recuperation before the start of the 08/09 season- that way we can offload him.

Here are a couple questions that were asked to Ignacio Camacho during his interview on AS (my translation):

 

How do you feel after that tremendous ovation that the supporters gave you on Sunday?
How am I supposed to feel! I play amongst top players and then the supporters react like that– well, it makes one very happy. The supporters are responding, they want players from the cantera…

 

The supporters whistled at Cleber because he played instead of you…
I have to keep myself out of that. The people’s opinion is one thing, what the manager says is another […] Yesterday [Cleber] had a great game.

 

Supporters’ abuse towards Pablo and Cleber has escalated to the point where even Aguirre has mentioned in press talks, claiming it ‘unjust’ treatment. Hell, you can hear it on TV!

What I think? Let the abuse continue- these players’ times as colchoneros is running out anyway. Why should supporters pretend they appreciate their presence on the team? They’ve proven to be rubbish time and time and time again.

Anyway, here’s our next five fixtures:
-away to Sevilla
-away to Villarreal
-home to Almeria
-away to Real Valladolid
-home to Real Betis

Anything missing? A lot I’m sure!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan, Ignacio Camacho, Juan Valera, Pablo Ibanez, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta | 11 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 »

Jornada 23: Racing Santander 0 Atlético de Madrid 2

Posted by atleti on February 11, 2008

Happy days are here again…

Abbiati; Antonio López, Perea, Pablo, Pernía; Cléber, Raúl García, Maxi (Reyes 84’), Simão (Luis García 71’); Agüero (Mista 77’) and Forlán.

How many weeks did we have to suffer before this victory? Too many. Unfortunately, it wasn’t televised here, but I’m still very pleased with what I’ve read from other bloggers.

Strong, dominating performance (with the exception of the first 20 minutes)? Check.

Back to a Champions League (thank you, Recre, too)? Check.

Agüero & Forlán continue to terrorise defences (our dynamic striker duo)? Check.

Clean sheet (strong display by Pablo & Perea in the central defence)? Check.

[Some Bad News (or, maybe not…?): Cléber was injured. It’s unclear to me at the moment how long he’ll be unavailable. The good news out of this is that Miguel will probably play more in our next two games, well, hopefully.]

Above all, and obviously, the other great bit of news is that Forlán scored two incredible goals (56′ and 74′)– it’s a major boost for the Uruguayo (who deserved these goals after all of his hard-work)– not to mention the team– ahead of our upcoming fixtures:

14-Feb: away to Bolton (UEFA)
17-Feb: home to Athletic (LIGA)
21-Feb: home to Bolton (UEFA)
24-Feb: away to Osasuna (LIGA)

In all honesty, a fairly good set of games left in February.

Anything missing?

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Diego Forlan | 19 Comments »

Backroom Drama…?

Posted by atleti on February 1, 2008

Just read an article on AS. about the ever-growing rift between Pitarch & Aguirre. Here are the details for English-speaking supporters: 

According to ONDA MADRID (31-January),  sporting director Pitarch wanted the club to sack Aguirre, following our elimination in the Copa. What’s more, Pitarch believes the Mexican’s mishandling of the Maniche situation is also grounds for sacking him.

In terms of Aguirre, he is apparently angered by the fact that Pitarch failed to do his job as sporting director by not signing Tiago (or another player of a similar quality). What’s more (and yes there’s more), Aguirre is also peeved that Pitarch failed to sign a centre-back for this season (both in the summer & January). The Mexican apparently made it quite known that the team was in desperate need of a new defender.

This wouldn’t be the first time Pitarch has had rift with a manager. Remember his time at Valencia? Rafael Benitez made it quite known to the press that he hated the players Pitarch signed: “I’ve asked for a table and they’ve given me a lamp.” 

One has to wonder, given his reputation for signing substandard players, why on earth would the club sign Pitarch as sporting director? It is, in fact, HIS fault that we even have Eller and Cleber. By the way, this is also the same man who said the club should sell Kun if the right price came along.

Some proof of Aguirre’s dissatisfaction?
*Diego Costa is out on loan.

*Cleber did not play in Liga until the Maniche situation. With Motta out injured, he obviously had obviously no choice but to select Cleber more regularly.

*Eller has been used out of necessity as we have limited options in the back-line as well.

On the flip side to all of this, Aguirre has hardly proven that he is a top quality manager (both at Atleti and elsewhere). He’s an average tactician, at best.

In all honesty, either way I look at it, we’re in a lose-lose situation with these two men. It’s certainly not a good thing that all of this is happening in the middle of the season either: all of these issues should have been resolved in the summer (eg rebuilding the defence when we had an opportunity, etc).

In terms of Pitarch’s proposal to sack Aguirre, the higher-ups are apparently opposed to the idea as they believe the team still have a lot to play for (#4 spot & UEFA Cup). At least that’s what’s being said in the press at the moment.

Later on today (Friday), Pitarch will speak to the press to explain (justify?) the lack of transfer involvement and such.  Perhaps we’ll receive some confirmation (or not) on the AS and Onda Madrid articles.

In the meantime, you have to wonder, how is all of this nonsense affecting the players?

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Diego Costa, Fabiano Eller, Javier Aguirre, transfers | 10 Comments »

Well, that’s that.

Posted by atleti on January 30, 2008

07/08 COLCHONERO OBJECTIVES

  • Win the Copa del Rey.

The one competition we had a genuine shot at winning and we crashed out of it against Valencia. VALENCIA! FULL-CRISIS MODE VALENCIA.

How did it happen? Well, after going up 2-0, Cléber gifts them their first goal. You remember Cléber, right? The €6 million Brasilian who was signed by Pitarch & Gil Marín. Two men who love wasting good money on mediocre players.

As a fellow blogger (Sergio) puts it, “This team is a disaster; no one knows how to play football. Maxi has been horrible, Luís García can already start looking for a new team, Reyes [is a joke], and above all, Agüero and Forlán must be asking themselves, “Why are we here?”

A bit over-the-top, but I couldn’t agree more.  At 2-0 up, it was OUR game to win. Instead, our rubbish players destroyed what little chance we had left.

If it’s not Cléber, it’s Pablo. If it’s not Reyes, it’s Eller. And so on and so forth.

Seriously, how the hell are we going to get through this season with such a rubbish defence and no playmaker?

Luck? We don’t have that either.

I don’t know what else to say. I’m angry, disappointed, and frustrated.

Positives? Agüero, Forlán, and Raul played well. Of particular note, Miguel also played rather well with the few minutes Aguirre gave him. Will the Mexican give him more playing time? Who knows? I honestly have no faith in the man.

So, anyway…what else is left on our list for this season?

  • Win Liga.

Impossible at this point. 16 points separates us from the #1 spot, mostly due to dropping points as a result of poor finishing or poor defending (eg Murcia, Villarreal, Almeria, Mallorca, Espanyol, Recreativo).

  • Win the UEFA Cup. 

The only Cup competition we have left, and, truth be told, a tough one to crack when compared to the Copa. Nevertheless, I hope that we continue to progress in this one. Next up: struggling Bolton away…

  • Secure a Champions League spot.

Still a possibility, but then again, who the hell knows with the way we’ve been playing? I’m still hopeful of at least a #4 finish…it’s be a miracle. (It’s the only way we can assure ourselves of not losing any top players during the summer.)

Our next five (Liga) games:

-home to Real Murcia (#17)
-away to Racing (#6)
-home to Athletic Bilbao (#16)
-away to Osasuna (#23)
-home to Barcelona (#2)

The next four, in particular, are absolute must-wins. Barcelona will be the toughest test– anything we can take out of this game would be a plus.

…Next up? Home to Murcia (LIGA).

It’ll be good to have Raul & Motta in the midfield. Both should be in tip-top  shape. 

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Cleber Santana, Copa del Rey, Diego Forlan, Javier Aguirre, Miguel de las Cuevas | 17 Comments »

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 »