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 ‘Juan Valera’ Category

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 »

Back from the dead.

Posted by atleti on March 12, 2008

When Atleti lose, it demotivates me…a lot. All I want to do is sing their praises here, but when they lose against the likes of Zaragoza in such a disgraceful manner, it’s, well, discouraging…to the point where I can’t even bring myself to blog about the mayhem.

Hence, the blog-laziness.

/rant over.

Moving on…

INJURY LIST
It’s short. Motta is still in the USA recuperating from his latest knee operation while Valera continues to recuperate from the knock he picked up against Zaragoza.

Maxi left the latest training session early because he had a bit of pain…precautionary decision.

Seitaridis has been participating in training sessions after nearly three months out with injury. Same goes for Leo Franco, but I doubt the Argentine will play much.  Should Abbiati continue on as 1st choice keeper or should Leo Franco reclaim his spot? I’d stick with Abbiati at this point.

RUMOUR GOOD NEWS!
Word is we’re looking for a club for Reyes, easily the worst signing of 07/08. …12 million euros down the drain, but thank goodness he’ll be shown the exit at the end of the season.

Anyway, next up? #20 Levante at home…

…be back with an entry on that.

Anything missing? Share.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Christian Abbiati, Giorgios Seitaridis, Juan Valera, Leo Franco, Maxi Rodriguez, Thiago Motta | 24 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 »

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.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Javier Aguirre, Juan Valera, Rumours, Sergio Aguero, Thiago Motta | 35 Comments »

Copa: Valencia 1 Atlético de Madrid 0 (1st leg)

Posted by atleti on January 23, 2008

I have very little to say except…

  • Pablo once again made a costly error. This guy is rubbish– mediocre, at best. He’s not Champions League quality. He’s not UEFA Cup quality. He needs to be shown the exit in the summer. End of story. (Same goes for the other defenders, in truth).
  • Clos Gómez is one of the worst referees in Spain and I’m almost convinced he hates Atlético. Among other things, he’s all too happy to give us cards. Motta‘s sending off was ridiculous. What’s more, his suspension comes at a time when we have such a long list of injuries.
  • Falcón and Valera both made key saves in the back. Falcón, in particular, has proven to be quite a good goalkeeper. When you think about it, if it weren’t for Leo‘s injury set-back, we might have never seen him play this season at all.

Overall, though, it was a poor performance by the team. Miraculously, Valencia didn’t kill the game, despite having the man advantage and holding 70% possession for long periods at a time. They’ll regret their inability to put the game beyond our reach when they had the chance.

Next up: away to Mallorca (Liga).

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Copa del Rey, Juan Valera, Pablo Ibanez, Thiago Motta | 10 Comments »

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 13: Atlético de Madrid v Real Valladolid

Posted by atleti on November 24, 2007

Finally! Club action is back on schedule!

{UPDATE} STARTING 11: Leo Franco, Valera, Pablo, Zé Castro, Pernía, Raúl García, Maniche, Reyes, Simao, Maxi; Kun Agüero.

SUBS: Falcón; Antonio López; Cléber; Forlán; Luis García; Eller; Jurado; Perea

A Few Notes
*As expected, Forlán will be on the bench & won’t play unless absolutely necessary. I think this is a good idea, in terms of preventing another injury setback.

*Valera’s first game in the starting 11- best of luck to him.

*Perea, Jurado, & Raul all appeared fit for the game.

*Where Motta you ask? Aguirre says he wants him fresh for our UEFA game against Aberdeen– he plans on using him in the starting 11

Here are a couple excerpts from Forlán‘s recent press talk:

“Sunday’s match is going to be difficult and since we’re playing at home we need to win the three points. In the end, it’s always important to be up there to have possibilities during the final sprint and to have something to play for.”

“The team is fine physically. The three points against Valladolid are very important, which means that we have to leave the last game against Almeria behind us. All of the matches are difficult, which is the good thing about the Spanish League, where you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

I agree 100%: this is a game we MUST win. Notice how I say that a lot? Well, if we expect to secure a Champions League spot this season, THESE are the games we need to win.

MOVING ON…both Maxi and Kun arrived from South America injury-free…always a good thing! Raúl García will be back into action, too: if you recall, he served a suspension in Round 12 and has used much of his time to recover from a fractured nose injury.

Personally, I’d like to see Luis Garcia in the starting 11– he did not serve international duty and has been injury-free.

My only concern is the defence– but I think we will keep it tight in the back. Perea & Seitaridis are out injured, so we might see Valera & Ze Castro in their place.

I’ve seen Valladolid play in previous rounds– they’re a good footballing side, but have had a topsy-turvy start to the season. Before the international break, they were on a good run & I don’t doubt that they will give us a ‘run for our money’. At the end of the day, however, we are strong at home & have a more potent attack.

Bottom-line: Let’s beat Valladolid!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Forlan, Juan Valera, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Garcia, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Ze Castro | 17 Comments »

One More Hodgepodge

Posted by atleti on November 21, 2007

Thankfully, Liga returns this weekend!! :)

International Break…almost over!
Pablo & Pernia played 90 minutes for Spain (against Northern Ireland), sealing top spot in their EURO group.

Maniche played 90 minutes for Portugal while Simao remained benched– Portugal qualify for EURO, too.

On Tuesday, Maxi played about 15 minutes for Argentina while Kun didnt play at all. Unfortunately, Argentina’s winning streak came to end as they lost to Colombia. I won’t elaborate on the loss, except, well, these things happen. Upwards & onwards, Albicelestes!

 In terms of Atleti, Kun and Maxi won’t be physically exhausted since they didn’t play much. I suspect they will be given some time to rest when they return to Spain (due to the time difference).

———-

Injury News
AS suggests that Forlán & Jurado are nearing the end of their injury spells. They may or may not be fit for Sunday’s game, though.

Seitaridis out….Valera in…
With Seitaridis recuperating from surgery (not to mention Perea also nursing an injury), it looks like Valera will be included in this Sunday’s starting 11 against Valladolid.

“I’ve really been looking forward to this moment, even though it’s due to a teammate’s injury. We hope that everything goes well, that we win and that we continue with our good streak”

“I feel really good. My knee is responding perfectly to all the work. I’m lacking rhythm, but I hope to get there little-by-little.”

It’s good to read that last bit– that he’s realistic in that he lacks ‘rhythm’ with the team. Let’s hope for a smooth return to football for Valera.

———-

RUMOUR-MILL AGAIN (& NEWS)
Just a few things that caught my eye these past few days.

The club are keen on renewing Maxi‘s contract (& clause) with his agency IMG since clubs (namely Inter) might be interested in his services. It’s said that he has been a mentor & good friend to Kun since the little Argentine’s arrival to Spain last season. The club are also keen on increasing Kun’s clause as well. I think this is more fact than rumour. 

I hope everyone has enjoyed in some way, shape, or form, their international holiday break!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Giorgios Seitaridis, Juan Valera, Jurado, Luis Perea, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Sergio Aguero | 9 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 »