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 ‘Luis Garcia’ Category

Champions: Mission Possible….?

Posted by atleti on April 29, 2008

Or, will we throw it all away in the final games of the season?

I don’t think I can take much more of this, to be honest.

Our next fixtures:

-home to Recreativo Huelva

-away to Espanyol

-home to Deportivo la Coruna

-away to Valencia

This will be the longest four weeks of our lives.

Meanwhile, we are linked with Oporto’s Argentine left winger, Lucho Gonzalez. What’s more, he has expressed interest in the speculation by saying that we’re a great club with two top Argentines in the squad (Kun & Maxi).

This is a rumour, but it got me thinking about our current wingers:

Maxi.
Will he stay or will he go? He has been rather disappointing this season, I think. I only hope returns to a more consistent form soon.

Simão.
Untouchable as far as I’m concerned! Easily one of the best additions to the midfield.

Luis García.
Surplus. Better suited as a sub coming off the bench than as a starting 11 player.

Jurado.
He is linked with a move out of the club, it seems. Mallorca?

Reyes.
More negative news on him than positive news when it comes to him. He claims he wants to stay at the club, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was shown the door.

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Posted in Atletico Madrid, Jose Antonio Reyes, Jurado, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Rumours, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa | 14 Comments »

Jornada 34: Getafe v Atlético de Madrid

Posted by atleti on April 26, 2008

The Other Madrid Derbi.

#4 Atleti 54

#13 Getafe 41

STARTING 11: Leo Franco; Antonio López, Pablo, Perea, Pernía; Camacho, Raúl García, Maxi, Luis García; Forlán and Agüero.

SUBS: Abbiati, Zé Castro, Seitaridis, Cléber, Jurado, Miguel, Mista.

This lineup frightens me a little bit, I won’t lie. Will they do enough to get the job done? I would’ve preferred to see Miguel in the starting 11 than Luis, but that’s just me.

Anyway, Zé Castro, Mista, & Jurado return to the bench.

And Motta, Simao, & Reyes are unselected due to injury.

Getafe’s squad list: Pato, Ustari, Contra, Cata Díaz, Belenguer, Licht, David Cortés, Tena, Mario Cotelo, Gavilán, De la Red, Sousa, Casquero, Pablo Hernández, Granero, Manu, Albín & Kepa.

Getafe’s Recent five results:
3-1 away loss against Levante.
0-0 home draw against Zaragoza.
0-0 away draw against Barcelona.
0-2 home loss against Osasuna.
1-0 away loss against Athletic.

Dreadful run of form at the moment, which surprises me a bit because they were doing so well until they were dumped out of the UEFA Cup and Copa del Rey.

PREVIOUS GETAFE V ATLETI FIXTURE RESULTS
06/07 season: 1-4 win for us.
05/06 season: 0-3 win for us.
04/05 season: 1-1 draw.
03/04 season: Getafe were in the 2nd division.
02/03 season: Getafe were in the 2nd division.

Not a bad record at their stadium, but this is a tricky fixture considering how desperate they are to pick up 3 points. That said, we seriously cannot afford to lose or draw– only a few points separate us from Racing and Sevilla. A loss would drop us to #5.

Let’s just win! I don’t care how we do it…let’s just leave there with 3 points.

Meanwhile, Maxi is still with a move out of the club (Juventus & Liverpool monitoring his situation), but President Cerezo has said he is staying put…

Lucho Gonzalez is rumoured to be one of our summer targets as is Hilario Navarro, goalkeeper of Racing Club…

Anything missing? Share!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Jose Antonio Reyes, Jurado, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Miguel de las Cuevas, Pablo Ibanez, Rumours, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta, Ze Castro | 20 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 22: Atlético de Madrid 1 Murcia 1

Posted by atleti on February 3, 2008

Los Colchoneros fall flat again.

Abbiati; Perea, Pablo, Eller (Luis García 55’), Pernía; Motta, Raúl García, Maxi, Simão (Miguel 46’); Agüero (Cléber 71’) & Forlán

GOALS
51′ Jofre (penalty as a result of Eller hauling down a player in the box)
62′ Luis García

Unfortunately, the game wasn’t on TV over here, but I followed the first half on El Mundo’s live-text. I missed the second half (weekend errands) and hoped that I would see a winning score-line when  . That, unfortunately, wasn’t the case.

Fellow blogger Fernando has provided one of his concise and always good recaps for the game. I translated some of it, for non-Spanish speakers:

“Atlético de Madrid is no longer in the Champions zone. Los Rojiblancos drop to fifth place, a point below Espanyol & Villarreal. Aguirre’s team have collected only 1 point in their last three Liga games. This, coupled with the elimination of the Copa, leaves Los Colchoneros in a very bad run of form. In addition, Agüero will be injured for the the next two weeks after receiving a hard knock to the knee.”

“Atlético made the same errors once again: fragile defence, lack of creativity […] erractic game through the flanks, and little reaction from substitions.”

“Atlético deserved to win because they had more possession and opportunties at goal. While they didn’t play very good, at least they continued to search for the victory, unlike Murcia who resorted to long ball tactics & time wasting. The supporters left the stadium disillusioned and fed up after another disappointing afternoon at elEstadio Vicente Calderón.”

Good summarisation of the game.

Oh, and to top it all off, after the game, Leo Franco, angered by the injury sustained by his compatriot Agüero, initiated a fight in the tunnel with a few of the Murcia players.

I honestly don’t know what to say. Same crap over and over and over again. I thought this would be the game that would give the team a major boost and return us to winning ways. Instead, it’s another disaster, thanks once again to our weakest links (and lack of a playmaker).

To make matters worse, we travel to Racing (#6) who are in fairly good form at the moment.

Will we secure a Champions spot? A UEFA spot? An Intertoto spot? Will Aguirre resign if we receive another bad result next week? Who knows at this point.

Same crap, different season…

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Fabiano Eller, Leo Franco, Luis Garcia, Sergio Aguero | 8 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 »

UEFA: Atlético de Madrid 2 Panathinaikos 1

Posted by atleti on December 20, 2007

Los Colchoneros celebrate the win that sends them to the top of Group B.

TACTICS: Abbiati; Perea, Zé Castro (Reyes 60′), Eller, Antonio López; Raúl García, Cléber (Simao 46′), Luis García, Maxi; Forlán and Kun Agüero (Pablo 90+5).

GOLS
33′ Salpingidis
73′ Luis García (tremendous bit of skill by Kun & Reyes)
90+3′ Simao (GOLAZO free-kick; happy ending)

CLICK HERE TO SEE GOALS.

It wasn’t the greatest game, but our quality and ‘fighting spirit’ trumped that of the Greeks. We wanted it more, pushed for the win, and got it.  Mission Accomplished.

Panathinaikos proved to be a tougher nut to crack: for the most part, they were a well-organised, defensively-tight team. Oh, it certainly helped them that the German referee was unusually harsh on los rojiblancos– he disallowed two blatantly ONSIDE goals and, according to a few accounts, wrongly sent off Raúl.

What have I learned from this game?

*That Simao is our free kick specialist. OK, I already knew this! This game served as further confirmation.

*That Aguirre clearly wanted to avoid a Champions League loser as all of his substitutions were attacking players– to the point that he, again, sacrificed a defender (this time Zé Castro). Brave move by the Mexican– I wish he’d do this more often in Liga.

*We were OK in defence, but lacked presence in midfield, perhaps largely due to the absence of Maniche?

*That we came out more attack-minded in the second half.

I followed the game via live-text, so if you watched it in person or on live video, I’d be interested to know any specifics comments you had on the overall team performance or specific players. 

Group B (GROUP PHASE COMPLETED)
Atlético 10

Panathinaikos 9
Aberdeen 4
København 3
Lokomotiv Moskva 2

ROUND OF 32 HERE WE COME!

AUPA ATLETI

(Next up: home to ESPANYOL this Sunday.)

(I’LL BE AWAY FROM THE BLOG UNTIL EARLY SATURDAY; New entry will be up for the game against Espanyol.)

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Luis Garcia, Simao Sabrosa | 4 Comments »

UEFA: FC Copenhagen 0 Atlético de Madrid 2

Posted by atleti on December 6, 2007

Atleti reach the final 32 of the UEFA CUP.

Abbiati; Antonio López; Pablo; Eller, Pernia; Simão (Maxi 67′); Motta; Cleber (Maniche 73′); Luis; Agüero; Forlán (Raúl García 72′).

UNUSED SUBS: Falcón; Reyes; Mista; Perea

The good news is that Perea, recovered from his injury, but still not quite ready to start, was able to sit this one out. I suspect he’ll be in the starting 11 against Granada for the Copa del Rey. Come to think of it, I suspect Mista will also start in that away leg to Granada.

GOALS
21′ Simão (assist by Agüero) CLICK HERE TO SEE IT.
62′ Agüero (assist by Motta) CLICK HERE TO SEE IT.

Both goals are brilliant. Simão is pure class– it continues to boggle my mind that cocky, immature Reyes has been chosen over him for Liga games recently. Here’s hoping that Simão returns to the starting 11 on a regular basis. He’s too good a player to be benched.

Other Points
I was able to watch the entire first half before I had to step out.

I have to say that despite the obvious shortcomings of certain players, overall, the defence has been looking fairly good. Yes, I never thought I’d say this, but they have improved quite a bit & should be commended for it. That said, here’s hoping that they continue on improving.

Motta has been effective since his return from injury; he controls & commands the midfield so well– in addition to creating opportunities for our strikers when given an opportunity. If he remains fit, he will be an immense part of our campaign. For all of you who have watched him in action recently, you know what I mean.

Simão on Motta’s presence on the pitch (after the game):
“All of the players are very important. In the case of Motta, he’s a player that gives us a lot of tranquility [‘peace of mind’] because he knows how to play the ball well.”

Yesterday, I was a bit apprehensive when I read that the Brasilian wasn’t able to finish the training session due to an aggravation in his knee. I was glad to see that he was fit enough to play a full 90.

Luis Garcia. Another player that I rate higher than Reyes. Luis had a very active 1st half– making a nuisance of himself, attacking, creating space. I thought, however, that he was a bit irregular (eg poor corners in the 1st half) and lacked that extra bit of polish. Lack of playing time can be attributed to that.

Forlán: always the silent work-horse. He can have moments where he disappears from sight– but I’m not bothered by that since he always reappears at opportune moments. If he’s not taking his own chances, he is creating chances for fellow players.

(If anything stuck out at you during the 2nd half, feel free to leave a comment.)

Aguirre after the game:
More than anything, I liked the three points. It is always difficult when they cram themselves inside the area, but it always seemed that we were comfortable. Despite the poor condition of the field, we never stopped playing our game.

So, after all is said and done, here’s how it all shapes up after this round:

Group B
Panathinaikos 9 (qualified)
Atlético 7 (qualified)
København 3
Lokomotiv Moskva 2 (disqualified)
Aberdeen 1

The good news is that we qualify to the next round of action. The bad news is that we have one more game to win in order to top that table. That’ll be at home to Panathinaikos. It’s a must-win game that’ll move us to the top of the table. Why is that important? It’ll mean playing a 3rd placed UEFA team instead of a Champions League reject. I’m confident that we’ll secure the points against the Greeks.

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Forlan, Jose Antonio Reyes, Luis Garcia, Luis Perea, Sergio Aguero, Simao Sabrosa, Thiago Motta, UEFA | 5 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 »

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 »

Jornada 11: Atlético de Madrid v Villarreal

Posted by atleti on November 2, 2007

Friday’s Training Session Notes
Kun, Pablo, and Forlán worked with the physical therapist in the gymnasium. Meanwhile, Mista and Motta participated in individualised sessions in the gym, which included some work with the ball. So, a bit of good news: they’re making some progress.

In terms of Sunday, it’s still unclear (at least at this very moment that I write this) on whether KUN will be available– the official squad list has yet to be released. Nevertheless, it looks like there is a strong possibility of a MaxiLuis García front-line. AS is good to point out that even though it’s an atypical strike force for us, Maxi & Luis are still more than capable of playing as in that role when needed.

Meanwhile, Pablo injured himself in the training session before the game against Sevilla, so we might see PereaZé Castro in back again. In terms of the midfield (as expected), Simao would occupy the left wing while Reyes takes charge of the right. And, of course, they’re more than capable of switching sides and such as they both work well on both sides.

{UPDATE, 3-November} Squad List:
2 Seitaridis.
4 Pernía.
3 Antonio López.
6 Cléber Santana.
8 Raúl García.
9 Luis García.
10 Agüero. (fit enough to be included, but we’ll have to see if he starts)
11 Maxi Rodríguez.
12 Eller.
13 Abbiati.
14 Zé Castro.
15 Jurado.
17 Reyes.
18 Maniche.
21 Perea.
22 Pablo Ibáñez. (recovered from his injury)
23 Valera.
24 Simão.
25 Leo Franco.

{UPDATE, 4-November} STARTING 11: Leo Franco; Seitaridis; Perea; Pablo; Pernía; Raúl García; Maniche; Reyes; Simao; Maxi; Agüero

AUPA ATLETI!

Posted in Atletico Madrid, Diego Forlan, Luis Garcia, Maxi Rodriguez, Pablo Ibanez, Sergio Aguero, Thiago Motta | 29 Comments »