When the likes of Juanfran, Filipe Luis, Diego Godin, Rodri, Gelson Martins and Lucas Hernandez and Antoine Griezmann left Atletico Madrid, it was perceived that the core of the team that achieved so much with Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid was expected to fall way off below their standard. To their credit, they were swift and were able to get recruitments to plug all the gaps left by the aforementioned players. Players like Renan Lodi, Hector Herrera, Mario Hermoso, Felipe, Kieran Trippier, Marcos Llorente and Joao Felix (most importantly, as he was to replace Griezmann) have come in and Atletico Madrid looks whole again. So, with all the ins and outs and obviously considering the fact that the new players will need time to bed in (some more than others), what exactly would be regarded as a good season for the other team from Madrid?
Obviously the season has started and the verdict so far has been mixed.
Atletico Madrid is third in the league (the La Liga), played eight times, lost one game (to Real Sociedad), won four times and drawn thrice. To some, it is not a bad start but when you seriously consider the fact that Barcelona – who is second on the table, in case you do not know- has not been at their best this season, especially with Lionel Messi gradually coming into the side and getting match-fit after recovering from injury. Barcelona has already lost twice but still have more points than Atletico Madrid.
In the Champions League, they showed great character to come from two goals down against Juventus and still snatch a draw. They are joint-top with Juventus with 4 points. The Champions League group is obviously a two-horse race at this point.
One thing that has been lacking for the Madrid team is goals. In the La Liga, seven goals have been scored in eight games by Atletico Madrid which yields an average of less than a goal a game. Joao Felix has two goals while the rest have one. To put it into context, Karim Benzema – who plays for Real Madrid- has six goals and has one goal less than the whole Atletico Madrid team put together.
On the bright side, a lot of the first eleven are new to this team and to Diego Simeone’s tactics (and antics) and would need time to settle. They are still solid at the back but need to start creating more and scoring more goals. There is still room for huge improvement. Even with all the room for growth, the team is still third in the league table. Who knows, if everything goes according to plan, they could win the league.
Fingers crossed eh?