He did not want to, but Diego Pablo Simeone, Atlético’s coach, had to endure several questions about the situation of French striker Antoine Griezmann, a former Atletico Griezmann player, signed by Barcelona, whose entry in the preview of his team’s match against Mallorca at Wanda Metropolitano. The duel last Tuesday at the Camp Nou in the 90th minute has generated discomfort in the player’s environment.
Although he reiterated again and even twice the “speechless” With which he already referred to this matter at the post-match press conference at the Camp Nou, the Argentine coach expanded his reflection on a question that referred to a message from Griezmann’s father on social networks where he said that the Barcelona coach Quique Setién “doesn’t have the keys to the truck.”
«I don’t drive any truck, I drive a team of footballers who work for a very important club like Atlético, they know the responsibilities, and in this team three minutes are decisive, we lost a final of ‘Champions’ for three minutes », he recalled, referring to the final lost against Real Madrid in 2014 in Lisbon, after Sergio Ramos’ draw in the 93rd minute that forced overtime.
That said, Simeone did not consent to further questions on the Griezmann matter: “At the moment we are playing a lot in this season finale that we have left and I think that point today is not important to us,” he settled.
Already in the key of his team, Simeone pointed out that Atlético’s assessment, one of the best after the resumption of the championship with four wins and two draws in six days, it must be done “in the end” because LaLiga is “the prize for consistency”. “Many times we rush to comment, but we are not yet at the end and obviously there is no assessment for us yet,” he insisted.
Simeone defended that his team had already shown before the stoppage of the coronavirus pandemic a ascending line after eliminating English Liverpool winning 2-3 on Anfield Road, an “important result” that in his opinion “was going to give an important boost to the continuation of the league”
“There was a break, they trained well at home, we came back with an idea aimed at that search for how to get to the first three games and we were behaving. We have a team with a lot of commitment, very well related to each other, and to continue improving, this still continues, there are five hard days left, “he added.
Immersed in a positive streak of 14 points out of 18 possible with which the rojiblanco team has gone from sixth place to third, the Argentine coach had to face the question of whether they could have fought for the League title if they had not left so many points previously.
“It is the same thing that Villarreal should ask, which is the best team for its results after the break, better than Madrid and us. You can’t go back, the year is very long », replied Simeone. The rojiblanco coach recalled that his team is “in a transition year” due to the large number of changes made to the squad, as it repeated over the course of the season, before the stoppage caused by the pandemic.
The five changes
The Argentine coach has been one of those who have taken the most advantage of the possibility of making five changes, authorized to avoid injuries resulting from the physical overstraining of playing every three days after three months of activity, but surprised predicting that each time the teams will use less the five substitutions.
“It is clear that the more continuity of footballers we can have, the more internal competition we have and with this opportunity that appears with the five changes, we can have more variants, although I consider that each time the competition advances, the forms of footballers begin to improve Many teams will stop making five changes, because there are times when the game does not ask for them, even if the changes are allowed. There is a lot at stake and every minute will be decisive, “he assured.