Atletico Madrid has endured somewhat of a slow start to the new La Liga campaign seemingly as a result of Simeone’s preferred choice of tactics against smaller teams.
When the fixture list of the 2016/17 season was released, there’s no doubt that Simeone had already envisaged his side having a flying start to the new campaign with what seemed like an easy six-pointer against two newly promoted sides, Alaves and Leganes.
Despite being touted as comfortable favourites for both games, Atleti has managed to pick up just two points from their opening two fixtures.
That counter-attacking style of play should not be utilised against teams which are technically inferior to them.
Alternatively, Simeone should opt for a more attacking system against smaller teams, one which would enable the players at his disposal to make use of their creativity and trickery.
Banking on Griezmann to bag a few goals while playing safe won’t do Atletico a lot of good this season. They could be well out of the title race before the season begins to shape up.
Having acquired Kevin Gameiro and Nicolas Gaitan, it’s quite mind boggling to think that Fernando Torres is still Simeone’s first option from the bench.
Torres was subbed on against Alaves and Leganes, and his task was without question, to score the match winner, or at least to exploit spaces within the opposition’s defence in a bid to create clear-cut chances for his teammates.
El Nino’s influence wasn’t felt in both games, and Nicolas Gaitan would arguably have been able to make things happen for Los Colchoneros if he was granted some minutes on the pitch by the gaffer.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have a four point gap over Atletico, and while that gap can be quickly closed in any other League in European football, it will take something quite remarkable for Atletico to close in on Barca and Real due to the emphatic nature at which they secure victories and go on winning runs.
Atletico’s tactics need to be tweaked according to the quality of their opposition in a bid to pick up points and avoid stalemates against sides that will be more than happy to sit back and defend a draw.
Atletico Madrid takes on Celta de Vigo next; in what will prove to be a must-win fixture for Simeone’s side, although it’s still early days in the Spanish top flight, Atleti can’t afford to continue their slow start to the campaign.