As Diego Simeone is set to continue his tenure as Atletico manager, we look at the path ahead for the Argentinean.
For any manager operating at club level, becoming the best team around is the ultimate goal. But sometimes having played the best football throughout the tournament, teams still fall short of winning silverware. Such is the cruelty and hard-hitting nature of football these days with which managers and players have to cope with. Having come within touching distance of the Champions League twice, in 2014 and now in 2016, Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid have had to learn the realities of football the hard way. His team, without any doubt, had given its all out there on the pitch and still fell short of the promised land.
Diego Simeone, according to a report by Sky Sports expert Guillem Balague, has decided to stay in Madrid and continue his unfinished work of helping his squad win trophies in Europe and in Spain. For that to happen, Simeone has asked for a stronger squad. We look at 3 ways in which Diego Simeone could possibly help Atletico achieve sustained success in the immediate future
Investing in a proven goal-scorer
It is widely reported that Atletico Madrid are now in the market for a striker. Guillem Balague reports that Diego Simeone is keen to get his former hit-man Diego Costa back to Madrid. Costa enjoyed a successful spell at Atletico before joining the London unit in 2014. After winning the Premier League title with Chelsea in his first season, the second season in England for Costa proved to be a mixed one as he was criticized for his discipline during the game.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Edison Cavani is also a possible target for Diego Simeone. The 29-year-old is strongly linked with a move to Spain and is willing to listen to offers from potential suitors. However, with the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG would like to keep its star-striker especially as he now becomes central to Laurent Blanc’s plans for the next season.
Increased transfer budget to compete with the likes of Real and Barcelona
Atletico Madrid currently have a transfer policy and structure which is working well for them. In this current transfer strategy, Atletico majorly are a selling club where they are keen to keep a positive balance in terms of net transfers every window. However, this might have to change if Atletico want to sustain competing with the big clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona. A new stadium for the fans is nearing completion, which could host 73,000 fans. The fan base internationally has also increased for Atletico and they must realize now that to grow on a wider scale, they must increase their levels of investment as well.
Believing in the style of play implemented thus far
Self-belief has often taken sporting teams and individuals to levels they could only dream of. Defying the odds has always been the theme on which Atletico have operated. Having the underdog tag has only energized and motivated them to perform at a level that is higher than the initial expectations fans and viewers have from them.
Simeone has put in a lot of effort and time in drilling a never-say-die mentality into the players. Atletico Madrid’s squad may be on vacation for 2 months now, but for most of the squad it must be very hard to forget what transpired in Milan in the Champions League final. Even for a team like Atletico, it must be very hard and devastating to lose 2 finals in 3 years after having played so well. To see the players in tears and apologizing to the fans after the game showed what it meant for them to fall 1 step short again at the biggest stage of European club football.
Simeone needs to make sure that his philosophy and his playing style stays the same for as long as he is at Atletico Madrid. It takes a lot of time and effort to instill a typical playing style and for having players in the squad who completely play according to it and understand it. And thanks to the hard-work and determination of Simeone, he’s managed to build a squad that has adopted and implemented it to perfection. It is important for Simeone and his squad to realize that they aren’t too far from achieving their goals. The door is right in front of them, they just need to find the correct key to unlock it.