Diego Simeone has always maintained a high standard of quality in his Atletico Madrid side, but now they seem to have taken their performances to a level they haven’t reached before in the domestic league. Could this be the season where they manage to win La Liga for the first time since their 2014 heroics? Well, the start of this season seems quite encouraging in this regard.
Sometimes, when a new season begins, there are usually surprises, teams that are in a much higher position than what was expected from them and, in the vast majority of cases, they lose strength and end the season in a position closer to what was initially expected from them.
This season, in the early days of the English Premier League we saw Aston Villa or Everton leading the table, although five of the Big Six teams are now in the first five places. In Ligue 1, PSG had a difficult start but are already in the first position (although with 2 more games than Olympique Marseille) and in Serie A, the three most important clubs (Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan) lead the league table.
In Spain, it would be expected that Real Madrid and FC Barcelona would be in first and second place, starting to distance them from the rest, as it’s the case in pretty much every season. However, this season it seems that it will not be the case as Atlético Madrid have taken over the first place, 2 points above second place (Real Sociedad), 4 points above Real Madrid, with one game less than both clubs, and 12 points from FC Barcelona, with whom they have the same number of games. To this, it must be added that they have a streak of 7 consecutive victories in La Liga and has only received two goals against being the best defense of the tournament (nothing surprising, considering the team’s more defensive-minded playing style) and the second best attack with 21 goals scored (one less than Real Sociedad).
There are a lot of strengths that are worth highlighting about Diego “El Cholo” Simeone’s side, and most are those that could be expected from them based on what we have seen throughout the years of the Argentinian’s tenure: defensive strength, great pressing, effective counterattacks, etc. But there is something that must be highlighted about the current Atletico Madrid and it is how the Argentine coach has managed to recover players like Thomas Lemar, who seemed destined to leave the club due to his poor performance, Joao Felix, who had a tough first season where some critics even deemed as overrated because of his price tag or Luis Suarez himself, who has 5 goals and an assist in 6 La Liga games, when at FC Barcelona they let him go for free under the argument that he could no longer perform at top level.
The club has a clear advantage over its competitors and they are showing being a solid side both in attack and defense, which is something no other team in Spain is currently equaling right now and if they maintain that standard of performances throughout the season, there is no doubt that they are going to be the 2021 La Liga champion.