The One when only Messi was paying attention

Controversial decisions by the referee and two moments of magic by Messi earn Barcelona three points at the Vicente Calderón and leave the rojiblancos dumbfounded again. Atlético waited for Barcelona during the first half and was the better side during most of the second one. A touch of genius as Simeone called it left us deserving at least a draw but getting nothing. In depth match analysis and a look ahead

Comments (9)

  1. Great episode guys, been listening for a while and really enjoy hearing your take on the weekly events

    I have to agree with Gary on the Aguero topic, even on his best days, I never perceived the team to be as tight-knit as it is now. Maybe that’s due to just having to watch from afar, or maybe it’s due to the changes to the roster (that I some have in my opinion, rightly labeled cancerous), or maybe it’s Simeone, whatever the case may be, if the Aguero/Falcao change hadn’t happened I doubt the team would be any better now than it was last year, read: we qualified on default

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think I’d be upset if Falcao didn’t stay on for at least 2 more full seasons. I think the Torres idea is a bad one, and I hope the people in charge pay it no attention. Can’t predict the future but I’ll eat my words if Torres ever shines at Atletico again

    One last comment, and forgive me for bringing it up, I want to put the whole issue in a lock-box and jettison it at sea, but regarding the analogy of the refs to ill-behaved children or whatever it was..I think that the points you three mentioned about the system needing to rectify the issue is valid, all well and good. But refs are professionals as well, I don’t think it’s necessarily justified to look further upstream when it’s the individuals on the pitch making the calls. The fact that Spain is notorious for this only serves my point, the refs are all aware of this. I don’t think fair refereeing would preclude you from being assigned the major games, particularly outside La Liga. If all the refs performed with the same level of integrity (mistakes allowing), then the issue would be moot. It’s not as if the other 18 teams never commit serious infractions that would benefit the top 2. Wouldn’t that just make Spanish refs more likely to get assigned those higher profile matches anyway?

    Anyway, thanks from Canada for the insight

    • Thanks Mais,

      wonderful to see new opinions like yours pop up around here! Thank you indeed for commenting!

      I cannot say I’m even close to being objective on the Torres issue…I would swap him blindfolded! But I get your point. I’d do anything to have him back for his last 5-6 years of top flight football. Even sacrifice enjoying Falcao. But I understand other views like yours. My viewpoint has to do more with the heart than with what logic demands.

      About refs and falibilty. Do you think there is anyway out of this refereeing level dead end? I’m as pessimistic with refs as I am with the organizer of the competition. The problems are so deep the only feasible solution might be refounding the system for how referees are appointed and evaluated.

      Out of curiosity is there any formal fan structure in Canada for Atlético supporters?

      Thank you deeply for your comments. You listeners make all the hard work we put into creating this well worthwhile!

      • Hi Mais
        The problem the refs have is that the RFEF dont explain the rules properly to them. I have managed to speak to an ex ref and he told me that there are too many grey areas in the rules and when refs kick up a fuss about it they get demoted. I would like to see a league table where refs win points for good calls and lose points for bad ones.

  2. After my ranting break for being on your podcast last week I’ll now return to my weekly rant about This is Atleti ;)

    Great episode as always, but I somehow had the impression you forgot to talk about the Lazio match :D

    At first I’d like to point out that I really like the new section of naming the results of the other Atleti teams. I already liked that on the Spanish podcast, to which I sometimes listen (but on which it definitely is difficult as the guys speak way too fast for me to follow). Great idea to do that in the English podcast too.

    I have to agree on Derek on the late night kick-off but I can understand your problems of needing a 2 day recovery from it. You won’t get any younger :D Although that match on Sunday collided in the second half with my weekly crime series watching with my mom.

    To the Messi-free kick goal: It’s not an illegal goal and I would not blame Messi for it. If the referee signals him that he can take it why shouldn’t he? Because of fair-play? The mistake was clearly made by the referee.

    Which actually leads us to the referee problem. I agree with all of you on Spanish refs doing bad jobs. But as Gary said this is not a problem of Real and/or Barca, its’ a problem of the federation. It’s a thing that can’t be that Real and Barca are able to put such a pressure on the federation that a ref is taken off refereeing them. Also it’s quite a problem that the players – despite all the talking about respect for your opponent and fair-play – just know how to influence the referee in their favor.

    But this is not only a problem in Spain. It’s not like I’ve never seen that in Germany although it’s a smaller one. When Uli Hoeneß did one of his red-headed fuming interviews after a Bayern loss saying “THAT referee will never be refereeing a Bayern Munich match again” that referee never did anymore. On all the other clubs its quite common that a coach will be sent to the stands for a few matches if you criticize the ref publicly too much.

    As I have the impression that the referees in the European leagues, as well as in the competitions like CL and the World Cup are getting worse I think it’s time that FIFA starts doing something about it. Sadly FIFA seems like a bunch of old, arrogant, rich men who have no clue about the difficulties in modern football and only work for their own benefits. Same thing in all the federations. We need professional referees (on some of the linesmen I often think that they don’t understand the off-side rule because they are doing so wrong) and we need the introduction of technics in football like chips in the ball. I’ll never understand why they are so opposed to that.

    But back to the Barca match. I also think that we might have acted too defensibly in the first half. But it’s okay. Our defense was more than solid and I was really impressed how good we managed to keep Barca from scoring. Juanfran and Miranda did a great job again. Juanfran really went through some kind of metamorphose on the right back position and Miranda… well I have to say that I have to apologize to him. I did not think that he was a good player when he started the season but by now he has proven me that the first impression is not always the right one! I also liked Koke’s performance. As Gary said you still need to consider the fact that he still is a 19 year old guy and is still at the beginning of his career.

    One thing that I noticed kind of negatively was that we were quite hectic trying to build up our game. Once we got the ball they tried to pass it so fast upfront that you somehow had the impression they were thinking “Fast Fast! We have to pass it upfront before they’ll take it away! FAST!!!!”

    Like you I was really impressed by our second half. And although the first half was too defensibly I think that it was better this was because I’m not sure whether we were able to have kept up the play of the 2nd half for the whole match. But in contrary to you, I’ll never missed Kun Agüero as I never miss any player who chose to leave us. It doesn’t get me anything to keep thinking about the past. And you don’t need one world class player to defeat Barca. See Osasuna. Who was the world-class player there? Raul Garcia? :D

    I enjoyed listening to Gary’s report about the atmosphere at the training. It sounds like it’s a really constructive but also relaxed working atmosphere. I think that is a good thing.For the possible line-up I am on your side about Salvio and Dominguez replacing Godín and Falcao. But who will be our 3rd striker? Is Pedro from the Cantera suspended or not?

    On Salvio/Pizzi : As we did not take the option of buying Pizzi for 15 Million it is quite clear that he will leave us in summer but with Salvio it’s not. I personally think that Simeone might be trying to build up Salvio and tries to give him confidence so he’ll maybe show what he is capable of and it becomes more clearer what we might do with him in Summer.

    I have to say that I’m not a fan of those stupid international breaks. As I am really unpatriotic when it comes to football (why do I have to like a national team consisting of players I don’t like in Bundesliga or support a German team in the EL although I hate them in Bundesliga?) I think we might just cancel all this national team stuff. But Simeone is right. We are Atletico de Madrid, we have to be able to find a solution for the problem with the national team players away or maybe get injured. And also we are not the only team facing this problem as almost every team is having some player playing for his national team. Turkey is btw playing tonight a friendly against Slovakia.

    I think the point on people being not disturbed by only achieving 3 draws and a loss in the last for La Liga matches is that we are able to see exactly that what the players always used to say when Manzano was still there but what we never saw with him but do now under Simeone: The team is working really hard to come forward. As we all believe into the value of hard work and that the result will come if you are patient and just continue to work hard nobody loses his patience now. It’s the difference that you can actually see that the team is progressing, that they are working and you know that we might be a bit unlucky with the goals and the ref but that we have at last tried!

    As Torres was the one that brought me to the precious red and white club I’m one of the persons who’d definitely love to see him back in the Atleti dress. But as I am quite realistic we should not take him back on every price. A swap just Torres for Falcao is, considering the fact that we paid 40 million for Falcao, ridiculous considering Torres current state. This would be a typical Atleti transfer. As I don’t trust Mendes the slightest bit, I’m convinced that he’ll try to transfer Falcao as soon as possible to another club (especially if we will not be playing CL next season). In a Torres/Falcao swap there has to be at least some money included. I’d also not be opposed if they would also give us Courtois. The fact that Torres has not won a single trophy in his club carrier is something that always kind of fills me with spitefulness (although it’s a bit mean). I think for Torres it might be a great thing to move back to a known place, where the fans still love him and where he can return to his former state. Its’ not completely the same as Torres did well in Liverpool but I’d love to compare it with the Podolski situation. He was real shit at Bayern Munich and went back to Cologne although it was a step back in his career but only here he found the patience and the undying support of the club and the fans to get back to his old self. He would never have gotten back to his old form on another place than here-

    Last rant for today is on Reyes: As women are generally mean I hope someone just gives Reyes a mean tackle on the weekend!

    That was my weekly rant, and I believe it was the longest one I ever did. See you next week

    • Hi Susanne! thanks for your nice brief comment! LOL…no we didn’t forget about Lazio. We thought it would run too long and centered the episode on analysing the many things that happened on Sunday.

      Glad you liked the results section!

      Have a look at the video-enriched post my good friend Julio wrote for http://www.forzaatleti.com about Perez Lasa and Messi kicking the foul and you might have seconds thoughts whether the goal is legal or not! It’s a very hard call in any case. The ref deserves being punished by the FA for helping create the confussion in the first place demanding Gabi and Salvio to leave space…for Messi to shoot?!

      Share the same unpatriotic football feeling you have! Love that definition!

      Thanks for your looooonnnngggg and nice comments you always have for the podcast! I personally love them, so keep them coming!! But I can’t believe someone won you to commenting the podcast first!! You’re losing skills! LOL!

  3. Wow I finished reading Susanne’s comment in just under 10 minutes, a record!!! ;-) Only joking, I love reading your opinion. I agree with the Messi goal and I think it is time to move on. We as Atleti fans have a habit of grieving over injustices that we miss our chance to move forward. I think Simeone knows that we were unlucky and that will be passed onto the players but also we lost and the players will now know the urgency to beat Sevilla.
    On the Lazio game, was there anything really to talk about? I had forgotten the score and I was there!!!!
    As far as Torres goes I am thinking with my head and not my heart. If he was to come and only score the 5 goals people would go mental. But it would be great if he came back and was part of a team that has the potential to do something amazing. The major issue is, does Simeone want him? Should he not want him but the club sign him anyway it would be a disaster for the club as I am sure Simeone would walk.
    Anyway as always a pleasure

    • No there was nothing really to say about the Lazio match but you mentioned it in the headlines and did not say anything about it then ;)

  4. I have already seen the post on forzaatleti.com ;) I never disagreed on the fact that the ref needs to at least get a lecture on the rules but we can complain about that goal until the end of the world. It won’t change anything.

    Its not about being the first who commented! Actually I’m not having a chance to compete with somebody who is awake at 3:30 on a wednesday morning (which is only evening in Canada) :D Also it would be bad for you if it would only always be me commenting. ;)

  5. Lol, I dont think I could ever supplant Susanne!

    To answer you Ricky, no, sadly there isn’t anything resembling a “base” over here. Now that I think about it, outside of platforms like this one and the others you guys contribute to, I have only HEARD of one other atleti fan in any city I’ve lived, and I haven’t been introduced to him yet! However not to worry, I’m amassing a posse slowly but surely. I’ll be relocating to UAE soon, so hopefully if Atleti play a friendly against Al Ain (thank you football gods for this alliance), I’ll be able to gather them full force in support!