Have you ever consider Atletico Madrid without Diego Simeone? From my point of view, this is a tough issue, especially for Rojiblancos’ fans. Since he was joined Atletico Madrid in 2011, the Spanish club won five titles including one UEFA Europa League, one Spanish La Liga, one Spanish Cup, one Spanish Super Cup and one UEFA Super Cup as well as they reached in two UEFA Champions League finals. Additionally, Atletico Madrid improved its ranking in Spanish La Liga in the last years under the instructions of the Argentinian coach. The graph below displays the progress of Atletico Madrid in the ranking of La Liga (*the season 2017/18 has not finished yet).
Final Ranking of Atletico Madrid from 2004/05 to 2017/18
Atletico Madrid is constantly in the first three positions of the league since 2012/13. So, Diego Simeone developed practically the image and the level of Rojiblancos.
However, the Argentinian coach did something more important. He inspired the club and the players to adapt to his mentality and discipline. These two characteristics led the club in the elite of Spain and Europe, and Atletico Madrid is now one of the best clubs due to Simeone’s influence. His tactical stability and the mental toughness during the game was the primary benefit of El Cholo’s team. Players such as Godin, Savic, Gabi, Koke, Filipe Luis, Oblak and Griezmann created a powerful tactical machine with so much passion for the win. Remarkably, such discipline of Simeone’s tactical approach overcame the non-qualitative features of the players mentioned above (except Griezmann how is a very skilful attacker).
Source: World Soccer
Simeone gave a new and an alternative vision in the club which has been proved successful. Even if Atletico’s style is appealing or not, the Spanish club has its own identity and its football style with its pros and cons. If Atletico Madrid invests in this mentality and this philosophy of football with the same style of players and coaches in the future, can’t they continue to perform successfully on the field? The answer is controversial due to the clear example of the Italian club Inter Milan which suffered significantly after the exit of Jose Mourinho in 2010. The philosophy of Mourinho is similar to Simeone’s one. When Mourinho left Inter, the club changed its football style entirely. Therefore, the club has not won a single title since 2010/11 and the same players did not perform as they used to with Jose Mourinho.
This is the most challenging issue of Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone and the current players will leave one day, but the club will be there. The question is simple. To continue in the same manner that Simeone was first introduced to the club or following another way to modernise Atletico’s football and make it more attractive to the fans. This summer will be crucial for the club’s future regarding the imminent transfer of Griezmann to Barcelona and Simeone’s future in Rojiblancos’ bench. Will Atletico Madrid keep the same philosophy with the next coach, if Diego Simeone decides to leave the club? The upcoming months will give us the answer.