Vicente Calderon

Next Game

A Madrid v Barcelona

Wednesday, 28 January 2015, 20:00

Copa del Rey Quarter Final

Vicente Calderon

Last Game

A Madrid 3 - 1 R Vallecano

Saturday, 24 January 2015, 19:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Grand Diego

I was recently told that the physical trainer at Atletico Madrid is saying the team can last the campaign at their current level.

Last Updated: 23/12/13 at 16:48

Pitch perfect: Simeone is a master on the training ground, says Guillem

Pitch perfect: Simeone is a master on the training ground, says Guillem

That's because they have different targets to last season.

Last year, after winning the Super Cup against Chelsea, it was about reaching the Champions League and when they were more or less safe two months before the end of the season they concentrated on the Copa del Rey.

This year, though, the target is to win La Liga, no matter what Diego Simeone says.

Atletico are where they should be in budget terms, but they have to sell and will sell next year as they need to get 40-50 million euros to pay interest on taxes, so what Simeone is doing is extraordinary.

He would have liked to get one or two other signings but he is doing everything on the training pitch, something some managers forget, with his very short and intense sessions.

Simeone - whose side play like they train - always demands more, like when they he wanted one more goal when Atletico were 3-0 up against Valencia so they could go top of the table.

Everyone is enjoying the club's success and that is down to the personality of Simeone.

His football is not very complex - it is all about recovering the ball - but this year they have added more work on possession for when they attack deep defences, and they are getting better because of the synergy between the coach and players and the fact everybody feels important.

Simeone gave an emotional speech about how people who struggle to make ends meet work hard and so the players should as well, while he said Barcelona's stats are stratospheric - despite Atletico having the same ones!

He just doesn't want to take away from the game-by-game philosophy.

Guillem answers your questions...

Got a question for Guillem? Then send it in using the feedback form below, and then look out for his answer next week...

PEP UP
Hi Guillem, Has the Bundesliga grown much in popularity in Spain since Pep Guardiola has taken over at Bayern Munich? Allen

GUILLEM SAYS: The Bundesliga has grown in interest, not just because of Guardiola but because the authorities run things properly over there. Wages are more or less capped and the domination of Bayern Munich doesn't overshadow things and every year there are one or two other candidates to win the league. Guardiola had a big challenge on his hands at Bayern but he is doing well. You wondered how he could improve them but the players' positional sense has improved, they can play the ball, and Philipp Lahm as a central midfielder has been a real discovery. They can play with a false nine - Thomas Muller in that position is great - and Franck Ribery as a free creative force works, so that proves that it wasn't just Lionel Messi and the players who made Barcelona, it was Pep as well.

TWO BECOME ONE?
Hello Guillem. In regards to City v Barca, do you think we should start with two strikers (like we did against Bayern at home) or drop a striker and play a five-man midfield with either Silva or Nasri playing in support of the striker (like against Bayern away). Bayern blew us away in midfield at home and they blew us away the first 15 minutes at their own stadium, but as soon as our midfield was able to match them (especially Silva) our attacking still looked good minus the striking partnership we have played in the league this season. Mikle

GUILLEM SAYS: I think we get confused by roles sometimes. Two strikers against Bayern at the Etihad was not a good idea as the two players played like strikers, but Manuel Pellegrini's idea was that one of them came a little bit deeper. I think that if Alvaro Negredo plays he could perhaps play a little bit deeper because Sergio Aguero is more of a number nine than Negredo, even though he is shorter. Negredo can intervene in the build-up and assist, whereas Aguero is more dangerous in the box. I think the match will be equal as Barcelona have their own problems and you could see in the first 20 minutes against Getafe there was no discipline on the pitch. Everybody switched on later when pride was at stake and they hit a Getafe side who decided to play like they were a better team than they were by defending high and they killed them.

SERGIO RAM-OFF??
Is it now time for Sergio Ramos to go? I have supported Real Madrid since moving to Spain eight years ago and have defended many of Sergio's 'indiscretions - his reputation does precede him at times. However, it seems that he is now becoming a liability. His latest sending off, against Osasuna, was ridiculous. Maybe the first yellow card was not deserved but a player of his experience should know that once he is shown one card he then has to tread carefully - he didn't at the weekend. Eighteen dismissals in his time at Real Madrid is far too many and I feel that his contract negotiations should be ended and the next transfer window should be used to at least test the market. bigal73

GUILLEM SAYS: European champion, World Cup champion, and you will sell him? I think that would be a rushed decision. He is not on his best form but I think he should be worked on and improved because his possibilities are immense. He is physically and mentally very strong but he is going through a dip.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Contract news: Robin van Persie unsure if he will be offered new Manchester United deal

Robin van Persie says he has no idea if he will be offered a new contract at Manchester United.

Manchester United U21s beat Liverpool 2-1 as Victor Valdes makes first appearance for the club

Goals from Nick Powell and Paddy McNair gave Manchester United's U21 side victory over Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village.

FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford handed Sunderland or Fulham showdown in fifth round

Bradford's reward for knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup is a fifth-round showdown with either Sunderland or Fulham.

Mail Box

The Problem With FA Cup Shocks...

...is that the draw for the next round is pretty shocking. Blackburn v Stoke, anybody? We also have mails on LVG and ManUnited, who drew plenty under Fergie...

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company