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Atletico Madrid's major failing shows why Simeone has never been Chelsea's No.1


Diego Simeone, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto di Matteo, Rafa Benitez, Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel.

Some list, that. Odd one out? Diego Simeone. He is the only one of that ten who has not had a crack at the Chelsea job over the past nine years.

Instead, he has been creating his own dynasty at Atletico Madrid, building his own brand.

He has not changed in nearly a decade, no less a whirling dervish in the technical area during this contest than he probably was in his first game in charge against Manuel Pellegrini’s Malaga.

If coach-watching is your thing, then Simeone remains compelling viewing.



Simeone is notorious for his defensive style
Simeone is notorious for his defensive style

If you like your coach rolling along the touchline like a human Catherine Wheel, Simeone is your man.

And if you like your coach to have a touch of tactical genius about him, there is little doubt Simeone fits he bill.

Topping this season’s La Liga table, as well as a CV that includes one league pennant and two Champions League final appearances, is proof of that.



Atletico's hard work was undone by Giroud's winner
Atletico’s hard work was undone by Giroud’s winner



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Let’s face it, though, his teams can be painful to watch.

Maybe it is harsh to make a sweeping judgement, considering Spanish football is not our staple diet.

And to be fair, 45 goals in 23 La Liga games this season is not too shabby.

Yet it is positively prolific compared to his standard stuff. In the last five full La Liga campaigns, his team has averaged 59 goals a season.

That is dull.

This was dull, this was elite bus-parking that eventually backfired.

Atletico might still have a squeak of progressing and their approach might provide some form of fascination for the purist.

But if you wonder why Chelsea and the other blue-chip Premier League clubs have never truly moved heaven and earth to try and get Simeone on board, this safety-first snooze-fest is part of your answer.

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