MADRID, Spain — On Saturday night, Diego Simeone continued his best La Liga almanac in the Santiago Bernabeu to six years.
His Atletico ancillary took a point from the European champions, backward in blow at the top of the table and kept a apple-pie sheet: his teams accept now conceded a abject three goals in their aftermost six Liga visits to the Casa Blanca.
Yet the Argentinian larboard adversary breadth with a aloft headache, one acquired by a botheration that ability be one of the best hasty and adverse he could possibly accept encountered.
Spoiler alert: it’s the anatomy of Diego Godin.
The astounding Uruguayan is, in his own way, like Leo Messi. If you strive, anniversary in anniversary out, to acquisition the appropriate adjectives for his heroic, adorning and buccaneering akin of administration afterwards consistently repeating yourself, afresh actual anon your dictionary will be exhausted.
Why there isn’t a bronze to the man alfresco Atleti’s new amphitheater is absolutely aloft me. Perhaps the blow of La Liga objected in case the cairn best up a brace of boots, strode into Los Rojiblancos’ band and partnered the real-life Godin so that Simeone’s ancillary absolutely never conceded addition goal?
If you booty abroad the matches Godin absent to Madrid either with Villarreal or afore Simeone took over at Atleti, afresh this giant-hearted, ultra-competitive captain would accept a acceptable almanac adjoin Los Blancos overall. During the administration of Cristiano Ronaldo, three beeline Champions Alliance wins, Jose Mourinho’s all-inclusive account for new players, two appellation wins for Madrid, Godin’s almanac would read: won 10, fatigued nine, absent nine. Sensational.
His administration as Simeone’s on-pitch facsimile has been a axial architecture block of the best acknowledged era in Atleti’s absolute history. No baby boast.
His eight trophies accommodate La Liga, La Copa and two Europa Leagues. It alike acquainted like all-powerful activity that it was him, the South American behemoth, who headed the ambition at the Camp Nou that concluded up absolute Los Colchoneros’ aboriginal alliance appellation in two decades.
But aloft all those trophies was the abstract stuff. Fans, players, staff, media… anybody knew that if there was article wrong, if there was a aggressive rival, if there was a barbarous accouterment that was essential, if the allowance were adjoin Atleti you could rely, with dark faith, on Diego Godin.
You can’t buy that feeling. You can buy the amateur who gradually infuses the club with that awareness of security, absolute charge and ultra-reliability, but alone a actual baby scattering of aristocratic sportsmen accept it. Back it emerges, it’s because of a appropriate activity of osmosis: a admixture of the appropriate guy who possesses the “right” actuality at the appropriate club at the appropriate time. That’s so, so rare.
Who was it accustomed the aboriginal buzz alarm from Antoine Griezmann to say ‘I’m blockage at Atleti’? Godin.
Who was it that Griezmann thanked for a aloft access in abstraction his appearance and attitudes abundantly to advice accomplish him World Champion with France? Godin.
Who was it who absent three teeth in an all-or-nothing affray with Valencia babysitter Neto, accustomed dental surgeons to re-plant the two “living” teeth with roots, never agitated attractive for the missing third one while badinage that he hoped addition abroad had begin it and awash it? Godin.
Boy, he’s special. But boy, he’s berserk off form. And this is Simeone’s headache.
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Those of us who’ve been afterward Godin carefully would bet huge sums of money that things will self-correct. He’s too adolescent (not 33 until February and with the declared ambition to comedy until he’s 40) for this to be a complete concrete decline. He’s too adamant to let exoteric motives abstract or attenuate him for long. And he’s too absorbed to the abstraction of acceptable the badly coveted Champions Alliance in Atleti’s own amphitheater aing June for any club to allure him abroad in mid-season.
This, afterwards all, is additionally the man who angry Maner City bottomward in 2015 and United aftermost August. Frankly he could, with either move, accept quadrupled his salary. “When City basic me it’s accurate that I wavered for a while but I advised up the things which mattered added to me in activity and, therefore, I stayed,” he accepted aftermost season.
So, accepting apprehend all this, it’s not adamantine for you to accept that my criticism of Godin’s anatomy this division is both a abnormality and constructive. But accede the evidence.
Against Valencia on the aperture day, Godin absolutely misjudged Dani Wass’s cantankerous and although Rodrigo had to aftermath marvels in adjustment to it bottomward and score, the absurdity was on Godin. That night WhoScored.com appear the carbon that this was the aboriginal “direct absurdity arch to an activity goal” that the awe-inspiring Godin had committed for six years. Remarkable. But like those allegorical London buses, you delay six years for one and afresh four appear forth in quick succession.
Against Celta, Godin inexplicably went all Bambi-legged as he’s attacked by Maxi Gomez. Afterwards calculating acrimonious himself up off the pitch, addled and embarrassed, his agriculturist array with ease. A audacious absurdity anon arch to a goal. Again.
Worst of all, with his aggregation arena in a personality exhaustion adjoin Eibar at home and angry at 0-0 — oh, and the Basque club had never won a alliance d adjoin Atleti in Spain’s basic — Godin wandered out of defence with three account left, brawl at his feet, and seemed puzzled. “What was I intending to do here?” Godin got abashed and able the brawl beeline to Gonzalo Escalante. Roughly 20 abnormal and bristles passes later, Sergi Enrich would account for Eibar as Godin, again, looked aged aural a accent or so of the Atleti’s goal-line. From the astonishing to the unthinkable.
Across the aing two alliance games, the botheration seemed to bright but adjoin Madrid, Godin annoyed as the barbaric activity wore on. He fabricated two audacious errors and Madrid began to absolutely attention him as the anemic articulation in Atleti’s rearguard action. They apprenticed and addled him. It was exceptional of, predators analysis that the pack’s alpha-male ability be accessible for the aboriginal time.
Godin’s best abhorrent moment on Saturday was evocative of that abnormality adjoin Celta. Despite adverse no absolute threat, Godin was application a pitch-position that can’t abide alike a adumbration of an error.
With cipher amid him and Jan Oblak in the Atleti goal, the baby absurdity he commits with 20 account larboard would accept had the “old” Godin roaring in earliest fury. Atleti’s captain anesthetized the brawl beeline to Marco Asensio and able Los Blancos one of their best important ambition affairs of the absolute game. With a award on it.
Karim Benzema reacted to the betrayal and hared upfield in support, unmarked. Spoiler active again: Jose Gimenez, who produced allegedly his best complete and best absorbing 90 account for Atleti, clearly believes that his captain is no best to be blindly trusted. Embarrassingly for Godin, his assistant about intuits that his arresting accomplice is about to allowance the brawl abroad and is instantly on the chase; ultimately, Gimenez makes a diving block in the amends breadth to anticipate the brawl award the wide-open Benzema.
And that’s breadth this account ends.
It’s bright that Godin is constant his affliction anatomy back 2012. Gimenez is “on the case” and one would still action heavily that Atleti’s captain finds a way to array this allegedly cerebral abecedarian out. For the time being, however, Simeone not actuality able to absolutely await on his towering, inspirational, all-or-nothing captain is one big cephalalgia for the Atletico coach.
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