It seems, from what is said out there, that the duel between cholistas and anticholistas has arisen in the last two years and that, honestly, seems to me a rather self-serving lie. I fully understand that a supposed civil war in the Civitas Metropolitano increases the level of sports libido of the rivals, but this type of situation has been going on for a long time, even on the banks of the Manzanares with the eternal Vicente Calderón. When does it happen? Coincidentally when Atlético is in a losing streak.
Football has changed a lot in recent years, but there are many things that remain: when your team wins, nothing happens and when your team loses a lot of things happen. I give examples. When Atlético won the League in 2014 and the following year went from almost signing a double the previous year to being third and thanks in 2015, there was already talk of a Cholo who had doubts about his style. Those doubts disappeared when the final in Milan was reached and they appeared when he lost. They reappeared years later and disappeared when Atlético became leader of the League in the 2020/2021 season. When he had a hard time winning it, they showed up again and when he won it, they all go to Neptune. All. That said: they appear when things are not going well. Surprise? None. In sports, only speeches are worth when you win. Spot. The rest, smoke. It happens at Atlético, at Madrid, at Barcelona, at Betis and at Deportivo Arenal.
The problem with all of this is when “I’m right” is taken to the extreme and lately in the Metropolitano this happens a lot. On Twitter, I don’t even tell you. When an extreme cholista and an extreme anticholista get together and measure their strength, most of the time being right is prioritized over Atlético winning. I have lived in my own flesh situations, at least, alarming. I have had a fan by my side in the press gallery who has not celebrated a goal by his team because that goal proved Cholo Simeone right and took it away from him. And I go further, I even tell you what the goal was. 1-0 from Saúl to Liverpool in the 2020 Champions League. All because before the game started the opinion was “get Saúl out, he’s a package” and after the goal the phrase was “this guy has impressive luck”. Beware, it also happens the other way around. “Even if you guarantee me that Atlético wins the Champions League without Cholo, I don’t want it.” No. Neither one extreme nor the other. Head.
What I am telling is older than fire. All the players who have stepped on the Calderón or the Metropolitan know it. He knows it and Torres warned him. Gaby knows. Raúl García lived it, whistled ad nauseam when he couldn’t quite find his place in the club. Juanfran. Philip. Godin. Kiko. walker. Luis Aragones. All those who are now, logically, adored, have experienced what happens when the team does not win. In fact, the first thing Simeone said to that mythical group of players in the first training session they had together and which was with open doors at the Calderón was “these also whistled at me”. And that was in 2011, not 2022. Because when your team doesn’t win, style doesn’t count. When your team does not meet the objectives, the style is worthless. When the striker misses goals, it’s not worth it. When the goalkeeper concedes goals, it’s not worth it. Point and end.
It is the law of football. And those of us who have been going to the stadium for decades know it. I have seen and heard fans complain that They said that Javier Aguirre’s Atlético comebacks only served to be fourth. 4-3, 3-2, 5-4… They were worthless. “This is a team circus,” they said. Because you had a good time for a while, but in the end the goal was not met. Those same ones who asked for solidity, also complained when the 1-0 or 0-1 became strong at Atlético. And I’m not talking about now! I heard those complaints at the Vicente Calderón, not at the Metropolitano. There is a type of fan who is like that and is not going to change. Mind you, when the team goes to Neptune, everyone goes to Neptune. If they win, happy. If they lose, crazy. If the teams don’t win, there are complaints. This is very old in sport. If even Rafa Nadal has been criticized in this country, mother of my life.
I sincerely believe that the main problem at Atlético is that the equation that everyone makes has only these two elements: A) It’s Simeone’s fault. B) It’s not Simeone’s fault. Simplistic, to say the least, is this reasoning. In both ways. Hide to the extreme in A or B is killing the team. The cholista duel against anti-cholistas diverts the focus from the global problem, because the players always have the way out that they play badly because the style, they say, minimizes them. And yes, Simeone also has the loophole that he is always right and strange things happen that cannot be controlled. And we don’t even talk about the box, because being fourth is worth it. Hopefully, inside and outside Atlético, the good of the team begins to be prioritized and not being right at all costs. Because Cholo rules here, the players play and the leaders set up the team. The focus on all of them, not just one. And, above all, that the priority is Atlético.