Hey, Don’t Forget There’s A Derby TodayBy: Al | March 18th, 2011
Yes, today is that day that every Atletico supporter looks forward to then ends with the supporter burning something in anger after Real Madrid takes the victory. It is a day in which we root for our club in hopes of sticking it to the white-clad Goliath up north from La Castellana, despite the odds being more in their favor. We cannot explain why we get so excited over a match that hasn’t been won by Atletico in over ten years, but here we are again awaiting the final derby of the season with fingers crossed.
We have (unfortunately) witnessed three derbies this season so far. The first ended 2-0 to Real at the Bernabeu, both goals scored due to godawful defending. The second was a first leg of the Copa that ended 3-1 to Real, due to awful defending. The third ended 0-1 at the Calderon in Real’s favor, due to a misfiring attack and awful defending. Do you see a pattern here?
When you have a club like Atletico who absolutely chokes whenever they play Real, against the enemy who is extremely well organized and can win any match that isn’t at the Camp Nou, it’s almost sad to see the contrast in confidence. While watching the past three derbies this season, it is clear that Atletico plays very nervously which explains all the defensive goofs. This isn’t the late 90’s anymore when Atletico was capable of conquering Spain (and Europe) and wasn’t afraid of Real. The 2000’s were a sad decade with relegation for a year and many long years of mid table mediocrity, so Real’s dominance in derby matches is no surprise. There were a few 1-1 matches here and there, but that was as close to a victory against Real in the past decade.
If I sound like too much of a debbie downer, there is good news: Atletico is in good form! The team is scoring goals, with the past two matches (3-1 over Villarreal and 2-2 against Almeria) showing a glimpse of the Atletico from the beginning of the season. Aguero is scoring, Reyes is scoring, and while Forlan isn’t really in form, we know how he performs in big matches. The midfield situation is extremely complicated right now, as Quique has been experimenting his ass off after Simao’s departure (he has put Merida, Koke, Elias, Reyes, and Juanfran all as attacking midfielders ever since). If Quique can get the midfield together, and the forwards can score, then there might be a chance to earn at least a point from the derby. Don’t get me wrong, Real will definitely score especially against this defense, but it’s the Atletico way to simply out score the opponent with defense not being a priority.
A draw would be more than enough for us (it hurts their title race, hee hee) and it will keep us somewhat in the race to 4th place, currently 12 points from Villarreal. A loss would be painful but hey, we’re used to it. A win would… oh man, I don’t even know. Do you remember what you did the last time Atletico won the Madrid derby? Me neither.
Enjoy the match everybody… may the least nervous team win.