News
UEFA Champions League

‘The fish dies through the mouth’ - Simeone snaps back at Atletico critics ahead of Man City showdown

2:22 PM WAT 12/04/2022
Diego Simeone
The Argentine coach has not taken kindly to discovering that so-called “colleagues” have been quick to question his tactical approach

Diego Simeone has never been one to mince his words, with the Atletico Madrid coach snapping back at supposed “colleagues” to have dared to question his tactical approach to management.

The Argentine tactician has built his reputation on building defensively sound teams, with that system allowing him to deliver La Liga title glory and Champions League final appearances in the Spanish capital.

His philosophy is not universally lauded, though, with legendary former AC Milan coach Arrigo Sacchi among those to suggest that Simeone’s sides are “boring” after seeing them register no shots in the first leg of a European quarter-final clash with Manchester City, while Pep Guardiola and Kevin De Bruyne commented on a supposed 5-5-0 formation.

What has been said?

Simeone has taken the opportunity to offer his response in the build-up to a return date with the Premier League title holders, with the South American telling reporters: “I always say the same thing. I’ve been here since 2005-06 and I’ve never talked down to a colleague of mine or talked badly.

“I always try to get in the other coaches' shoes and there's different ways of expressing what you think and what you believe in every game.

“When you don't show appreciation I don't really share it but there is opinions of every journalist, ex-player and people who haven't played the game for a while and they want to say a different thing.

“Like my dad said: ‘The fish dies through the mouth’. It's a saying. Talk is free and everybody can talk but I don't talk badly of colleagues and we all have our opinions. And I always respect my fellow coaches.

“We can all have an opinion, but among colleagues we all have ways, I always respect my colleagues, always, always.”

The bigger picture

While Simeone will not be changing his ways, he will need Atletico to offer a greater threat at Wanda Metropolitano than they managed at the Etihad Stadium as they seek to overturn a 1-0 aggregate deficit.

The man calling the shots believes a side that possess the attacking talents of Antoine Griezmann and Joao Felix can do just that while sticking to a blueprint that has served them so well, for so long.

He added when asked what his game plan will be when locking horns will old adversary Guardiola once again: “Of course we’re not going to go too far from what we normally do. We will go for the perfect timing to try to create what we can do.

“We can have faster transitions and counter-attacks that we have and be clinical in front of goal. And I hope our players have a fantastic night and use our motivation and the momentum of the game.

“Anything can happen on a football pitch.”

Further reading