Why Atlético could be better off without Radamel Falcao

The Colombian may have left for Monaco but, writes Jonny McConnell, Atletico Madrid are thriving without him...

In just two seasons, Radamel Falcao scored 68 goals in 83 starts for Atlético Madrid. It was often pointed out that the club were reliant on the Colombian as, for the majority of his time at Vicente Calderon, he was their only goal threat.
 
It was Falcao's goalscoring last season that fired Atlético to third in La Liga and, most importantly, into the Champions League. With a goals-per-game ratio of just over 0.80, there's no doubting his efficiency and how crucial he was to Atlético's success.  
 
A glance at the trophies won by Atlético in the free-scoring hitman's two-year spell tells its own story. Falcao's first season with Los Colchoneros took in a second consecutive Europa League final (after victory with Porto in the previous campaign) against Athletic Bilbao, in which he netted a brace in a 3-0 win. The following season he obliterated Chelsea in the Super Cup with a hat-trick in a 4-1 win, and assisted Diego Costa's equaliser in Atletico's historic Copa del Rey win over city rivals Real Madrid.
 
But the £51m transfer to moneybags Monaco didn't go without questioning. Why on earth would he snub the Champions League for a newly-promoted Ligue 1 side? After all, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea were clambering over one another for his services in the summer. More importantly, though, how could Atlético replace the deadliest striker in the world?
 

Falcao celebrates Copa del Rey glory against Real Madrid

Diego Simeone's side would have to spend big, it was agreed. But instead of signing the rumoured likes of Jackson Martinez, Javier Hernandez or even Luis Suarez, they pulled off one of the best deals of the summer by snapping up David Villa for €2.1m (although it could could rise to €5m).

After six matches of the campaign Atlético have netted 18 goals via seven different players – and that's La Liga's second-best goalscoring record behind Barcelona.
 
With Falcao in the line-up, Costa's influence often looked stifled, and it was clear that the 24-year-old Brazil international was not at his best. With David Villa alongside him, however, the changes have been drastic – Costa is fresh, vastly improved and back to his peak. His finishing is better and, despite the lingering Scrappy-Doo tendencies to fight with anything around him, it isn't difficult to see him becoming a star this season. He already has seven league goals to his name, yet last season it took him until April to reach that tally.

In terms of creativity, Falcao's loss could be a good thing. In the last two seasons every attack has gone through the powerful Colombian, but the quick passing combinations between the likes of Koke, Arda Turan and Gabi are now more effective with a wider array of outlets. Movement upfront is especially improved – Atlético's Spanish Supercup first leg against Barcelona being a case in point. Atléti's pressing was more noticeable, players covered for each other and, in turn, Barca were unable to create many clear chances. It took a poorly-defended Neymar header for them to break through.

Simeone's emphasis on team cohesion could prove to be a defining factor in how well Los Rojiblancos cope without Falcao. 'El Tigre' was not a defensive forward, but an ultimate poacher. This season Simeone has a starting XI of hard workers, including industrious duo Turan and Costa. The importance of this cannot be understated. Pressing to earn possession has been seen in the nine games already played, and is set to benefit the team this season. 
 
Koke and Turan will likely be Atlético's most important players. Last season, Koke proved his talents with nine assists and three goals, finished with a reasonable pass completion rate of 81%, and will no doubt be looking to progress further this season. Another highly-rated, creative young Spanish midfielder (yawn, right?), his influence this season will be massive – the Spain U21 star already has seven assists and two goals this season.

Turkish winger Turan, meanwhile, is heading into his prime as one of the best left midfielders in the world. With the focus having rested on Falcao for the past two seasons, 26-year-old Turan has seemingly slipped under the radar – but all of that is about to change. This season he's already bagged three assists and two goals in his eight appearances.

The new Villa-Costa partnership isn't the only change Simeone has made. Over the summer Atlético signed Leo Baptistao, Josuha Guilavogui, Dani Aranzubia, Toby Alderweireld, Roberto and Jose Gimenez, all of whom add depth to this promising squad. Coupled this with the unpredictability of talented young players like Oliver Torres, Manquillo and Dani Aquino, and Simeone's men look well placed to cope with Falcao's departure.

Atlético have steadily improved since Simeone's reign began in 2011 (yet the Argentine has already held this post for longer than any of his previous coaching jobs). His side has the potential to do well without the striker nobody believed they could replace. Most importantly, they're the only team likely to break up the Big Two, and are even dark horses for the title.
 
They certainly haven't had things all their own way over the years but, finally, Atlético Madrid are showing the world that they can compete where it matters – even without the man who inspired a new wave of success.
 
SEE ALSO: Aggressive Atleti prepare to tackle Real Madrid


SHARES
2 comments

Comments

We see today, how well this analysis proves to be right! Outstanding job, very well done.

fendi handbags
louis vuitton outlet stores
jordan shoes
oakley outlet
true religion outlet
bottega veneta outlet
true religion outlet store
coach outlet store online
abercrombie fitch
trye religion outlet
louis vuitton outlet
hair straightener
louis vuitton bags
kate spade handbags
louis vuitton outlet
cheap oakleys
ray ban outlet
chanel bags
coach factory
ray ban outlet stores
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton
toms outlet
fitflop sandals
celine paris
louis vuitton purses
juicy couture perfume
bottega veneta
fitflop outlet
ray bans
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton purses
red bottom shoes
nfl jerseys wholesale
cheap louis vuitton
christian louboutin sale
fendi outlet
mont blanc pen
abercrombie and kent
gucci handbags
kate spade
hair dryer
celine outlet
jordan retro
kate spade purses
nfl jerseys
tory burch outlet
true religion jeans outlet
louis vuitton outlet
cheap jordans
mont blanc fountain pen
true religion jeans outlet
christian louboutin shoes
coach outlet store online
louis vuitton neverfull
bottega veneta handbags
louis vuitton sunglasses
louis vuitton speedy
michael kors handbags
michael kors handbags
louis vuitton outlet
celine handbags
joe abercrombie
ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton outlet store
hollister clothing
michael kors outlet online
ray ban sunglasses outlet
ray ban sunglasses
jordan shoes
mont blanc legend
fitflop footwear
trye religion outlet store
kate spade outlet
toms shoes
chanel online shop
true religion jeans
burberry outlet
oakley sunglasses wholesale
michael kors purses
cheap toms
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet stores
toms outlet
burberry scarf
louis vuitton
workout plans
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton shoes
marc jacobs outlet
jordans for sale
coach outlet
mont blanc legend
fitflops clearance
louis vuitton handbags
fitflop sale
cheap ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton uk
oakley suglasses cheap
true religion jeans
cheap nfl jerseys
toms promo code
ray ban wayfarer
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors outlet
crossfit workouts
louis vuitton belt
jordan retro
ray ban outlet
fitflops
hollister outlet
louis vuitton purses
louis vuitton belts
louis vuitton purses
cheap jerseys
kate spade handbags
abercrombie and fitch
nfl football jerseys
prda outlet
ray ban aviators
mont blanc fountain pens
prada handbags
kate spade outlet
gucci bags
ray ban sunglasses
hermes outlet
gucci outlet store
fitflop footwear
jordan 11
coach outlet usa
michael kors outlet online
abercrombie
oakley outlet
louis vuitton outlet
hollister co
hermes delivery
christian louboutin
louis vuitton handbags
jordan for women
coach factory outlet online
louis vuitton wallet
michael kors handbags
fendi purses
oakley sunglasses
oakley glasses
fendi bags
tory burch flats
louis vuitton purses
used louis vuitton
louis vuitton
louis vuitton bags
christian louboutin outlet
michael kors outlet online
coach outlet
hollister kids
toms shoes outlet
marc by marc jacobs
prada shoes
true religion
louis vuitton speedy
chanel handbags
true religion jeans
coach factory online
polo outlet
cheap jerseys from china
coach outlet
chi flat iron
insanity workout
marc jacobs
michael kors outlet
cheap jordans
oakley sunglasses
true religion jeans men
p90x workout schedule
hollister promo code
celine luggage tote
ab workouts
coach factory outlet
louboutin
red bottoms
louis vuitton wallet
designer handbags
kate spade
michael kors purses
toms shoes
tory burch outlet
true religion sale
michael kors outlet
polo ralph lauren
nfl jerseys
air jordan shoes
celine bag price
michael kors watches
louboutin shoes
louis vuitton handbags
mont blanc pens
fitflop shoes
michael kors bags
fendi
fitflop sandals outlet
ray bans
cheap jordan for sale
workout routines
christian louboutin sneakers
tory burch handbags
coach handbags
jordan sneakers
cheap oakley sunglasses
trye religion outlet
chanel outlet
hermes belt
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban glasses
burberry bags
bottega veneta bags
louis vuitton
louis vuitton usa
mont blanc pens
tory burch outlet online
fitflop outlet
marc jacobs handbags
louis vuitton bags
louis vuitton handbags
juicy couture
gucci outlet
michael kors backpack
ralph lauren home
hermes birkin
cheap nfljerseys
true religion
prada bags
chi straightener
chi hair straightener
true religion jeans
louisvuitton
www.louisvuitton.com
ralph lauren
cheap ray bans
bottega veneta outlet online
football jersey
ray ban sunglasses wholesale
tory burch flats
louis vuitton outlet store
kate spade outlet store
louis vuitton purses
kate spade factory outlet
louis vuitton officail website
louis vuitton handbags
toms shoes sale
fitflops clearance
hermes bracelet
toms wedges
gucci shoes
cheap jordans
tory burch shoes
coach factory outlet
viva la juicy
tory burch outlet online
coach factory outlet
louis vuitton
christian louboutin
red shoes
louis vuitton outlet
juicy couture outlet
mont blanc mountain
toms sale
cheap true religion jeans
fitflop outlet
christian louboutin shoes
mont blanc pen
coach factory online
burberry handbags
jordan shoes
tory burch shoes
true religion jeans outlet
true religion outlet
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton bags
fitflop shoes
oakley sunglasses wholesale
fitflops online
kate spade outlet online
coach factory
louis vuitton backpack
cheap jerseys
red heels
jordan 13