Tim Stannard thinks he's cracked (or maybe he's just cracked?) the reason behind Atleti's stunning rise...
La Liga Loca suspected that something fishy was going on at the Vicente Calderon. Really fishy. Unearthly, almost. Now it has proof and is heading to the papers to hit the front pages in the first editions. The transformation of the club under Diego Simeone was too dramatic to be explained away by improved physical training, superior tactics or inspired motivation.
Hours on the training field and intense reprogramming did not turn so-so Osasuna winger Juanfran into a battle tank full-back. Nor the almost overnight transformation of the previously lily-livered Arda Turan into the bearded boot-throwing Primera pirate that ended up being good enough to play for Barcelona.
Something more sinister was going on. LLL had heard stories whispered in bars around the Vicente Calderon. Broken-off conversations when the blog was just in earshot. And strange clicking noises, too.
But finally, there has been concrete proof poured onto a mountain of rumours after new signing Luciano Vietto revealed Atleti co’s dark secret - a secret that transformed a team living a life of mid-table mediocrity into league champions and Champions League giants under Simeone.
“I now see why Atletico Madrid compete this way,” gleamed the Argentine striker, with a look of pure serenity. “Before I saw everything from afar, but now I’ve seen it up close.”
Technically speaking, it wasn’t Vietto talking at all. Instead, it was the parasitic alien life form clinging to the spine of the former Villarreal man, that was introduced into Vietto’s system minutes after penning his deal with Atlético. “No more fears. No more doubts. No more uncertainty,” announced the forward.
With the truth now revealed, Atlético will have to wait until the LFP and potentially UEFA rule on whether the club is breaking rules on using human bodies as host for extra-terrestrial creatures. Current legislation is unclear, despite rumours also flung in Watford’s direction after last season’s Championship turnaround.
Reasons for optimism
While those legal shenanigans are underway, it will be business as usual for Host Leader Simeone, who now has to rejig his line-up once again due to a number of corporeal rejections leaving the club in the form of Mario Mandzukic and Turan. “We have to reinvent ourselves as a team. Again. Click, click,” admitted the (supposed) Argentine while on tour with the club in China.
The signs of another successful season are promising after the recruitment of host bodies Jackson Martínez and Vietto, along with Filipe Luis returning to the fold after a special request from the previous defender’s parasite who failed to bond with Raul Jiménez.
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Even the assimilation of Fernando Torres appears to have been fully completed after the striker’s arrival at the club in January. “I’ve never won the league and to do it with Atlético Madrid would be special,” said the forward. “I would give my life and everything I had to do it,” with the kind of unremitting and focused commitment that took the team to the brink of a Double almost a year ago. While the policy of using host bodies to bend to the will of an invading alien species will certainly be controversial in some quarters - Florentino Pérez is reportedly unhappy at the revelation - it's leading to an increasingly competitive La Liga. In this particular case, the ends justify the means. Even if it does lead to the host body internally liquifying within five years due to the intensity. Let’s just say that Jose Mourinho is going to be experiencing a few more problems with Diego Costa this season...