Saturday midnight brought a disruptive operation at Atlético. Although Diego Pablo Simeone warned in the press room that video arbitration had not been the cause of the defeat of his team in the derby, the club, through its social networks, broadcast hours later images of three plays in which he considered himself injured by Estrada Fernández's arbitration: the penalty of Giménez to Vinicius, the goal annulled to Morata and the possible penalty that on this last could commit Casemiro. Strangely, Atlético did not follow his coach's apparent doctrine of not blaming refereeing and decided to join the noise of the VAR undertaken by other clubs.
The arbitration technology introduced this season, by novel and amplifying controversies, has become the tool most used by managers, players and coaches to justify defeats and blur realities. And that of Atlético is hard both for the lack of football and for the results. Of the Glass of the King was eliminated by the Girona; the League can only fight it in response to a setback in Barcelona and he was defeated from the derby offering a team image with few offensive resources, overexcited and as macarronic and impotent as the hard entries from Lucas to Carvajal and from Thomas to Reguilón and Kroos reflected. The picture is complex for Simeone and his players just two weeks away from Juventus in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16.
The derby reflected all the symptoms of a team and a project stranded because the game it deploys does not come to take the leap that the investments made demand. The absence of Rodrigo further enhanced the team's long-standing problems in finding a solvent attack plan. In the lineup that Simeone had Lemar and Correa, two examples of denatured players, forced to defend as laterals and play away from the areas in which their natural conditions should look. Hardly generated the Atletico situations of advantage neither for them, neither for Morata or Griezmann. They received many times on their backs and in intermediate areas. Behind the plan to press up there were only failed attempts to play straight. A harsh context in which most of the so-called players have already failed different, who have reached the club in recent years with a checkbook.
The Simeone system has become a shredder of talented players who do not spend the mill to adapt to a style that no longer fits the characteristics of the squad. Simeone praetorians, or are no longer (Gabi) or are squeezed (Godin, Filipe, Juanfran), or have not returned to give the level (Koke and Saul). Of the incorporations of recent years, only Oblak, Griezmann and Rodrigo have managed to fit and hang the label of unsubstantiated.
There is no tactical evolution that facilitates the integration of the skilled. But Simeone, the sports management and the leadership, in the weekly meetings they hold, reinforces the idea that the chosen path is the right one. Although football demonstrates that the project runs aground.