The Atlético first team have kicked off a campaign tarnished by the transfer ban which will remain in effect until January. The setback of the TAS ban does, however, offer fresh hope because it has prompted Diego Simeone to extend his contract - which was due to run its course at the end of the season - until either 2019 or 2020. This is a logical decision and great news for the club; Costa won't be coming in through the door in January and El Cholo out through it in June!
This is a season in which the Atlético board are taking big risks in ringing numerous changes. From the move to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, traumatic by definition, as are all moves, even though they are to grander and more luxurious surroundings, to the change of club crest (which, in my view, looks good) to the new-look club mascot; a more stylised and modern 'Indi' which has not been free from the banter flying around on social media over his enormous pupils. In addition to those changes, there is another controversy over the new shirt. Maybe it will sell like hotcakes, but the stripes look more like diamonds. It's unusual, let's say. The away strip, in yellow, is muted and looks more like a goalkeeper's jersey, while the third kit, in deep-blue camouflage with the badge and sponsor in pink, is innovative and 'cool' and for sure will be a big hit among certain factions of the Atleti faithful.
Managing the change
The times they are a changing. However, all these changes at Atlético have happened at once (they've even changed the club doctor!), although the board members and directors at the club have done it in good faith. Yet so much sudden change can be hard to manage, especially among a fan base which want to be involved in decision-making and are being kept out in the cold. Perhaps they will have more luck with the new club anthem. As things stand, Gabi and Torres are looking to extend their time at the club and both deserve a decent contract deal. I'm sure Miguel Ángel Gil will oblige - with the blessing of El Cholo, of course.