It wasn't so long ago that Atlético would take the lead (generally through a Godín header) and that was that, Atleti were not going to concede. That is no longer the case as Atletico are now vulnerable at the back and what's-more, are allowing teams score headed goals with two thirds of goals against this season have come via headers. That side who won LaLiga with a resolute rear-guard is a thing of the past. That particular team made few mistakes, never tired and would take a bullet for their leader, Simeone. Those "warriors" have grown older and come have left the fold with new rawer recruits taking their place, arriving at a very different set-up with the club now firmly established in Europe's elite and that tonic of "Cholismo" is taking far longer to take effect these days.
Waiting for the 7th Calvary
Atletico face a mammoth task in renewing their squad and making a smooth transition in the generational shift. It's an ongoing situation but it's true to say that recent acquisitions have been disappointing. The club have looked for new recruits that are "easier on the eye" and less of the workhorse mould but it's apparent that these players don't treat every game as it it were their last. Griezmann displayed these characteristics for a while but it's clear that his head is currently elsewhere. Simeone is anxiously waiting for the January incorporation of Vitolo and Diego Costa and there is a sense of the "Seventh Calvary" around the club eager that January comes around as soon as possible.
Things are not working out so well currently either for neighbour's Real Madrid with Zidane's men tied on the same number of points as Atlético which is and was totally unexpected back in August. This is not the same Madrid as last season though and it's easy to forget that. The traditional starting XI may be the same but the back up players are different. Gone are Danilo, Pepe, James and Morata and the key starting players are under more pressure. The substitutes, notably Lucas Vázquez and Asensio seem disillusioned for some reason despite enough positive displays to warrant a run in the first-team in place of the stuttering "BBC". To top it all Cristiano has forgotten how to score in the league! It will be interesting how to see how Zidane resolves his first real crisis on the Bernabéu bench.