Jamie Carragher applauds Diego Simeone’s approach to football
“Simeone was always going to provide City with a physical and emotional challenge they rarely face in England. The reaction to Atletico’s performance was more over the top than anything they actually did.”
Jaime Carragher has come out to publicly defend Diego Simeone and Atlético Madrid in his column with The Telegraph, going against what the majority of the British media is saying today.
The former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit also admitted that he would love to see Simeone in the Premier League one day.
“The game is at its most riveting when there is a collision of style and personality. That can be in the form of Klopp versus Guardiola, where despite the respect they lead two very different teams in varied ways, or Simeone versus the rest of the world, the South American at his best when he and his players are their most belligerent,” Carragher wrote.
“These differences are to be encouraged and cherished, not sneered at. The game would be boring if every coach played the same way.
“With respect to Guardiola, there is nothing he would love more than for every opposition coach to try to replicate City’s passing game. The dullest fixtures are those in which an aspiring manager encourages his team to play the so-called ‘right way’ against City, trying to retain possession, only to get hammered.
“At full-time, they receive generous praise from Guardiola about how good they are - the surest sign that they offered no threat whatsoever,” he continued.
No surprise with Simeone’s plan
“Simeone was always going to provide City with a physical and emotional challenge they rarely face in England. The reaction to Atletico’s performance was more over the top than anything they actually did. They were predictably aggressive and did as much as possible to prevent a free-flowing game. As a spectacle, the tie did not produce great football until the second half of the second leg. But there were no career-threatening two-footed challenges, or incidents that qualify as cheating.
“I guarantee that in 20 years time, the City players will look back at the experience with more humour than resentment, recalling how seven players were booked in added time as Atlético took imminent defeat as badly as anticipated. City’s loathing for Simeone in 2022 will have given way to respect by 2042.”
“Simeone is box office. Win or lose, he guarantees a post-match debate. The criticism shadowing him and his team today reeks of hypocrisy. Why would anyone wish to sanitise every football game? As the game has evolved, there is rightly more protection for players, shocking, nasty tackles more prone to instant and long-term punishment. There are so many officials and cameras, there is not much you can get away with. I must admit, seeing Jack Grealish getting his hair pulled amused more than appalled me. That is not to condone it, but it is hardly a crime against football,” he added.