This weekend saw Valencia play Atletico Madrid in a game with huge Champions League implications. It was a game that was going to be crucial in who would win the quote unquote “other league.” Namely, the league that includes everyone except for Barcelona and Real Madrid. Atleti coach Diego Simeone has been adamant this season that Atleti’s goal is to ensure a spot in the top four. That his competition is with Valencia and Sevilla, not with Real Madrid and Barcelona.
And that’s where this tortured and terrible M. Night Shyamalan analogy comes into play. Shyamalan directed the Sixth Sense, an iconic movie full of memorable scenes like this.
Everyone expected him to be this superstar director who would go on to make several classics. Instead, he kinda reverted to the mean. Yeah Signs was a pretty good movie but most of his other ones are totally forgettable.
This is Atleti.
Yeah, they won the league last year on the backs of two players who could win games by themselves. Forward Diego Costa could score out of nothing, and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois would keep Atleti in games, even if they weren’t playing well. Now, they have Mario Mandzukic and Miguel Angel Moya in those spots. And sure, they’re fine players, but they aren’t players who can consistently get you out of a jam and win you games.
Given that, it’s remarkable that Atleti are as good as they are, but it’s just impossible to compete with the resources of Madrid and Barcelona year in and year out.