Simeone justifiably harsh in Barcelona criticism
The Colchoneros headmaster – who has been highly successful in the Spanish capital in nearly a decade of service with Atléti – has won eight pieces of silverware for the Wanda Metropolitano outfit while also reaching the final of the Champions League on two occasions.
Simeone’s harsh words for one of Atléti’s chief domestic rivals surrounded the departure of club legend Lionel Messi and the resulting struggles the Catalan giants have gone through this season on the pitch;
“Barça don’t have Messi? Look at their team. Sergi Roberto, Dest, Piqué, Lenglet, Araujo, Alba, Balde-17 years old, Pedri, Gavi—did you see him vs Italy?, Dembele, Agüero, Ansu, De Jong, Memphis, Coutinho… You lost Messi? We never had Messi. Nah, don’t give me excuses.
Umtiti is a good player, who’s going through bad spot you can say. It’s the same for Lenglet. He’s an incredibly important center back. Look at how good he was before, important in multiple league titles. Come on man.”
No Messi is no excuse for stuttering Barça
Two losses to begin the Champions League group stage is hardly what Barcelona would have wished for in the opening months of an era without Lionel Messi.
Barça currently sitting ninth in La Liga and already 5-points off the pace set by both Madrid clubs as well as Real Sociedad only compounds the issues at the Camp Nou.
With Ronald Koeman still somehow hanging on by a thread at his current post in the Catalan capital, it is hard to say that Simeone is incorrect in his assessment of Barça’s situation.
Despite Messi now plying his trade in the city of lights, the club still possesses a very capable first-team squad with a cadre of highly talented players in their prime, as well as budding youngsters commanded by a contingent of highly experienced veterans.
Barcelona should be performing far above their current level despite the loss of Messi, and that fact solely rests at the feet of Koeman who – as Simeone so aptly put – has no viable excuses to wield.
As both clubs re-enter La Liga play in the coming weekend, Simeone has a chance to open up an 8-point gap between the two clubs as Barça are set to clash with tricky Valencia while Atléti have a more favorable fixture against relegation threatened Grenada.
Should Simeone put his money where his mouth is, things will go from desperate to disastrous in a hurry for Azulgranas the world over.