Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


"It's like an ideology" - The Football Show discusses Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid fought Manchester City on Wednesday night and Diego Simeone doesn't care that it is anti-football.

Dion Fanning joined The Football Show on Wednesday night to discuss Diego Simeone.

Diego Simeone was not happy with the reaction to his team's performance against Manchester City last week.

He responded to criticism by saying "The fish dies by the mouth" which is apparently a saying that is somewhat similar to "Talk is cheap." Simeone has never been afraid of playing his style. He will do what gives his team the best chance to win the game, regardless of what any critics say.

Whether it's his sideline antics, his press conferences or his tactical decisions, Simeone is abrasive and energetic. But not always stylistically ambitious or progressive.

Like a modern Jose Mourinho, Simeone is happy to park the bus, play for a draw and hope to nick a goal. He is the quintessential Ireland manager pre-Stephen Kenny. Like an Argentinian Mick McCarthy. But while Simeone himself is an entertainer, his team is personifying anti-football.

Dion Fanning joined The Football Show to explain his dismay at watching the second leg of Manchester City-Atletico Madrid.

"The Atletico approach is extraordinary," Fanning said.

"Their absolute determination to play no football, it's like an ideology. When there's an option of playing football and not playing football, they do actually go for the option of not playing football. It's like the way certain places in Gaelic football they would abhore soccering, someone who might play the ball on the ground.

"Even though the logical thing to do is pass it on the ground."

Simeone earns €40 million annually. Marca lists him as the highest paid manager in football. Simeone will rightfully state that he earns that money based on results, not on entertainment value for neutrals. His success in cup formats is particularly impressive, and even though Manchester City are a far more talented team, Simeone's approach gave them a chance to compete.

Still, you would think with that much talent and that much money they could carve a different identity.

"It would be better if Manchester City would go through, even though it would be a thrilling shock to see the upset. The football is really terrible. And they're not a small club. How much did Joao Felix cost them? They're not Villareal."

"Ireland have four extremely good players" - Peter Gerhardsson


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Atletico Madrid Champions League Diego Simeone Felipe Manchester City Pep Guardiola Phil Foden