Simeone defends star strikers Suarez and Griezmann after slow start

By Sports Desk September 20, 2021

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone has backed star forward pair Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann after their slow starts to the new LaLiga season.

The Spanish champions drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao in LaLiga on Saturday, days after another scoreless draw against FC Porto in the Champions League.

Suarez has netted only once in six appearances this term for Atleti, while Griezmann is yet to score in three games since his deadline day move from Barcelona.

"I have full confidence in all my players. I am aware that Luis was the last one to join the team alongside [Angel] Correa, [Kieran] Trippier and [Ramon] Lodi," Simeone said.

"They are the last ones who joined us in the pre-season. Then, in the international break, when he was getting fully fit, he had to stop following some physical issues.

"Now it is normal that it is taking some time for him to get fit but he eventually will, as he is a very important player for us."

On Griezmann, Simeone added: "I have full confidence in Antoine. He is a very important player for our team and all I had to tell him about is what I saw from his performances and which aspects I want him to improve on, and I have already told him this."

Atletico's chances of beating Bilbao on Saturday were not helped by Joao Felix's sending off, with the Portuguese forward dismissed after a second bookable offence for dissent.

In the wake of the game, Simeone downplayed Joao Felix's actions but he added on Monday that the side need to do better, having received 10 yellow cards in five games for complaining to referees.

"No, we must improve on that aspect, you just mentioned," he said. "I have no doubts we will do that.

"We really respect the Referee's Committee and yes, sometimes you can talk with them [in the games], but we are aiming to reduce those numbers because they are not good from us."

Atletico will take on Getafe away from home in LaLiga on Tuesday.

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Man Utd agree Casemiro deal in principle BREAKING NEWS: Man Utd agree Casemiro deal in principle

    Manchester United have agreed a deal in principle to sign midfielder Casemiro from Real Madrid for a fee in the region of £60million.

    The Brazil international is set to become the fourth arrival of this window after Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez.

    Casemiro, who had three years remaining on his contract with Madrid, brings plenty of quality and experience to Erik ten Hag's midfield after racking up over 300 appearances during nine trophy-filled years at Santiago Bernabeu.

    Indeed, the 30-year-old won five Champions Leagues with Los Blancos - scoring against Juventus in the 2017 final - as well as four LaLiga titles and three Club World Cups.

    Casemiro struggled to nail down a regular spot following his move to Madrid from Sao Paulo in 2013; spending the 2014-15 season on loan at Portuguese giants Porto.

    However, he did not look back after cementing his place in the starting line-up during the 2015-16 campaign, with no midfielder winning more tackles in LaLiga since then (415).

    The Brazilian has also completed 368 interceptions in the past seven seasons - with Dani Garcia (399) the sole midfielder to better that tally - while Dani Parejo (1,666) and Sergio Busquets (1,504) were the only players in his position to win possession on more occasions than him (1,462).

  • 'Bunny' Shaw scores twice in Manchester's City 6-0 rout of Tomiris-Turan in Women's Champions League 'Bunny' Shaw scores twice in Manchester's City 6-0 rout of Tomiris-Turan in Women's Champions League

    Two first-half goals from Khadijah Shaw helped Manchester City trounce Tomiris Turan 6-0 Thursday to set up a Women’s Champions League rematch on Sunday against Real Madrid.

  • David 'Wagga' Hunt Foundation classic clash between Kingston College and Calabar resumes after two-year break David 'Wagga' Hunt Foundation classic clash between Kingston College and Calabar resumes after two-year break

    The 12th Annual David “Wagga” Hunt Football Classic kicks off on Saturday, August 20, at 4:00 pm with a clash between defending Manning Cup and Olivier Shield Champions Kingston College and Calabar High School at Calabar High School on Red Hills Road in Kingston.

    The goodwill game is the David “Wagga” Hunt Scholarship Foundation’s way of reintroducing the Classic following the two-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The Classic was established in 2009 in honour of the late David “Wagga” Hunt, a KC alum, who was a football coach and is also credited with reviving the sport at Calabar.

    In 2005, Hunt coached Calabar to their first ever Manning Cup title in 28 years. Calabar also won the coveted Olivier Shield title that year.

    The Classic is seen as a unifying force, emblematic of the generosity of spirit and community that Hunt embodied.

    Hunt’s dedication to working with youth is the driving force behind the preservation of his legacy since his death in 2007. His mantra for the long-running rivalry between the schools was, “We can be rivals, not enemies.”

    Since his passing, the foundation created in his memory offers scholarships to deserving students of both schools.

    “I am very proud of the work the DWH Foundation has done since inception and I am eagerly looking forward to our abbreviated Classic, which will be our 12th staging,” said Christopher Hunt, David’s younger, who is also co-chair of the Washington, DC, based foundation.

    He disclosed that for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year, the foundation 24 will benefit from scholarships valued at USD$17,000 (J$2.4 million).

    “I am very proud and appreciative that we are able to continue to keep David’s memory alive while impacting our boys from both schools,” Christopher said.

    Since 2009 the scholarship initiative has disbursed approximately US$5,000 (J$700,000) per selected student, from grades 8 to 13, to defray costs of tuition, books, lunch, technology assistance, and other school-related expenses.

    To date, 35 scholarships exceeding US$115,000 (J$16 million) have been awarded to recipients, who are selected based on academic performance and attitude, involvement in extracurricular activities and need.

    Through the years, corporate donors based in Jamaica have supported the foundation’s work. They include VM Group, Supreme Ventures Limited, Proven Wealth and the Gibson McCook Relays.

    Overseas sponsors GraceKennedy Foods (USA), Steuart Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Spencer Financial, and McIntosh & Associates complete the complement of corporate donors.

    All fund the scholarships on an ongoing basis. 

    “I wish to express heartfelt gratitude to our corporate and individual sponsors for sticking with us throughout the Covid-19 pandemic despite the constraints,” said Arnold “Dullo” McDonald, co-chair of the foundation’s Jamaica chapter.

    “We thank our supporters and spectators of the annual football classic as well.  The goodwill game is being presented as a show of appreciation. We hope they enjoy this in-person event.”

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.