Atletico Madrid have seven clean sheets in 10 games this season.


Starting with a stat like that, it'd be hard to believe that this piece is going to be anything but praise: Diego Simeone is a great manager, he's definitely going to win La Liga and the Champions League this year - and you know what, the Copa Del Rey too.

FBL-EUR-C1-LOKOMOTIV-ATLETICO

Unfortunately, that isn't the case.


Here's another stat for you. Atletico have failed to score in their last three league games.


Okay just one more, I promise. Simeone's men have scored seven goals in eight games this season, with three of those coming in one game. In case you can't do the maths, that means in those other seven games, a measly four goals were scored.


All Simeone sides are organised. They defend like their lives are on the line. The manager drills a 'thou shalt not pass' mentality into his players that is evident year after year.

Jose Maria Gimenez,Saul Niguez

Defending is an art form in itself, and the Argentine is a firm believer in that. Most fans get bored watching defensive football, but observing the way Simeone's Atleti sides defend is captivating, and leads to some enthralling games. 


A clip went viral recently of ​Atletico Madrid losing the ball in the final third and Lokomotiv Moscow springing a counter attack. Every single man in a Atletico shirt sprinted back in sensational fashion, determined to stop their opponents from scoring. It was incredible.


This is what all Simeone sides do.

However, the best Simeone sides have more to their artillery. The best Simeone sides find a way to win. They find a way to score. They counter attack with such precision and venom, and end up winning a lot of games 1-0 or 2-0.


Think back to the 2015/16 season. The score was level in the Champions League semi final against a quality Bayern Munich team. All of a sudden, a razor sharp counter-attack ripped through the German champions' defence, and Antoine Griezmann was the man who slotted the ball home. That ended up sending them through to the Champions League final.


The Frenchman did a similar thing two seasons ago against Arsenal in the Europa League semi final. He grabbed a crucial away goal at the Emirates, which was pivotal as they went through to the final - a final they eventually won.

That's the hallmark of a great Simeone team. But for over a season now, that hasn't been happening. 


The 2018/19 campaign ended with Atletico 11 points behind winners Barcelona, and knocked out in the Champions League round of 16 after squandering a 2-0 lead to a Ronaldo-inspired Juventus.


But this season was meant to be different. This was Los Rojiblancos' big chance. Real Madrid and Barcelona are shadows of the sides that were once so formidable. Manchester City notoriously struggle in Europe. After spending a bucket load of money on players this summer - including a whopping £110m on wonderkid Joao Felix - Atletico had to grasp their chance.

Joao Felix

They currently sit third in La Liga and three points off leaders Real Madrid, which doesn't seem too bad. But that doesn't paint the full picture. That Madrid team have laboured in the Champions League and are meant to be in crisis. Barcelona in second place have been struggling, with ​this decade's best footballer Lionel Messi out injured for most of their games played this season. 


There's just very little to suggest that there's been any improvement on last campaign. With a strike force of Felix, Alvaro Morata and Diego Costa, surely you'd be expecting a little more cutting edge. A little more goal, as they would say in Spanish. Instead, it's the slowest scoring start in Simeone's tenure.


That begs the question, has Simeone run his course at the club?

Diego Pablo Simeone

This is nothing to do with the quality of his management. He has worked wonders at a club who were no where near the world's elite. The day he leaves, he will leave behind a phenomenal legacy, with a La Liga title, a Copa del Rey, two Europa League trophies and two Champions League finals to his and the club's name.


But sometimes change is needed. Eras come to an end. He has been at the club for nine years now, almost unheard of in modern day football, where chairmen and boards look to chop and change.


Perhaps he needs a change of scenery. A new club to spread his message and philosophy across.

Diego Costa

Maybe the players would like something new too. They clearly haven't stopped playing for him, but naturally, things will start to get repetitive and stale. 


Simeone is probably not going anywhere any time soon, and deserves some more time this season to make things right. When he does leave, it will probably be of his own accord. But if nothing improves soon, then club president Enrique Cerezo has a tough decision to make. 


Should Simeone become available, there is no doubt that there will be a number of clubs queuing up for his signature. Manchester United and Spurs, both facing uncertain futures, would kill to bring him on board.


He is one of the world's best managers, and having a man with his passion and desire in the Premier League would bring a new found excitement to the league. Atletico fans can vouch for that.