hurts us. There is no other player like him on the squad."

Hours after the midfielder fled to Arsenal, on the last day of the market (Monday, October 4), at Atlético they were convinced that


should do something

to restructure the team.

It took a few weeks, but he did, and gave up his


, with which he had managed almost always since 2011, to create the champion of the first round, a group that leads all the good statistics,

holding a considerable advantage with

Madrid and Barça

And that, in short, he will touch 100 points if he repeats a round like the first, where he adds 47 in the absence of a game.

But the evolution of Atlético, this

Athletic 2.0

It is not only explained by the system change, even if it starts there.


I said, Thomas is leaving on October 4.

Simeone matures change for a few weeks.


Celta, Betis, Osasuna and Cádiz

, try its traditional double pivot, mixing

Torreira and Herrera with Koke

, even with


in few minutes.

But, after chewing it in the training sessions of the national team break in November, he already appears with this team against Barça

3-5-2 (or 5-3-2 in defensive phase)

with which he has become strong.

The goal of


elevates the idea, which is 'imposed' by the flight of Thomas, but also by the defensive


, much better forward than backward.

Some of his mistakes at the start of the season led the coach down the street of bitterness, who nevertheless knew of his ability to contribute at the top.


Simeone saw the Spain-Germany (6-0) of that national team break and rediscovered something he already knew: that Koke, in the association game, improves significantly.

And that change that the Argentine had been concocting for weeks - actually, for years - placed the youth squad exactly at the apex from which to make the team play and reach the goal with more passes than in the previous proposal.


Since then, with fewer defensive demands, he is the engine of a group that has joined, to the surprise of the entire rojiblanco universe,

Thomas lemar


The Frenchman, in his third year in Madrid, has found his place in that kind of midfielder where he does unbalance, also oblivious to the defensive mode in which he does have to work, for example, Carrasco.

Mario Hermoso

, daunted up to now, has also exploded being the third center of change.

The precision of his long game relieves the team like no center-back has done in the last decade.


In the offices they 'blame' directly

Luis Suarez


"This one knows what it is to win, and when you know the way, you can teach it to others," they say from the club.

Simeone constantly talks about the "hierarchy" of the Uruguayan who, beyond the 12 goals

(which, only in quantitative terms, have meant 10 points)

, is a guy that the house listens to, and continues.

When he puts his mate aside and says something,

there is silence


And, although in private he is more vehement, in public, after his two successes in


He said it: "We have to fight for important things."

The debate about his fitness, needless to say, has been left behind.

At this point, he adds as many goals as the rojiblanco top scorer last year, which was




Atlético, until last Thursday, had only been below on the scoreboard against him


, and stayed there.

In the rest of the games, he had never lost.

Not a minute.

And in the last two, it has happened.

In Eibar and before him



The way he has reacted, turning up the revolutions and turning the game around, in


with more difficulties, in the Wanda with great solvency, he speaks of the faith of a group in the idea that he carries out.

Returning to Luis Suárez, if in the merely tangible his contribution is 10 points (not bad), his goals opened the game against

Granada, Elche, Eibar and Celta


Many of the team's draws last year turn into wins this year.


Atlético is the team with the most points (47 with one game less).

It is the team that concedes the fewest goals (8, just half of the next two on this list,

Real Madrid and Seville

, with 16).

He is the one who scores the most goals (36, only surpassed by Barça's 39, who have one more game).

He is not the one that shoots the most at goal -there he is surpassed by several teams-, and he is not the one that accumulates the most possession


on average so far, it is eighth, behind, for example, Levante or Betis).

But even in that, in possession, it has improved, because that 53.5% is much better than the


he did on average last year.

And all, of course, for Suárez.

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