'Style is given by the players' - Simeone defends Atletico's defensive approach

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The Argentine manager doesn't think his club's playing style gets the amount of respect it deserves, but says it's predicated by the playing staff

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone does not believe a manager can be successful with one style of play.  

The Argentine has brought a defined style to Atletico, with the club routinely among the toughest to break down since he took charge in 2011.  

Despite that, the 48-year-old has hit back at critics who claim his clubs don’t attack enough, saying that the style of his side is a function of the players in the squad.  

"You've always heard me say this, the criticism is part of this profession, the opinion too,” he told Goal. “What I'm trying to say is that within the styles, first, there's something clear: the style is given by the players on the roster.  

“I do not have a style to go to a smaller team and practice my supposed style, I have to adapt to the club that hires me, empower those players and as an employee, make the club grow.  

“That is to be a good coach for me. He who brings a style to a club that can't carry it out, he is not a good manager, because he is attacking the club that hires him.” 

With Simeone in charge, Atletico have won both La Liga and the Copa del Rey along with two Europa League crowns while finishing as runners-up in the Champions League on two occasions.  

And the manager questions why his club’s style of play draws more criticism than other styles despite bringing consistent results for the club.  

"There are those who discredit a style or a way of playing and those who accept all the different styles,” he said.  

“What hurts and does not meet the conditions for this ruthless criticism in football, are those that discredit a way of playing.  

“I do not hear people speak ill of a super-possession team, of association football, of people who come out to play in a different way, of a style of touch. Of those teams, nobody makes a ruthless criticism.

“Now, I've always listened to those who like the style of possession disparaging other styles and coaches that defend another idea. My question is why? Why?” 

Diego Costa Atletico Madrid 2018-19

One player who seems to fit Simeone’s style well is former Chelsea forward Diego Costa, who returned to the Spanish side in January of 2018 and become a key member of the squad.  

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"He's an animal, Diego Costa is an animal!” Simeone said excitedly when asked about his volatile star.  

“He made us suffer in a game against Barcelona when we needed his characteristics, sure, he is a player that we needed for that game, but I am not one of the coaches that generates negative sensations from an episode.  

“I value everything and with Costa there is more positive than negative."