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The Weekly Rojiblanco: Hooligan Edition

Arsenal gripes and Simeone thinks ahead.

AS Roma v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Champions League Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Apologies for being AWOL last week, but we’re back on track here after an up and down week for Atlético Madrid—with a big win on the weekend being followed by a big loss yesterday. You can check out the full write-up of yesterday’s drubbing here. With more business to take care of this season, hopefully this loss was a fluke and Atlético can return to their winning ways against Real Betis and Arsenal this week.

  • Arsenal fans cry foul over ticket pricing

Speaking of the Gunners, there has been a bit of brouhaha over the past couple of days in regards to the ticket pricing for the second leg of the upcoming Europa League tie. Arsenal supporters have balked at the £79 price tag for a ticket to the fixture at the Wanda Metropolitano on May 3.

Arsenal have subsequently agreed to subsidize the tickets to ensure no fans—or at least those committed to the additional cost of international travel—are priced out of the match.

Despite the apparent “outrage”, this situation is largely cultural with England having a much more entrenched away culture than the largely muted one in Spain.

Meanwhile, authorities in Madrid are already bracing for the event and have declared it a “high risk” event. Caution is to be expected with the events of Leicester City’s visit last year still fresh in the minds of police and spectators alike.

Stakes will be high for both clubs in what will surely be an engaging fixture, but here’s hoping that cooler heads prevail off the pitch.

  • Simeone speaks on Oblak, Griezmann

In two recent interviews, Diego Simeone had eerily similar things to say about the two biggest question marks heading into the summer—the futures of goalkeeper Jan Oblak and striker Antoine Griezmann. Both players are at the top of their respective games and have remained the center of rampant transfer speculation since last summer.

What’s interesting about the comments is how similar they are and the tone they strike. In both sessions Simeone emphasizes the need for continued “growth” at the club as a means of “convincing” these star players to stick around.

While he remains hopeful, one wonders if this Simeone—whose own future is questioned with some frequency—sending a message to the club. Or perhaps this is him echoing a message from within the club.

Either way, it is likely that a big summer in the transfer market could go a long way towards convincing our current crop of stars to stick it out.

  • Summer fixtures set

Lastly, in case you missed it, Atlético Madrid’s summer fixture list is rounding into shape after the recent “draw” for the International Champions Cup. Full write up here.