Three wins out of three, four points clear of Real Madrid and five points clear of Barcelona and Los Colchoneros wouldn’t have dreamed of a better start to the season.
The Atletico Madrid team has seen a drastic transformation this past summer.
Diego Simeone lost some of his most important players over the years in this window. Players who have given the club its identity and have contributed to the winning culture in the red side of Madrid.
Felipe Luis, Antoine Griezmann, Diego Godin, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri and Juanfran were all regulars. Some more recent than but the more senior ones made the team who they are and were the character of their manager shown on the pitch.
You wouldn’t know all of this has happened by the way they have started the season, they have been totally unfazed by all of the movement in and out of the club and have kicked on as though nothing happened.
The replacements made have helped their cause this summer. Taking things into perspective, it has been an awesome summer for the club.
The likes of Mario Hermoso, Keiran Trippier, Renan Lodi and Joao Felix seem to have settled in very quickly at the club. They have bought into the Simeone way and thrived early on this campaign.
Their squad still remains as deep as possible and it also gets an injection of youth as well. The difference in the average age of incomings (24 years) to outgoings(28 years) is a staggering four years.
In their first two games, Atletico were their usual selves. Solid and workmanlike performances defensively in both 1-0 wins.
The versatility of Simeone’s team was also evident as they used a three-man backline in their win against Leganes away from home and this may indicate a strategy to counter opposition strength when not on their home patch.
They also showed their class and their ability going forward as well as their character and refusal to lose last weekend when they came from an early two-goal deficit to get the victory against Eibar.
Such a strong mentality and character of champions will definitely profit them as their season intensifies.
The form of rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid at the start of the season means both would-be title contenders have fallen off the pace as a consequence.
It may seem like early days with a lot of points still to be won but it will still take either side more than one game to go level at least with Simeone’s charges on the standings. It is a big gap that Atletico can manage for as long as possible.
A strong case can be made for Atletico Madrid this season and their title chances and whether they can go all the way when their rivals eventually hit their stride.
Right now, they should be pencilled in as favourites for the title on the merits of their start to the season and for good reason.