In seventh place in the Brasileirão and at risk of not playing in the next edition of Libertadores, Atlético-MG has a season far below what was expected, as it was appointed as one of the candidates for the main titles of 2022 due to the overwhelming campaign in the year. past. The team’s poor performance raises doubts about what Galo’s 2023 will be like, which will open the MRV Arena. There is disagreement even within the club when it comes to building the squad.
For the next season, which path should Atlético follow: reformulation or just adjustments?
The crowd expects a lot to change in Cidade do Galo next year. Many players who were important in 2021, the year of the Triplete Alvinegro — Brasileirão, Copa do Brasil and Mineiro — are not repeating their performance. Still not knowing if he will continue in the position, coach Cuca is on the side of those who defend that changes be made in the group.
“We are going to look for this direct vacancy, God willing, there are six games to go. Then there will be the work of the football director who is one of, if not the most competent in Brazil, which is Rodrigo [Caetano]. He will understand in the future what is necessary for the Rooster next year to be the Rooster of 2021 again, even if it is not with the same names. Naturally, you will always try to improve your squad”, commented the coach, after the 1-0 defeat to Flamengo at Maracanã.
It wasn’t the first time that Cuca let slip that Atlético’s squad needs to be modified. In June, before the coach’s return to Cidade do Galo, colleague Lisca revealed a conversation he had with Cuca in January, weeks after Alvinegro was Brazilian champion and the Copa do Brasil champion.
“Cuca had already told me there in the course [da CBF] that this year is going to be difficult. It’s very difficult to follow through, there are so many victories, he won everything. It’s everyday wear and tear. There’s a lot of stuff in the locker room that doesn’t come out. Imagine managing a group where everyone wants to play. You have to see the stories he told me, but I can’t tell you here”, said Lisca, during an interview with the podcast. Dus 2.
However, Cuca’s permanence for 2023 is not yet guaranteed. With a contract until the end of the Brasileirão, the coach’s future in Cidade do Galo will be decided in the coming weeks.
Director wants adjustments
For Atlético-MG’s football director, Rodrigo Caetano, the answer is to adjust. In fact, the director has already ruled out any possibility of a major overhaul in the cast.
“First, I do not defend a word that in football is expensive, high risk: reformulation. I will not agree with that, I already assume my position. The tendency is that those who stay, certainly a good part of the squad, is to recover the high level to play in the biggest league, which is the Brazilian Championship”, said Rodrigo Caetano, in an interview with the program Os Donos da Bola, from Band Minas.
The last major overhaul of Atlético’s squad was made in the 2020 season. That year, 32 players left Cidade do Galo and another 18 were hired. In 2021, for example, only six reinforcements arrived at Atlético. This season there were eight signings, in addition to defender Junior Alonso, traded with Krasnodar, but who returned to the club two months later, because of the war between Russia and Ukraine.