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We're finally viewing Atlético as serious contenders

They just last longer and longer... After their win at San Mamés, everyone’s finally taking Atlético very seriously. Yesterday, AS.com ran a poll to gather title predictions, and the result was a near even spread between the three. Not long ago, that wasn’t the case. Not long ago, almost everyone (myself included) thought their exertions, the gulf in class between their first XI and the rest of their squad, would end up taking its toll. Atleti had already exceeded themselves and made it interesting at the top, but by now would be flagging. When they came undone against Real in the cup, we thought they were grinding to a halt…

But they last longer and longer, like that Duracell bunny – powered by the battery that is Diego Simeone, of course. The win in Bilbao has finally made us all look at Atlético differently, and by ‘us all’ I also mean many Rojiblancos who, whether through scepticism or fatalism, also thought the big prize was out of their reach. But, taking each game as it comes, they’re where they are now; without looking further ahead, and nor should they. That’s what it’s about. Winning one more game, just one: the next one. And then going again. Without looking at the last game, or the one after. That’s all I ask of you, lads: one game, one more game.

It’s something that links football to journalism. We also work that way: you take on each new day, find out the news, report it, then tomorrow is another day. Yesterday’s news has gone with the wind, the paper is being recycled (now that it’s rarely used to wrap fish and chips) and another day of news and complexities, which are not necessarily at all like yesterday’s, is ready for us to tackle afresh. Game by game, day by day. A group of good players have bought into Simeone’s stealth and perseverance, and they’re right up there. And they’ve provided a welcome break from the monotony of a two-horse title race.

Estadísticas AS.com