Ban Will Force Diego Simeone to Curb Touchline Temper at Atletico Madrid

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Ban Will Force Diego Simeone to Curb Touchline Temper at Atletico Madrid
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Atletico Madrid's defence of their La Liga title hasn't even kicked off yet, but they will already be without their manager Diego Simeone for the next couple of months.

The fiery Argentine was sent to the stands during Atleti's Spanish Super Cup second-leg victory over rivals Real Madrid on Friday, prompting an eight-match ban for the head coach, as per BBC Sport. 

Simeone was quick to apologise afterwards, but it is not the first time that his pitch-side manner has been called into question.

He has proven himself a top-class manager with his track record at Atletico, but his inability to control himself when he feels aggrieved could easily cost him and his team further success, and this ban must serve as a learning curve for the 44-year-old.

 

Super Cup and Precedent

As well as two matches for protesting the decision and the lack of haste with which Juanfran was allowed back on the pitch after treatment, Simeone received four matches for making contact with the head of the fourth official and additional matches for sarcastically applauding and for not leaving when instructed.

Fans will also cast their minds back to the Champions League final against the same opposition, when Simeone strode angrily on to the pitch to confront Real centre-back Rafael Varane, whom he had perceived to have gesticulated in the Atleti bench's direction.

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Always an active, loud, cajoling presence on the sidelines, Simeone being away could clearly have a detrimental effect on the team despite the boss putting his faith in assistant German Burgos, per the BBC report:

German has the capacity and confidence; it gives me peace of mind that we understand football in the same way. He will sit on the bench and I will see it from another place.

 

Absence

Simeone did apologise, saying: "When you commit an error you have to ask for forgiveness and I accept it was an error. I exaggerated in trying to get Juanfran on."

However, this time his talking will not save him from punishment.

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Burgos, left, is Simeone's assistant

Atletico's great strength is in their terrific, unyielding work rate, which all stems from the determination and discipline that Simone demands and gives an example of from the side of the pitch.

Nobody would likely argue with Burgos giving the instructions and dictating the flow of his team, but it has been Simeone's aggression and constant encouragement of his players which has pointed the way to success for the team over the last three seasons.

 

Ronaldo's Escape

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Somehow, in all the furore over Simeone's dismissal and the fact that Atletico bested Real, Cristiano Ronaldo's transgressions during the match were missed out or glossed over.

While there should be no doubt that Simeone has finally crossed the line and deserves to be sidelined for the time being, Ronaldo should certainly be facing sanctions of his own for a penalty-area bludgeoning of Atletico defender Diego Godin.

Make up your own mind if those repeated punches are worse than a tap on an official's head—or a nibble of a shoulder or a tunnel-based headbutt—but it seems Ronaldo has gotten off extremely likely on this occasion.

Simeone hasn't, though, and for his sake as well as his team's, he needs to take on board the lessons that this suspension will afford him and learn to control his reactions on the sidelines, if not necessarily his emotions.

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