02 May Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone not happy with touchline ban
Diego Simeone admits he will not be happy to sit in the stands for Atletico Madrid’s Europa League semi-final second leg with Arsenal.
The Atleti boss is banned from the touchline after being sent off during the first match at the Emirates Stadium last week, a game his side drew 1-1 despite playing with 10 men for 80 minutes.
Having seen full-back Sime Vrsaljko given his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards in the early stages, Simeone was also dismissed shortly afterwards as he fumed over the perceived injustice.
That means he will serve a touchline ban for the all-important second leg as his side look to reach a fifth major European final in nine years.
But, while Simeone will find it hard to watch from afar, he insists such flash points as last week will not lead him to changing his fiery dugout demeanour.
“I won’t carry it too well,” he said.
“I’m sad about the situation and the suspension. I will have to improve and I best not say anything else.
“It is not going to change the way I coach the team, seeing myself on television, it could be understandable, it depends how you see it. It could be interpreted normally as it is just a protest.”
Simeone’s long-term number two German Burgos will be charged with leading the operation from the touchline.
The former Atleti goalkeeper has worked alongside his compatriot for seven years and Simeone believes his presence, as well as the size of the contest, will mean his players will feel his own absence less.
“I played semi-finals and the importance that the footballers have right now is above everyone else,” he added.
“We have German Burgos, who is more than capable of carrying the same passion to the team as I do.
“We were together in the Argentinian national team and as kids, we don’t have to look at each other to know what we want, I’m totally relaxed with having German in the dugout.
“No result at all can give you peace of mind in the knockout stages of a competition like this, it is very important to be able to adapt and control emotions.”
Arsene Wenger will be in the visitors’ dugout for what could be his final European game in charge of Arsenal.
The 68-year-old will step down at the end of the season and, although he will not be going toe to toe with Simeone in their technical areas on Thursday, he defended the behaviour of his counterpart.
“I believe every manager has his own personality,” Wenger said.
“He is doing extremely well in what he does. He tries to influence his team in a positive way, many times he manages to do it. Last week he got sent off and only the referee can make that decision.”