Diego Simeone is doing something at Atletico Madrid that no Chelsea manager can replicate

If Atletico Madrid were an English club, Diego Simeone would be the longest-serving manager of all but one team across the four divisions.

Only Harrogate Town’s Simon Weaver has been in position longer than the Argentine who was appointed in December 2011 and, in the same timespan, Roman Abramovich has seen 10 men, including caretakers, sit in the Stamford Bridge home dugout.

Chelsea have lifted more silverware in the past nine and a bit years but Simeone has overseen the most successful period of Atletico’s history, breaking up the big two to win a La Liga title in addition to two Europa Leagues and a pair of Champions League final appearances.

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Despite a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Levante on Saturday afternoon, Atletico go into tomorrow night’s round of 16 first leg in Bucharest top of La Liga, well on their way to punishing the feckless financial approaches of Real and Barcelona with an outlook that seems, in football if not other industries, quite sensible.

In financial terms they have established gradual growth year-on-year pre-pandemic, helped by their move into the Wanda Metropolitano stadium, and shown efficient use of the transfer market for several years …. but much of their success falls on the shoulders of Simeone.

While speculation persists around the 50-year-old’s future, with less than 18 months left on his contract, he is in the middle of achieving something that few modern managers are capable of: putting together a second successful team.

Thomas Tuchel will have known before he replaced Frank Lampard last month that there is precious chance of him replicating at Chelsea what Simeone is in the midst of doing at Atletico.

But how many head coaches at top European clubs have been.allowed the time to attempt, nevermind successfully implement, an entire overhaul? Pep Guardiola is doing something similar at…