Martin Petrov’s red card last night adds to Atletico’s pre-season anxieties. The Bulgarian winger, sent off in the 25th minute may well have played his last game in Madrid after a show of ill discipline that demonstrates all is not well between the player and his club.
Aguirre said of Petrov "If he'd done that in a league game I would have made him walk back to Madrid"
Getafe were unable to press home their numerical advantage following the Bulgarian’s dismissal and were denied a win by the outstanding Leo Franco in the Atletico goal.
Aguirre will feel that his need to sign Maniche, who is due to arrive in Madrid on Tuesday, is ever greater following last night’s performance and Petrov’s action’s will have confirmed that it is the Bulgarian who will need to make way in order to finance the deal. Petrov, after being pushed by Belenguer, retaliated with a kick and was awarded with a yellow card. The player, however, not content with a warning proceeded to remonstrate with the referee and talked himself out of the game. It is clear that referees this season will show short thrift for dissent.
Petrov, linked with a move to either Tottenham or Fiorentina, had been deemed surplus to requirements by Aguirre after failing to convince his new coach in pre-season that he had overcome last season’s poor start to his La Liga career. Aguirre, in spite of losing Miguel to injury for 4 months, felt that he had adequate cover for the left flank and that the transfer of Petrov would allow him to fund the Maniche deal.
Aguirre told his bosses at Atletico to “do what they can” to sell Petrov on Monday, in spite of the disappointing news regarding Miguel, and the Bulgarian winger last night had the look of a man who knows that his days are numbered. It was a display of indiscipline and petulance that is the hallmark of a player not happy with his current situation. Delporte of Osasuna will replace Petrov should Aguirre decide he needs to sign a cheaper alternative for the left wing. However, new signing Mista, along with Antonio Lopez and Pernia should provide enough options for Aguirre and the club has greater need for a playmaker.