"Graham," the hordes and multitudes demand. "How is young Thibaut Courtois doing at Atletico Madrid? We shall not sleep nor rest until we receive an answer to this pressing question." And who am I to disappoint? Hours of painstaking research has led me to believe that Courtois is in fact very happy with his temporary new team. However, he's not yet the clear number one - that honour falling to Joel Robles - and he'll have to work hard to take over goalkeeping duties in Spain.
Or at least, that's what the Google translator says Courtois says. Here's the original, in Dutch:
De kwaliteit van de spelers ligt een stuk hoger dan in Genk. Als er daar in een vijf tegen vijf op doel werd geschoten, was het meestal recht op mij. Hier schieten ze in de hoeken. Een reactie alleen volstaat niet. Als je hier Diego Forlán voor je krijgt, hoe die afwerkt, dat is echt ongelooflijk!
Ik heb laten zien dat ik leiding kan geven aan de verdediging. Het probleem is dat ik hier laat ben aangekomen. Joel Robles heeft heel de voorbereiding gekeept, dus hij heeft een streepje voor. Mocht hij opnieuw de voorkeur krijgen, dan moet ik me blijven bewijzen tot de trainer niet meer om mij heen kan. Ik ben nog niet de nummer één , maar stilaan laat ik zien dat ik er klaar voor ben.
-Thibaut Courtois. Source: Voetbal International.
Roughly speaking, the players are very impressive at Atletico and the finishing is far better than what he's used to in training. Diego Forlan in particular is good at placing shots. Courtois' late arrival has meant that he's not the clear number on in the depth chart, but he's working on unseating Joel Robles. All fairly mundane, although I'm glad to hear that the level of competition is higher with Atletico than in Belgium - that can only be good for Courtois' development.
But he wasn't done there.
After the fluff about life in Spain Chelsea's first signing of the summer took the time to slam his former club. The 19-year-old has claimed that he got no recognition for the work he did in securing the championship last season, was forced to play dirty, and was 'treated like trash' and 'thrown away' by the club. He then says Genk should be grateful to him for the money they received.
It's not like I have a problem with players badmouthing their former employees - it's unprofessional, but Courtois is very young, so whatever - but if I were Chelsea and still interested in acquiring Kevin de Bruyne I'd sneak a couple of thousand quid into Courtois' bank account and tell him to shut up about Genk. It's not like antagonising the club is going to help anyone with anything, even if it's not really Chelsea saying those sorts of things.
But anyway, yes. Courtois is doing well. I hope he can oust Robles to take the number one spot though, otherwise this year might be a bit of a waste.