Will Trippier experience change English blueprint?
The Premier League is hailed as the finest in the world, with top players and coaches but Kieran Trippier feels there is still a lot to be learnt from Spain.
The 29-year-old is a little over halfway through his first season with Atletico Madrid after leaving Tottenham following four years at the north London club.
His chosen path is not the norm these days, with continental players generally travelling to England to ply their trade in the lucrative top flight.
However, with places in the top clubs’ first team now at a premium, more and more British players are opting to move to Europe for game time.
Trippier earned 19 England caps while at Spurs and seemed set to continue his career at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but a dip in form saw him slip down the pecking order under Mauricio Pochettino and a move away was best for all parties concerned.
The Bury-born stopper, who played for Barnsley and Burnley before arriving at Spurs, has made 16 La Liga appearances for Los Rojiblancos and helped them to fifth in the table.
He seems to have settled in well and, with a three-year deal in the capital, is attempting to learn Spanish.
Kieran Trippier swapped north London for Madrid, and he hasn't looked back!
"I knew straight away I would love it here." 🙌
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 28, 2020
The English and Spanish leagues are generally considered the top two in world football and Trippier now has an insight into how both operate.
He only has experience of one La Liga club but can already see contrasts in the way things are run.
“It is different. Being here, you can see how close everyone is, the staff with the players,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Even the groundsman and security give you big hugs when you come in. Sometimes in England, I don’t think you have that.”
Jose Mourinho is now in charge of his former club, with the north Londoners struggling to get anything going this season and the Portuguese tactician has never been afraid to ruffle a few feathers and criticise players in public.
Trippier admits he has been in awe of the way Atletico coach Diego Simeone goes about his business and maybe Mourinho could take a leaf out of his book.
“You always see him with an arm around the young lads,” added Trippier. “When you see him fired up it gives you a lift and it just shows how passionate he is.”
English clubs do get a lot of things right and the Premier League ‘product’ is second to none but, if Trippier’s experience is anything to go by, maybe a more relaxed and friendly approach might be of benefit from time to time.