Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More To Come: Real Madrid Posts In The Future

I have been horribly cut off from the matches, my computer and my television, following what my neurologist calls as "stress in the brain with a hint of migraine," he says that I have been overusing my brain and have been thinking too much, so in order to calm my brain down, I have been forbidden to do anything (of course I sneak in a few activities, like writing this post), even drive my ass out of the house.

So seeing as how Mourinho didn't have the guts to take all the blame (he was completely at fault) and poured it all over the players (who were at fault as they showed no fight, but to be clear we lost because Mourinho got it wrong); I had planned a tactical analysis on the El Classico. Which as seeing my condition will be delayed, so I'm confused whether to actually publish it or not. Need your opinion.

Pablo Sarabia, Alvaro Morata and Antonio Adan, all got their first team debuts in the past week, which as a big positive; Jose Mourinho has now give 5 canteranos a debut (Juan Carlos, David Mateos, Antonio Adan, Pablo Sarabia and Alvaro Morata), but I still won't call it utilizing the academy like the rags AS & Marca or the others are; a post on that too; the Jose Mourinho ass kissing should stop.

That's about it, I'll undergo a CAT scan followed by an MRI in the coming week, as the medicines aren't working as they should (I'll most probably change my doctor); it's nothing serious, but still wish me luck.

Will jump on these posts as soon as I get fit! In the meantime, if you want updates and random blabbering from me, follow me on twitter: @rmcanterano

Hala Madrid!

PS: Seeing as Muna is busy with college and stuff, I'd really appreciate if anyone is willing to do a guest post for me. If you are willing mail me: d3epak91@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pablo Sarabia & Alvaro Morata (Might) Make The List For Auxerre

According to the Madrid based AS; Alvaro Morata and Pablo Sarabia have both made the list of 19 players to be called up for the last group stage match in the Champions League against Auxerre. To be very clear, Real Madrid haven't yet released the official list on their website, and AS have based this list on the players who have been training for the match.

Now this is all well and good but, Alex Fernandez (Ginger) was previously called for the match against Ajax but he didn't even make the bench for that game, which was disappointing to say the least.

Mourinho has been teasing us by calling up canteranos for games and training but he doesn't even let them make the bench, let alone get a few minutes of playing time with the first team.

I seriously have had enough of this teasing, give them their chances Mou, I wish to see these canteranos play for the first team even a few minutes would be appreciated.

PS: I know I haven't done news pieces in a while but I felt happy reading this, thought I'd share!

Hala Madrid!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sergio Canales Suffering From The Esteban Granero Syndrome: Loaning Canales Out Is A Good Idea

Sergio Canales & Esteban Granero—two different players but two very similar stories, both of them won the hearts of many Madridistas in the pre-season with wonderful performances but started to fade away as the season progressed, both of them lost the support of many Madridistas and the manager but a few Madridistas remained faithful, kept asking to give them more chances.

Esteban Granero started the pre-season very well, got a wonderful response from the Bernabeu crowd in his first home game of the pre-season. He started the first few matches of the season, did well, but then when he was started to be played out of position, his performances dipped and he found himself on the bench.

Granero did not take his benching well, not in terms of his attitude but in terms of his confidence and form. Granero's confidence dropped drastically when he got benched, and whenever he did get the opportunity he tried to do too much.

By trying too much, I mean he tried to play unlike his natural game, he tried dribbling past players, took on long shots from ridiculous distances and started ignoring passes in search for glory just to prove to the manager that he is useful to the team as an individual; but he failed miserably.

Although I love Granero for his determination to get back on the starting eleven, I always criticized him for trying to achieve that by not playing his natural game, which got him in the team in the first place. This is the only place I thought Pellegrini failed—restoring Granero's confidence and telling him to keep it simple.

Jose Mourinho has certainly calmed Granero down and has got him playing like he used to; but Jose has has created a new "Granero of last season" in Sergio Canales.

Sergio Canales like Granero did very well in pre-season, everyone loved him (at least I did) because of his quality of dropping very deep to get the ball, his hunger for the ball was commendable, he used to fight very hard to get back on the ball if the team had lost the ball, play fabulous little one-twos and linked the midfield to attack very well and apart from all these qualities his ability to pick out a "Guti-esque" pass saw him find a place in every Madridista's heart as they had just lost their Pim-Pam to Besiktas.

But after the signing of Mesut Ozil, the season started with Canales finding his chances limited and like Granero, Canales too is trying too hard to get in the team, deviating from his game, that saw him come to Real Madrid, he is trying the "killer-ball" way to much, just so that he can rack up wonderful assists and get in the starting eleven instantly, and hence he is playing poorly.

Mourinho isn't doing him any favors by dropping him from the team, dropping him will only lead to destroying his poor confidence further, instead Mourinho should talk to him, let him know that what he was doing in the pre-season is the reason that he wanted him to stay in the first place and give him a few more chances. It's not a case of case of Mou can't bring him back his confidence it's much more of a case of he doesn't want to because he has a lot to deal with at Real Madrid.

A player of Canales's qualities and abilities can be very useful for Real Madrid as he will drop back and join the attacking players with the midfield—one thing that I don't find Ozil doing right now (Ozil's very young and can work that into his game, once he does, he'll be even more lethal). Canales is a great talent, and what happened to Granero was awful, loaning him out in the winter would be the best thing to do for his own good as he's just getting ignored right now. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Post Clasico Blues: Words Of Encouragement To Fellow Madridistas

I know this is probably one of those times when thoughts of suicide begin to creep into your whole being. When you're wondering, "Where the hell did it all go wrong?" If that's the case with you now, then you're not alone.

Every true Madridista would feel the same way. It started with the embarrassing 5-0 loss to Barca; then the Madridistas at the Camp Nou who abused their own players on their way out of the stadium; the one match ban on Mourinho; the fines placed on Iker, Ramos, Alonso, Dudek, Mourinho and even the club itself; and the fact that Higuain might need a surgery before he plays again.

As if that was not enough, we have two of our defenders in Ramos and Carvalho suspended from the next game against Valencia. Series of events like these make me want to pick up my father's hand gun from his wardrobe and start shooting everybody in the neighborhood. However, it's necessary to sit back for a moment and analyze this outbreak of unnerving events. Calmness is required.

For those of you who want to see some of our supposed fans cursing out at the players, here's the link.

Firstly, this is in no way a review (although Canterano is working on a review). Reviews for this game can be found everywhere on the internet, however, this is a call for Real Madrid fans to suck this all up, and move on.

What happened on Monday night was an epic fall, a break down, a crash landing, and a collapse. It could not have happened worse than that, but here's the good news; from now on, the team can only improve. Sure, this loss has affected the players psychologically, and mentally, but once they can get through this, we'll be going for gold.

This is the height for Barca, they cannot get any better than this, so they'll do well to enjoy the time they're now spending in dream land, because after that, it's back to the real world and who knows, it maybe downhill from there. This is also when I'm happy we have Mourinho as coach. This is the time for him to wield his motivational prowess and get the squad and its fans back on their feet. What happened that day was a disaster, but it's now history.

During Mourinho's press conference after the match, he said:
"You must be anxious to return to work and win the next match. I wish the Valencia match was tomorrow and not Saturday. After such a bad match you must go right back to work, play and win."
Now that's what I mean. Get up and play. Mourinho got humiliated at the Camp Nou during the group stages while he was at Inter Milan, but later restricted the cules to watching the rest of the Champions League from their ridiculous sofas at home. The team can only learn from this, and like I said before, from now on it's forward ever and backward never.

After this kind of match, it's only normal to feel nostalgic about Manuel Pellegrini's Real Madrid side that played a much better game against Barcelona last season, but sometimes, tragic advents like this have to occur for significant rectifications to ensue.

About the Ramos and Ronaldo incidents; while some of you saw two players disgracing the white outfit, I saw two players with a lot of passions and emotion for this club. Pep Guardiola had no business holding the ball away from Ronaldo. Why does everybody suddenly bring up all this fair play crap once Real Madrid is involved? For crying out loud, Barca was two goals up, the provocation from the Spaniard was totally uncalled for.

If players and coaches think they can screw with Madrid players anytime they like, NEWSFLASH: They'll kick your ass on the field if they have to.

The team was down, adrenalin was flowing, and tempers were rising, so the least any of the Barca boys could have done was carry on with the game that was already going so well for them instead of playing all the childish provocation games that sure messed up the already ravaged atmosphere in the Camp Nou.

That said, Ronaldo should have known better than to shove Pep on the shoulder, HE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN OUT HIS TEETH INSTEAD.

Ramos' tackle on Messi was not justifiable in anyway. He should not have done it, but did his supposed Spanish teammates have to be all over his face when it happened, considering that the referee was already sticking out a red card?

Then father Puyol had to fly around like a bloody sissy, to do what? Get Ramos sent off twice? I was watching the game, and I thought that whole scuffle at the end was a good way to end a miserable night.

However, that's not what the great Real Madrid represents, and Ronaldo and Ramos must learn to keep their emotions in check. Learn from Saint Iker and former captain—Raul. He did not get a red card throughout his career, not because he never got angry, but because he could control himself.

The whole world seems to have bowed down to Barca, and even though they deserved that win, nobody is getting a "congratulations" from me. They played well and won the game quite deservedly, but it ends there.

I started out as a Real Madrid fan, and I'm going to finish as one. This is just a test of loyalty. Many fans have been lost, but in the end only the real ones will remain. In De La Red's words, "My Heart Beats Madridismo," and it will continue to be so forever.

Hala Madrid!!


Muna

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sergio Ramos & Xabi Alonso Red Card Fiasco: Cards Aren't The Real F*****g Disgrace

Due to my continuing health problems, I couldn't watch the Ajax-Real Madrid game live and had spent the whole day relying on written/verbal accounts of the game (the repeat telecast was delayed too), What I had read was that UEFA were going to investigate two very ridiculous and obviously deliberate red cards of Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso.

At that point of time I hadn't watched the game but still thought that looking into red cards for time wasting was a real waste of time and resources, and was thinking of writing a post with the heading, "U in UEFA Stands For Useless: UEFA To Look Into Ramos & Alonso Red Cards."

But after watching the repeat in bits and pieces (important pieces), I was inspired to write something else. As the match ended the Sky Sports commentator said, "Real Madrid take sportsmanship to two new lows!" I was furious at the blatant double standards of the English commentators! So I decided to speak my mind on the hypocrites that are, the English commentators and UEFA.

Before I tackle UEFA, I'll talk about the lowly scum that is the English media and the "expert" commentators that work in it. The example that I'm going to use will sound like me bitching about FC Barcelona while in fact I'm just merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the commentators. I know there are many cases of this hypocrisy but I'll use this as it'll sting much more.

Last season when Internazionale faced FC Barcelona in the semi-final, the Barcelona players were diving like fairies getting Inter's players booked the commentators said, "Haha they are skilled in this part of the game as well" and laughed off the whole matter (most probably said at the San Siro).

So according to these commentators, getting your own players red carded for time wasting in a match that was already decided at 4-0 to protect those players for the knockout phase is cheating and un-sportsman like behaviour but diving in a very close match to get the advantage for your team isn't. Bravo!

And now UEFA; even the though the action hasn't been taken yet, just the fact that UEFA set up an investigation to look into the whole matter is idiotic at best.

The punishment dealt out (one match ban) for the law that was broken (time wasting) by two players is enough according to the rule books (even Real Madrid's Official Announcement says that this investigation isn't according to the rule books) as there's nothing more to it. It would have made much more sense to investigate had Ramos and Alonso made cynical tackles or dived to swing advantage in their team's favor, manhandled a manger after losing, I think you guys know where I'm headed with this.

Valdes manhandling Mou
UEFA's bias against Real Madrid becomes so much more obvious when there have been cases regarding Barcelona that screamed for an investigation, be it Valdes knocking out Copenhagen's N'Doye (straight red even in the eyes of the biased commentators); Busquets diving to get Thiago Motta sent off in a very close game (they investigated Arsenal's Eduardo's dive against Celtic but Busquet's, NO) or Valdes manhandling Jose Mourinho while the former celebrated knocking out Barcelona and making it to the finals (Drogba called the disgrace as it was and he got suspended, Valdes, NO).

All of these "crimes" deserved punishment let alone an investigation, but UEFA have to look into the two red cards to Real Madrid's players as with 3 minutes remaining had Xabi Alonso or Sergio Ramos not wasted time, Ajax would have scored 5 goals and the result would have been much different!

If these cards were to two Barcelona players, none of this would have been taking place, they would have ignored it along with the other misdemeanours from the Catalan club. Last word of advice to Michel Platini, if you can't be un-biased leave the post, and if you don't want to be un-biased at least try to hide your bias, this is getting ridiculous. Lastly if you would use these resources into the real crimes and things that really matter (which you call "Playstation Football") the game would surely improve a lot!

Last thing I want to say, if Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso (Iker and Jerzy too apparently, according to UEFA's official statement) get a punishment that would be a Drogba-style f*****g disgrace!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fun Facts: Real Madrid Vs FC Barcelona—El Clasico

One of the biggest matches of the year, if not the biggest, was previously scheduled to take place on Sunday, the 28th of November. However, news from Spain has brought it to our understanding that the match has been postponed from Sunday to Monday, the 29th of November, because of some elections taking place in Catalonia. The move has rankled many and titillated a few.

David Villa called it “weird” while Maxwell called it “unusual.” I called it "RIDICULOUS." Playing El Clasico on a Monday is one of the most absurd things one could expect in the game of football. It's probably the biggest match of the year and for it to be played on practically the busiest day of the week is a degradation of the match if you ask me. However, there are some fun facts to note going into this game that has "Real Madrid Will Win" written all over it.


Firstly, there have been 160 Clasicos played since La Liga started in 1929. 102 have been played on Sundays, 48 on Saturdays, four on Wednesdays, two on Mondays, two on Thursdays, and one each on Tuesday and Friday. Funny enough, the only two times the clasicos were played on a Monday, Real Madrid ended up winning the league.

The first one was on the 30th of March, 1964. Real Madrid won the game by two goals to one, with Gento and Puskas scoring for Madrid and Zaldua for Barca. That time, it was Easter that forced the rescheduling of the game to avoid poor attendance at the stadium, and it worked, because 85,000 fans came to watch Miguel Munoz’ Real Madrid side demolish the home team. Real Madrid went on to win the league with Barcelona as the runners-up.

The second one took place on April 3rd of 1972. Barcelona won this time around by one goal to nothing. A controversial Asensi goal sealed the deal for the Catalunyans. Even though this was preceded by a one-one draw earlier in the season, the whites went ahead to win the league with Barcelona ending in third place.
It’s also interesting to know that no Spanish team has won the league title more than two times in a row since the 1994-1995 season. The last team to win the league more than four times in a row was Barcelona. They held the league title from 1990-1994, for four straight years.

Also, the last time Barca beat Athletico Madrid (2006-2007) in the Vincente Calderon, Real Madrid won the league.

The first leg of this encounter is by no means the end of the world, but for the past six to seven years, either of the two teams that won the first leg of El Clasico went on to win the league.

These are fun facts, and as a Madridista, I find them very exciting. Nevertheless, these stats don't confirm a victory for Real Madrid in any way. Besides, it only takes a day to begin a story. The two teams are as great as ever and it’s almost impossible to predict a winner. If this match lives up to its expectations, it might come down as the biggest match of the decade, not only because of the size of the stadiums involved, but also because of the individual rivalries to look out for.

I, for one, was very disappointed to hear that this game was going to be played on a Monday, but history has given me solace. Let's just hope the match is played in good spirit and free of external influences.

Muna

Friday, November 5, 2010

Match Notes: Champions League: AC Milan - Real Madrid: 2-2: Robbery At The San Siro

Savior: Pedro Leon
The whistle for full time blew at the Estadio Giuseppe Meazza, agony on the face of the Milanese players and delight on the faces of Real Madrid players, and a sense of triumph in Jose Mourinho's reaction, I just could not comprehend all this, I had the expression of a man, who was shot and found out that 67% of his belongings were stolen by the mug who shot him.

As I stood near the screen furious at the referee, furious at the linesman, furious at Pepe, and a little furious at San Iker (well not exactly, the man's bailed Real Madrid out so many times, it's hard to be furious at him), I just couldn't understand why the Milan players were looking sad about conceding the second goal to Pedro Leon, when they were second best the whole game, I just couldn't understand why Jose Mourinho wasn't pissed at the team because of the ridiculously long celebration for the second goal and why he was more interested in getting Raul Albiol on!

I just couldn't understand the point in Real Madrid players being SO happy after the second goal, yes, they salvaged a point but still, they just got robbed of 2 points by Milan and the referee, you don't see a man happy that only 33% of his possessions could be recovered from the thief, do you?

Gonzalo Higuain after scoring RM's 700 in CL
I don't know, I still feel cheated, Milan didn't have the class to attack properly, I just didn't understand why Pedro Leon didn't pick the ball and started the game quickly so that Real Madrid could start the hunt for the third, neither did I see that hunger in Jose Mourinho to get back what was rightfully his as he was more interested to get that fourth defender back on the pitch.

I was a little scared when Real Madrid were drawn into the group with AC Milan, I was scared not because they are a good team, no, that wasn't the case at all, I was scared of the dirty tactics they would apply against Real Madrid at the San Siro, even last season, they had made the ground so greasy it was hard for our fast players to keep their footing, and of course there is the dirty tackling tactic, I just didn't want the Real Madrid players to get injured. Safe to say, Milan didn't disappoint in that department.

The match got so depressing at the end, it doesn't even deserve a proper review, all it deserves is the random points of the match, I think are worth noting:
  • Gonzalo Higuain was impressive in the game, dropping back very deep in the midfield to get the ball, was working very very hard on and off the ball, deserved another goal, when he skipped two defenders in the second half, but couldn't finish as he slipped off the super slippery turf or when Pirlo cleared his header off the line. If there was a player who deserved that 700th Champions League goal, it was Higuain.
  • Pepe looks awesome sometimes and sometimes he looks very poor, in the first goal that Real Madrid conceded, Pepe wasn't in that much pressure that he needed to try that clearance, and to be honest he would have slipped on any other turf too as he was stretching when he was clearing. In all fairness, it wouldn't hurt to try the pairing of Albiol and Carvalho.
  • Carvalho is super awesome, genius signing from Jose Mourinho.
  • Sami Khedira doesn't get much credit for his work from the Spanish press, but Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso are making a wonderful partnership which will only get better with time.
  • Angel Di Maria is a wonderful player, but he lacks to see what's more logical at the time, he tries ridiculous passes sometimes, but in all fairness, the pass to Higuain was genius, Di Maria will become more logical as he matures with time, his star will only rise.
  • Gattuso, Abate, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and even Filippo Inzaghi, should have had two yellow cards, ridiculous challenges from all of them. Zlatan fouled Xabi Alonso many times in the early goings of the match, should have a yellow then and the second for tripping Sergio Ramos. Inzaghi should have had the first yellow as soon as he came on, cynical shove in Xabi's back should have earned him the first card. Abate tripped Cristiano Ronaldo in the second half when he played a wonderful one-two with Ozil, and that should have been Abate's second yellow. Poor refereeing from Howard Webb.
  • Inzaghi shouldn't have the second goal, miles offside, it's safe to say, the linesman was blind. FYI, UEFA uses 5 officials for a game.
  • Karim Benzema has now officially shaken off his lazy tag, looked lively, dropped deep, chased balls; which was really wonderful to see! He was showing improvements in training already, now that is translating on the pitch, the pass for Pedro Leon showed his amazing understanding.
  • The Biggest Positive: Jose Mourinho's team shows a lot of character, and didn't get disheartened when they went 2-1 down and dug deep to get the equalizer.
  • The Biggest Negative: The team wastes many many chances, the game should have been put to sleep in the first half, but they couldn't, might come back to haunt them. A positive from the negative; the team creates a whole load of chances.
There's this one last thing I want to say, and it is for AC Milan:


Hala Madrid!

Also published by me on paseocastellana.com

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ruben De La Red Retires, But Will Coach In The Academy Next Season

Ruben De La Red has terminated his contract as a player with Real Madrid (which was due to expire in June 2012).

When Florentino Perez arrived at the club, he had promised the canterano a role in Real Madrid if he cannot be deemed fit to play. As I reported earlier Ruben De La Red was at the verge of getting his coaching diploma, so it was looking likely that Ruben would retire soon enough and become a coach.

No update on weather he's completed the coaching course or not is available, but it is claimed by Marca and Sky Sports, that Ruben De La Red will coach a branch of the academy, whether it's the Castilla, Real Madrid C, or Juvenil A; hasn't been made clear.

In the remainder of the season, Ruben De La Red is allowed to work with either Jose Mourinho (Real Madrid) or Allejandro Menendez (Real Madrid Castilla) to pick up some coaching techniques.

I sincierly hope that he sticks around with Jose Mourinho because Menendez is a tool. I have a slight suspision that Menendez will be moving on next season and De La Red might just get the Castilla job.

I seriously hope he does, so that after Jose Mourinho moves along De La Red can jump in the main team and guide them towards a Champions League trophy and becomes the youngest ever manager to win it........sigh.........I wish. Best of luck for the rest of your life Ruben, the world missed out on one of the greatest players, but I wish you become one of the greatest managers. Hala Madrid!

Champions League: AC Milan - Real Madrid: San Siro Preview By Muna

As all of you can see, I have been very very irregular in updating my blog, and it's been a long time since I have written anything, but not to worry, I had talked to Munachismo a long time ago about contributing on the blog, he too unfortunately was kept busy by his school work, so even he couldn't contribute, but now he's free so he's willing to help me out, and I'm greatly thankful to him. You might see a post or two from me soon enough, but in the meantime enjoy this one from Muna.

------------------------------------

Mourinho and his men put up a very thrilling display in the first leg tie against the Italian giants. An encounter that sent the Madrid faithful home with a lot to be proud of. Well, the second leg is at hand and as usual, we’re going down to Italy.

It’s going to be a more tricky encounter considering that the players would be up against a very emotional Milan crowd and more importantly, some tactical changes would be expected from Milan coach, Massimo Allegri.

AC Milan

Here’s AC Milan’s squad list for the game: Abbiati, Zambrotta, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Robinho, Pato, Ibrahimovic, Amelia, Sokratis, Jankulovski, Abate, Flamini, Ronaldinho, Ambrosini, Inzaghi, Boateng.

In the first game, the Italian club began with a formation that looked like this:

--------------------Amelia-----------------
Zambrotta --- Nesta -- Bonera--- Antonini
--------Gattuso --- Pirlo --- Seedorf-------
Pato ------------- Zlatan -------- Ronaldinho


The biggest concern Milanistas had with the midfield trio of Pirlo, Gattuso, and Seedorf was their age and level of speed. Fortunately for us, their fears were made a reality because our rather young midfield outran them throughout the game.

However, I expect Allegri to make some crucial changes to this line up. I’d expect one of the three central midfielders to be replaced with Kevin Prince Boateng ( probably Seedorf) and Robinho to make the cut; he would probably replace Ronaldinho or Pato. Pato is the most likely one to be replaced because his form as of late has disconcerting. Besides, he was marked out of the game by the Madrid defense in the first game.

Thiago Silva will also make the cut after missing the first leg of tie because of an injury. He might give our attackers a run for their money.

Then again, there’s also the issue of motivation. AC Milan came out of a very disappointing loss against Juventus during the weekend and there are two things that could result from that. The first one is that they could lose some confidence in themselves which would lead to sloppy football on their part come Wednesday.

The second one is the direct opposite to the first. They could be more motivated than ever and want to give it to us hard, just to prove a point.

Quite frankly, I think the second one is the case because from what Massimo Allegri has been saying to the press, I can tell he’s pretty confident. Here’s one of his most recent quotes:

"We made too many mistakes in the Bernabeu, and they scored lucky goals."

Yes, they made many mistakes, but blaming luck for the goals we scored is laughable. I think this guy is a good coach, but if he comes out with the same tactical set up he had in Spain, hoping for luck to change sides, then he's in for a very unpleasant surprise.

Real Madrid

Squad list for the game tomorrow : Casillas, Dudek, Adan, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Albiol, Marcelo, Mateos, Carvalho, Khedira, Alonso, Ozil, Diarra, Canales, Granero, Pedro Leon, Di Maria, Benzema, Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kaka, Gago, and Garay are still injured; with Gago being the closest to full recovery and Lass was left out for "coaching decisions." If I were to take a wild guess, I’d say Mourinho is punishing him for his comments during in France during the last international break. For those of you who don’t know what he said, here’s a quote from him:
“I seem to play one in every two games. I want more minutes, and if I am unhappy, then I will draw my own conclusions. I’m not willing to be a spectator. I want to play.”

Well, if this is what he really said, then he cannot say he did not see this coming.

Last time against Milan, Mourinho set up the team like this:

----------------Casillas-------------------
Arbeloa --- Pepe -- Carvalho --- Marcelo
---------Khedira-----Alonso--------------
------------------Ozil---------------------
Di Maria--------------------------Ronaldo
-----------------Higuain-------------------

Two defensive midfielders with Khedira playing a more attacking role than Alonso. By my judgement, Arbeloa had a relatively poor game, considering that every other person was on fire. Sergio Ramos would most likely start tomorrow, but I must say, Sergio’s form has been disheartening recently. I was not impressed at all with his performance during the weekend against Hercules. We can only hope for his form to improve.

I don’t expect too many changes, but rumors have it that Mourinho might be playing the formation he used against Auxerre, which is playing three defensive midfielders with two wingers and a striker.

This would mean Ozil would have to make way for one of M. Diarra or Estaban Granero. This approach would be a more defensive one than our previous games but I won’t complain a lot since this is an away match against one of the big boys in Europe.

But if that formation is not adopted, then expect to see the same players we’ve been seeing for some games now.

I hope I’ve done a decent job here. It’s definitely not one of the best previews you’ve seen, but I think it’s good enough to keep the blog rolling. Hopefully, this would be the first of many other posts from me. I’m predicting a 2-1 win for Madrid. Finally, we can only wish the players a safe journey back from Italy and a good game to embellish it. Hala Madrid!

Muna.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Madridista Corner: Who Should Win The Ballon d'Or?

Due to my poor health recently (which has kept me from watching quite a few matches), and my busy schedule in college I haven't been able to take some time out to write a full fledged post, I start a few but due to the lack of time, I have to leave posts unfinished and by the time I come back, the post seems irrelevant (Mou's 0-0s, Pedro Leon's exclusion, etc).


I may not have been able to update the blog often, but I surely can update the Twitter account for the blog because it takes lesser amount of time, and I tweeted about the Ballon d'Or and I had a lively disucssion on my hand, and that's how I landed upon the topic for this post.

The 23 men short-listed for the Ballon d'Or are: Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Côte d’Ivoire), Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlán (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Júlio César (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Müller (Germany), Mesut Özil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain).

Now on Twitter everyone agreed that Dani Alves shouldn't have made the list, I guess even Dani Alves agrees that he shouldn't be on the list, and that's one of the reason why all of the contributors for this post agreed that the awards are a bit of a joke, can't say I blame them.

Last year the exclusion of Robin Van Persie and a lot of inclusions didn't go down well with me, and this is year too, the nominations are a bit dodgy, and that too has been taken up by the contributors (Asamoah Gyan nominated, really? What were these guys smoking?).

Ex-Real Madrid boy—Wesley Sniejder got a whole lotta love from the contributors, and why shouldn't he? He led Internazionale to the treble, helped the Netherlands to a second place finish in the World Cup, there should be questions asked as to why NOT give him the award if anything.

Then Xavi Hernandez of the enemy camp got love from the Madridistas as well, heck, last season I wanted Xavi Hernandez to get the Ballon d'Or last year after securing 6 trophies with Barcelona as he was (IS) the most important player for the Blaugaranas, but as the award's is always given to the flashier player and who's more famous, Lionel Messi won it. Although I don't think he should get it this season.

My pick for the Ballon d'Or this season is San Iker, and on this topic, people bring the topic of what he did in the season, I counter it with the fact that Real Madrid conceded the fourth least goals last season, then people play the trophies card, I say World Cup and back it by saying, "Andres Iniesta did NOTHING last season and he's nominated just because he scored a few goals in the World Cup and one in the final, if he's on the list, Iker should be getting this award because if it wasn't for Iker, Spain wouldn't have made it to the finals (thanks to Pique)!" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA PERFECTLY OWNED!

Sorry got a little carried away, now I'll let you read the views of my Madridista friends on who should win this year's Ballon d'Or.

Saajid: (Twitter: @ILoveReal): Iker Casillas

 I think Iker Casillas should win the Ballon d'Or. He was crucial to the progress of Spain in the World Cup and was pretty good at club level. The last time a goalkeeper won this award was in 1963, when Lev Yashin won he award. No other goalkeeper has been considered the best footballer in the world since and I think that Casillas is actually the best in the world right now. Being a goalkeeper myself (amateur, of course), I can see the amazing work this guy has done for both club and country. Captaining the best football club in the world and Spain to its first World Cup ever is no easy feat; San Iker did it fantastically well.

Pamela: (Twitter: @Pamela_ ): Iker Casillas


When talking about who should win the Ballon d'Or, IMO, we should look for consistent performances as well as achievements over the entire year. Given his team won the treble, his country reached the World Cup final and he scored 5 important goals along the way, it's easy - Sneijder. But, for the past years, it was always a World Cup winner. Honestly, I don't see Iniesta getting this award after missing a big part of Barcelona's season due to injury, nor do I see Xavi winning it with his 7 goals in 53 games. If it wasn't for Casillas's brilliant saves, Spain wouldn't have won, so if it has to be a World Cup winner, San Iker deserves it.



Kaushik: (Real Madrid Offisde, Twitter: @kaushiklakshman): Wesley Sneijder

Generally there is always a clear winner for the Ballon d'or. Obviously this isn't the case this year. For me two players stand out. Wesley Sneijder and Xavi are the two with the fattest chance of winning the award. Xavi is widely regarded as the orchestrator of Spain's World Cup winning team. He also had a good season in La Liga where he was instrumental in Barcelona's title winning campaign. Sneijder on the other hand seems to have accomplished the rare task of leading a team to a treble season for Internazionale, also going to the finals of the World Cup where they went on to lose for Spain. Both have an equal chance, but knowing FIFA who gives excessive importance to World Cups (Yes, the time when Zidane deserved the award and Cannavaro ended up with it), I think Xavi will bag the award, as much as I want Sneijder to.

What I am more interested to find out though is who gets the inaugral Coach of the year award where Jose Mourinho and Vincente Del Bosque are in a similar competiton.
  

Tanuj: (The Real Madrid Fan, Twitter: @realmadrid_rock): Wesley Sneijder

First up, the whole concept of combining FIFA World Player of the year and Ballon d'Or seems ridiculous considering most of the contendors did well at the World Cup and not throughout the year. If both the things are taken into consideration then Wesley Sneijder would be my favourite to get the award. Sneijder had a superb year in Inter colours where he went about creating chances for Milito and Eto'o and also grabbing goals for himself through free kicks and even the most outrageous of distances.At the World Cup, Netherlands had both Wesley and Robben on different flanks and both the players have the capability to stretch the defence which they clearly did versus Brazil.

 Ashay: (Another Prick In The Wall, Twitter: @prickinthewall): Xavi Hernandez

This is the first edition of the prestigious Balon D'Or and the fictitious FIFA WPOTY awards combined. As such I expected to see some players make it totally on reputation, and I wasn't disappointed. However some inclusions like Asamoah Gyan were downright shocking. It's as if they had to make up the numbers with some representation from Africa.

As for my choice, I really want Xavi to win it. Xavi has been THE player for club and country for the past 3 years. At the moment in world football, I yet have to see a player who has been as consistent as Xavi has been for both club and country in the past 3 years. He has won every team award from 2008, starting with the league title, Copa Del Rey, UCL, Euro 2008, World Cup 2010. And it's not just the sheer amount of titles he has won. He has been the lynchpin in every team he has played for in the past 3 years. I do not see any other player in that list who deserves that award more than Xavi does.


Midhun: (Facebook): Xavi Hernandez:

I think he has been the most influential footballer for club and country over the past two years. His vision is immaculate, and offers great balance to any midfield and easily controls the tempo even though the fact that both Barcelona and Spain play the same brand of football means he hasn’t had to adapt to different styles unlike great footballers of previous era. Sneijder will be a close second.


These are the views of a few Madridistas, and without planning, the six of these are divided in groups of two supporting three different players, what about that?! You might have something to share with us and that's why the comment system is provided at the end, would love your feedback. If you want to be a part of the "Madridista Corner" send me an email on rmcanterano@gmail.com. Gracias.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Real Madrid-Ajax: 2-0: Take a Bow Mesut Ozil

Midfield Maestro
After being booed by the fans for the uninteresting and unimpressive style of football against Osasuna at the weekend, Real Madrid set off in their quest for "La Decima," facing four time champions—Ajax.

The jeering by the fans seemed to have worked as the style of football presented to the fans at the Bernabeu certainly improved against Ajax, the speed of play isn't "Real Madrid" yet but the defense has been super solid.

Sergio Ramos had picked up a knock just before the game and Alvaro Arbeloa had to step in, Jose Mourinho, dropped Karim Benzema and gave the start to Angel Di Maria, Mourinho started the match with a 4-5-1: Casillas, Arbeloa, Carvalho, Pepe, Marcelo, Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Di Maria, Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Higuain.

Martin Jol's Ajax were missing their captain—Luis Suarez and central defender—Jan Vertonghen through suspension, they too lined up a 4-5-1 with El Hamdaoui the lone man upfront: Stekelenburg, Van der Weil, Alderweireld, Ooijer, Anita, Enoh, Emanuelson, De Jong, De Zeeuw, Sulejmani and El Hamdaoui.

The pattern of the game was set in the starting minutes of the game, Real Madrid dominated the game, took a lot of long shots and wasted a lot of chances. Despite the horrid finishing there were a lot of positives for Real Madrid in the game.

Goooool del Pipita!
Goals:

1-0: Anita (OG): 31': The first goal was scrambled in from a corner kick taken by Xabi Alonso, the goal was first given to Gonzalo Higuain, but after a few replays the goal was called an own goal by Ajax defender Anita.

2-0: Higuain: 74': The second goal was a result of some brilliant play between Ozil and Di Maria, Ozil was set free in the box by a pass from Di Maria, Ozil set himself up well, took a good shot only to be denied by the brilliant Stekelenburg, but the ball came back to Ozil, who this time played the ball across the goal for the waiting Gonzalo Higuain, who taps the ball in.


Match Notes:
  • Despite Angel Di Maria showing flashes of brilliance in the game, he had troubles getting past defenders. He also lacks a passing brain, taking a shot whenever he saw the slightest of opportunity instead of passing it to his teammates in better positions.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has something wrong in his head, he was very selfish and very wasteful, he too like Di Maria took unnecessary shots. Plus it wasn't his day, he missed a simple tap in after Higuain played the ball back to him.
  • Gonzalo Higuain is an odd creature, when he hasn't scored his first of the season (or for 3-4 games in a row) he looks dull, sulks and moans a lot, but when he does get his goal, he starts looking amazing and sharp and there is a glow on his face, if you haven't noticed. Such was the case yesterday, he came to life after scoring Real Madrid's second.
  • Mesut Ozil was once again the man of the match, brilliant performance from the German playmaker earned him a standing ovation from the crowd at the Bernabeu.
  • 3 MATCHES, 3 CLEAN-SHEETS
  • Ricardo Carvalho is just the person Real Madrid needed in defense.
  • Needless to say, the finishing has to improve otherwise it will come back to haunt Real Madrid.
  • Marcelo is amazing, was more than a handful for the stand in Ajax captain—De Zeeuw, even got him yellow carded. It was a decent showing from him at left back defensively, if he can keep this up and improve his defending, we will be looking at one of the best left backs in the world.

Quote Of The Game

"Sooner or later a few teams are going to suffer for all the chances we create." - Jose Mourinho

Highlights:
 


Statistics:


              Real Madrid                                   Ajax 
Shots (on Goal) 35(14) 8(1)
Fouls 7 7
Corner Kicks 11 3
Offsides 3 1
Time of Possession 64% 36%
Yellow Cards 1 1
Red Cards 0 0
Saves 1 13

The trimmed version of this post can be found on my Fan vs Fan blog—Paseo Castellana.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peek-a-Boo: A Look At My New Fan Vs Fan Blog

 

Good news everyone, I am supposed to be moving to my own domain on Fan Vs Fan, and that photo you see above is supposed to be the new banner for my blog there, you can find me on "paseocastellana.com" too from now on. :)

Although me moving there does not mean I'll not be here, I love it here, I get regular comments on this blog, and I love you guys, so I'll be double posting, so you can read it here as well as on Fan Vs Fan, you can leave the comments anywhere you like, I'll reply to them like always. Hala Madrid!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is Marca Correct? Alvaro Morata To Start Against Osasuna?

Alvaro Morata
The recent news in Marca claims that the 17 year old striker we all know and love—Alvaro Morata will make his debut against Osasuna, and not by coming off the bench, but by actually starting the game.

News of Alvaro Morata making the bench against Osasuna wouldn't have been a surprise because he has been a regular in the training sessions with the first team and also the fact that Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo are injured, leaving Jose Mouriho with only striker for the Osasuna game.

Call me a skeptic but I do not believe Marca, I do not believe that Moratito will actually START against Osasuna despite all the bull-crap that Marca has to say about Jose Mourinho in favor of playing two strikers at home (Santiago Bernabeu).

Marca really really really really really don't like Manuel Pellegrini and they haven't even tried to hide that fact over the duration of the last season and even now when he's gone.

They have stated how Jose Mourinho is much more awesome than Manuel Pellegrini and how Jose "thinks" more about La Fabrica than Manuel ever did, by stating that Juanfran, Mosquera and Marcos Alonso only got a few minutes and that too by the 28 gameweek and how Jose Mourinho will start a 17 year old canterano in just his second game of La Liga. (link)

If you look at the transfers made this summer you'd know that Jose Mourinho has done more harm than good to the canterano's chances in the first team. The difference in treatment give by Marca to the two managers is evident, and this supposed news is just a way to make Jose Mourinho look better.

Now I'm not saying that Pellegrini was amazing in giving chances to the canteranos, but Jose Mourinho is no better, because it's just circumstances that are forcing him into using the academy, you've read it all summer, if he'd had it his way, he would have signed a third striker instead of looking at the academy.

Please don't state Mateos's rise to the first team as a sign of Jose being better for the academy because Mateos's inclusion in the squad is also circumstantial, if THREE central defenders hadn't got injured do you think Mateos would have got a professional contract?

Because of what has happened so far under Jose Mourinho, I can only see as far as a 4-5-1, with Gonzalo Higuain the lone man upfront, Angel Di Maria and Pedro Leon on the wings, Sergio Canales or Mesut Ozil as the attacking midfielder and Xabi Alonso & Sami Khedira the anchor-men in midfield, and no room for Morata.

But with that being said, circumstantial or not I am really happy that Alvaro Morata has got his chance to impress, and I hope that he makes a lot out of this circumstance, even if it's an appearance from the bench.

I know I'm not wrong but still I would love to be proven wrong by Jose Mourinho for the sake of Alvaro Morata! Hala Madrid!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pablo Sarabia To Sporting Braga In January

Photo: AS.com
The transfer that all the Madridistas were fearing would happen now has a time and date according to the Spanish daily AS. AS on their website claim that the Spanish U-19 International and Real Madrid Castilla player will be transferred to Sporting Braga of Portugal in the January transfer window.

Pablo Sarabia will be sold for €3 million with a 2 year buy-back clause in his contract, Pablo Sarabia recently renewed his contract with Real Madrid at the end of July.

The contract would have been renewed a lot earlier had it not been for Pablo's agent, and I seriously believe that it is again his agent thinking about what's "better" for Pablo. Pablo has time and again expressed his desire to stay at Real Madrid but his agent always has had different things in mind for him.

If this transfer really does happen, it's not just his agent, even Allejandro Menendez has to blamed for it, Allejandro has benched Pablo Sarabia time and time again after performing so well for the Castilla, even in the last game against Coruxo, Pablo Sarabia only got 17 minutes worth of playing time.

And if this transfer does complete, I don't like the chances of Pablo Sarabia playing for Real Madrid again despite the buy-back clause, Mesut Ozil, Sergio Canales, Pedro Leon, Angel Di Maria, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo are no where close to retirement in the next 2 seasons.

I hope this transfer doesn't happen, but that's a tall order so I'll hope for what's easier, I hope Pablo Sarabia outperforms them all so we can see him playing for the first team soon. Hala Madrid!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Real Madrid Castilla: 2010-11: What's Happening In Segunda B

As I had promised, the Real Madrid Castilla post, I wasn't in favor of doing the post because Corey at Real Madrid Offside had already made an elaborate post on the Castilla and I wouldn't be able to match it, but it's been a long time since that post came around and there have been changes made in the Castilla too, hence this post, I'll just cover the transfer movements and give the final team.







  • In:
Goalkeepers: Jesus Fernandez (Numancia), Issac Becerra (Espanyol B)
Defenders: Pablo Gil (Albacete), Raul Goni (Zaragoza)
Midfielders: Mandi (Ponferradina)
Strikers: Joselu (Celta Vigo) (*Joselu was signed last season but was immediately loaned back to Celta)




Rodrigo Moreno
  • Out:
Goalkeepers: Filipe Ramos (Deportivo La Coruna)
Defenders: Gary (Germinal Beerschot), Marcos Alonso (Bolton), Opare (Standard Liege), Cordero (Xerez)
Midfielders: Pedro Mosquera (Getafe), Tebar (Girona), Rodrigo (Benfica, on loan to Bolton), Miquel Palanca (Elche)
Forwards: Adam Szalai (Mainz), Javier Acuna (Recreativo Huelva), Samuel Alonso Saiz (Sevilla Atletico)






    Tomas Mejias
  • Promotion To Real Madrid Castilla
Goalkeepers: Tomas Mejias
Defenders: Casado, Daniel Carvajal
Midfielders: Alex Fernandez, Antonio Martinez, Denis Tcherichev, Victor Merchan
Forwards: Alvaro Morata









  • Promotion To The First Team
Antonio Adan and Mateos have made the jump from the Castilla to first team, none of these can play for the Castilla in the season.


No Promotion, But Change In Group

The Spanish FA made some classification changes in the Segunda B division and because of that Real Madrid Castilla is classified in Group 1 opposed to Group 2 last season. Allejandro Menedez's team could only manage a mere eighth position and fell way short of the promotion play-off zone in Group-2, maybe this time they can get better results. These are the teams who the Castilla will be facing this season:
Celta B, Montaneros, Getafe B, Guadalajara, Leganes, Deportivo B, Lugo, Rayo B, Universidad, Conquense, Pontevedra, RSD Alcala, Vecindario, Coruxo, Atletico B, Cacereno, Cerro Reyes, Extremadura UD and CD Badajoz .

Squad List

These are the following players who will be with the Real Madrid Castilla this season:

Goalkeepers: Tomas Mejias, Jesus Fernandez & Issac Becerra.

Tomas Mejias (GK) was supposed to be the starter for the Real Madrid Castilla this season, but his 4 month lay-off means that is certainly not hapenning, Jesus Fernandez will be the first choice in his absence.


Defenders: Nacho, Luis Hernandez, Juanan, Velayos, Casado, Pablo Gil, Carvajal & Raul Goni

Last year Allejandro Menendez played a back line of Nacho, Mateos, Gary and Marcos Alonso, only Nacho is the one who survives, Nacho is considered one of the top talents of the academy, he did train with the first team in the pre-season too.

In the Coruxo game, Menendez lined up Luis Hernandez, Jorge Casado, Nacho and Juanan, but with the late arrival of Raul Goni (21) who has experience of the Primera division too, I expect the defense line to change.


Midfielders: Mandi, Raul Ruiz, Victor Merchan, Fran Rico (C), Denis, Juanfran, Juan Carlos, Pablo Sarabia, Alex Fernandez, Javi Hernandez and Zamora

Fran Rico has been made the captain of the Castilla, is one of the most brilliant players in the team, injuries have plagued his career so far. Alex Fernandez is the one who looks likely to start more games this season, he's a brilliant playmaker and also travelled with the first team to USA.

Mandi has been bought to replace the former Castilla captain—Pedro Mosquera, however Menendez didn't start Mandi in the first game against Coruxo which the Castilla won 3-2. Menendez's midfield consisted of Alex Fernandez, Juan Carlos, Juanfran and Fran Rico.

The surprise of the first game was, Pablo Sarabia coming from the bench, Juan Carlos was given the nod in the first game, although I believe Juan Carlos and Pablo Sarabia will be rotated and will share playing time, both of them can start simultaneously when Juanfran gets called by the first team.


Forwards: Cristian, Joselu, Ruben Ramos and Alvaro Morata

 I really like Joselu, he started the pre-season with the Castilla very brightly even scored a lot of goals and he will defenitely be a starter for the Castilla.

With the adavent of Alvaro Morata in the Castilla, the top scorer of the Castilla—Cristian was benched by Allejandro Menendez. Not too sure who'll start more often, we'll have to see what happens.


I don't trust Allejandro Menendez much, but I do hope they make it to the Segunda division this season.Hala Madrid!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Official: Samuel Alonso Saiz Joins Sevilla Atletico On Loan

Samuel Alonso Saiz, better known as Samu, one of the striker who I backed to be the third striker for the Real Madrid first team has joined Sevilla Atletico (the B team of Sevilla) on a year long loan, the Andalusian outfit will have an option to purchase Samu after the season.

Ever since Samu started playing football, Samu has played for Real Madrid, out of the 19 years of his life Samu has spent 11 of those years with Real Madrid.

Samu holds the record for the most number of goals in the Benjamin category—117 goals. Samu is the leading scorer of all time in the Real Madrid youth teams (Alevin y Benjamin).

Like the better players in the academy, Samu did not spend any time in Real Madrid C and made the jump from the Juvenil A into the Real Madrid Castilla. Samu could only manage to start a few games for the Castilla last season but he managed to score 5 goals and string up a few assists.

Samu has reportedly moved away in pursuit of playing time as he would see his playing time reduced by the jump of Alvaro Morata from Juvenil A and the addition of Joselu who was signed from Celta Vigo last season.

I really don't see that being a strong reason for loaning out Samu, I never trusted Allejandro Menendez much, and he's signing players instead of promoting players to plug the holes in the Castilla, utterly disappointing.

It's a shame to see Samu being sent on loan, it's an even bigger shame that loyalty and class now count for nothing in La Fabrica, this is a sad day, still I end this post with Hala Madrid!


I apologize for my absence, I have been really busy with college and stuff, but to make it up, I'll publish a Castilla post tomorrow.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Life Lessons Through Football: FC Barcelona Learn It The Hard Way Through Ibrahimovic & Chygrynskiy

Super-Flop
The season before the last one, FC Barcelona won everything there was to be won, they won the Copa del Ray, the La Liga and the Champions League, but due to Florentino Perez's arrival at Real Madrid and the signings he made, turned the spotlight on Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona didn't like that one bit, they didn't want the spotlight to be taken away from them, so they started critcizing the philosophies of Real Madrid, while making two mega money signings themselves in the form of Dmytro Chygrynskiy & Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Barcelona paid €25 million for Dmytro Chygrynskiy and €45 million plus the star man of last season—Samuel Eto'o (€30-35 million) for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

But as fate would have it Chygrynskiy & Ibrahimovic both flopped and fell out of favor at the Catalan club.
FC Barcelona sold Dmytro Chygrynskiy to Shaktar Donetsk for €15 million suffering a loss of €10 million.

And after a long soap-opera in the summer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally bid farewell to Barcelona as he is now going to join AC Milan for an year on loan and then AC Milan HAVE to purchase Ibrahimovic for a mere €24 million, with FC Barcelona suffering a loss in the range of €50 million.

FC Barcelona were already covered in the central defender deaprtment, so it didn't cost them to find his replacement but they did spend €45 million on David Villa to replace Zlatan.

Now I agree that David Villa is an amazing signing and is better than Samuel Eto'o, but they have spent nearly €100 million on a player that wasn't even required to be replaced.

Now I agree Real Madrid did a lot of stupid things last season, and two namely being Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben, but Real Madrid weren't the "hexacampeons," Barcelona were, why change a system that wins you things?

Even if Barcelona wins 6 trophies in a season, they'll always be jealous of the club in Madrid that wears the royal whites, and this jealousy has cost them more than €100 million, and it doesn't help when your club has to take loans to pay off the salaries of the players.

Kids, now every experience in life teaches us a lesson, this experience teaches us that jealousy is a bad thing and you should not let what others do determine the things you do.

Okay now enough with the life lessons, lets have a laugh at the expense of our dear rivals! And did you hear, Gerard Pique handed in a request to join AC Milan too, I wonder why.........

Hala Madrid!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Real Madrid's Third Kit For The UEFA Champions League 2010-11 Is Purple!

Photo Courtesy: footballshirts.com
The third kit of Real Madrid 2010-11 season has been leaked on the Internet, footballshirts.com published it on their site a few days ago, I believe this is the real kit because they even posted the leaked pictures of the home and away kits of this season and they were right on both the occasions.

I am still hoping that this time they are wrong because I just don't like purple on the kit.
Home

The kits that Real Madrid wore last season (2009-10) were amazing, and it bums me out that the kits don't looks so good this season.

I like the pattern for the shirts this season though, rays coming out of the club crest but it's just that the colour combination isn't that good, only the home kit of 2010-11 looks good.

Away
The away kit would have looked good too if Adidas hadn't put that green strip on it, it looks completely out of place and ruins the whole look of the shirt!


Internazionale Away
Well at least Real Madrid's home and away kits aren't as bad as their rival Barcelona's ugly green away kit which looks more like a clown costume than a football kit, but then again, it suits them.

I wish that this leaked third kit is a fake and a serpent or dragon or something ends up on the shirt and it looks as awesome as the Internazionale away kit, don't you? Hala Madrid!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Possibble Formation Of Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid

I ran out of ideas for more posts after completeing the Mesut Ozil post, so I asked people for ideas on the blog's Facebook page, I decided to go with the idea of one "Real Madridista" for this post, because most of them seemed to agree with his idea.

Considering the players Jose Mourinho has at his disposal at Real Madrid, it is obvious that he will make them play offensively, despite the no-brained opinion of a clown by the name of Gerard Pique.

Real Madrid will probably use a formation which is hard to explain through the conventional formations. It is much more dynamic, it keeps on changing, like the resonating structures of Benzene.

Lets not get into Resonance, Benzene or Organic Chemistry because I suck at it and I only know the basics, okay, lets talk football.

For the sake of the post, I have chosen a team of: Iker, Sergio, Carvalho, Albiol, Marcelo, Xabi, Khedira, Leon, Ozil, Cristiano and Higuain. I have kept out the players who are injured (barring Raul Albiol). This team should not be taken as the final team, it is just for the purpose of explaining and reasoning how Real Madrid will play, it might be that Arbeloa plays at left-back and Di Maria starts over Pedro Leon.


  • 4-3-3
The reason I believe that Jose Mourinho will apply this formation is because this is the formation that he has applied in most of the pre-season friendlies and also the fact that he purchased two wingers.

You can see Cristiano Ronaldo on the right wing, but Cristiano won't be just on the right, his mobility is what makes the formation so versatile.

Cristiano will move from the right wing to the left, then behind the striker and will also pop up as a striker. Pedro Leon (or Di Maria) will keep on switching between the wings giving Sergio Ramos or Marcelo a chance to bomb on forward.

Ozil will take up the role of the playmaker operating behind Higuain and will also be swapping places with Crsitiano Ronaldo and Pedro Leon.

Some expected Sami Khedira to play a sweeping role in midfield tucking in just ahead of the back four running and winning balls, but that is not the case. In the pre-season friendlies, Khedira played ahead of Xabi Alonso, winning the ball forward in attack. We have all seen Sami's stamina in the World Cup and know that he'll be back helping in defense as well as attacking, the role that Pellegrini had for Lass last season (the job which Lass sucks at).

Xabi Alonso will sit deep, winning balls along with Khedira in the midfield. Xabi is probably the most important player in the team, he is the one who is supposed to distribute the ball to the attacking players, as we saw in the Bayern Munich game, when Xabi Alonso (Xabi didn't have a bad day, he was just tired) is struggling the whole attack suffers.



  • 4-4-2 Diamond or 4-1-2-1-2
The diamond formation was used by Jose Mourinho at Chelsea too. Jose Mourinho might even start with this diamond formation.

Even if he doesn't, the shape of the formation will change during the game and it will be a diamond at some point in the match with Cristiano Ronaldo joining Higuain as the striker.

Ozil will take the top of the diamond and Xabi Alonso and Khedira will take turns to be the lowest point in the diamond, Pedro Leon will join on any one side of the diamond.

The width will be provided by the full backs—Marcelo and Sergio Ramos.


  • 3-5-2
I was intrigued by Jose Mourinho's claim of using a 3-5-2 formation with Real Madrid when needed. At first I couldn't figure it out, I was thinking along the lines of a Higuain-Benzema partnership, and Cristiano Ronaldo on the wings, but it didn't even convince me. I thought Jose might be kidding because Cristiano doesn't like to track back, and for this formation to work, he has to!

But after a few pre-season games, it became clear that it will be a Higuain-Cristiano pairing if the 3-5-2 is applied. The photo I have used shows the formation changing into a 3-5-2 during the game, where Marcelo will take the role of the left-sided winger. If this formation is to be applied when Arbeloa is playing left-back, substitutions will be made.

I do not believe that Real Madrid will start a game with a 3-5-2 but the 3-5-2 will defenitely be a "Plan-B" against stubborn, defensive teams who just want to sit behind.


Hala Madrid!



I would like to thank my friend Mary, for helping me out in this post, I had lost confidence on this post, and she is the reason this post is published, thanks Mary. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

UEFA Homegrown Player Rule: Real Madrid Don't Have A Thing To Worry About

There is certainly some confusion on the Internet about the "homegrown" rule or the "Protection of young players" rule that UEFA have implied from this season onwards, I too got a few questions because of the last post about how the homegrown quota would be fulfilled if Granero is sold.

I knew a little about this rule, had the idea that Marcelo and Higuain would be considered as homegrown players, but there was more to it so I did a little research and found out that Real Madrid are more than covered in the homegrown department.


This is how UEFA defined homegrown players on their website:
UEFA defines locally-trained or 'homegrown' players as those who, regardless of their nationality, have been trained by their club or by another club in the same national association for at least three years between the age of 15 and 21. Up to half of the locally-trained players must be from the club itself, with the others being either from the club itself or from other clubs in the same association. The UEFA rule contains no nationality conditions whatsoever.
According to this definition, these players can be called homegrown players: Iker Casillas (GK), Sergio Ramos (DF), Esteban Granero (MF), Marcelo (MF) , Antonio Adan (GK), Xabi Alonso (MF), Sergio Canales (MF), Alvaro Arbeloa (DF), Raul Albiol (DF), Ezequiel Garay (DF)*, Gonzalo Higuain (FW), and Pedro Leon (MF).


*I am not too sure about Garay, but he did complete 3 seasons with Racing Santander before he turned 21, so he can be considered homegrown.

 The ones in bold font have completed 3 seasons between the age of 15-21 in the Liga BBVA with different teams, but will be classified as homegrown players because of the condition stated above. The rest of them have completed 3 seasons with Real Madrid between the age of 15-21.

UEFA have set a limit of 25 players to be used in the European competitions, and out of these 25, eight of the players have to be homegrown. Real Madrid currently have 12, out of which 7 are trained by Real Madrid, thus also fulfilling the criteria that 50% of the homegrown players should be trained by the club they represent.

A few of the players are going to be sold, and if Real Madrid fall short in the homegrown department  which is highly unlikely, they can name a few players of the academy in the list of 25, as there is no rule that obliges the club to play a certain number of homegrown players on the field.


So there you have it, Real Madrid are well covered in the homegrown department, I hope this clears the confusion created by the rule. Hala Madrid!

If you want to read more about the rule, visit UEFA's Official Web-Site.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mesut Ozil's Signing Opens The Exit Door & Shortens Opportunities

Mesut Ozil—Nuevo jugador.
Real Madrid agreed a deal worth €15 million for one of the brightest attacking midfielders in the world. No doubt Ozil for €15 million is a smart bit of business, but looking at the team and the circumstances it's €15 million too much.

I have been torn in the middle ever snice I came to know about that the signing of Mesut Ozil became official, part of me wants to celebrate at the fact that Real Madrid have signed a great player who is just 21 and has a great future in front of him.

But the part of me that is winning and trumping every argument is the one that says Ozil wasn't a neccessary signing for this season. I believe this one is the rational part of me, which knows that there are already three playmakers in the team and there was no requirement of a fourth one despite Kaka being injured for 4 months.

Rafael Van Der Vaart
But now as the number of midfielders at Real Madrid has increased to a ridiculous number and the squad size has become greater than 25, it is obvious that some of the midfielder will be shown the door to make funds and reduce the squad number, and because of another play-maker coming it is only a matter of days that Rafael Van der Vaart will be shown the door.

I feel that it is unfair that Van der Vaart is the one that will be the one sold despite him being so passionate about the club and giving one solid performance after the other last season.

Van Der Vaart's quality isn't hidden from anyone, and it won't be a surprise that he would succeed with whichever club he signs, and the Real Madrid management will be seen with an egg on their face.

If selling Van der Vaart isn't a bad enough thought, the management have overlooked the fact that no one will be willing to pay €20 million or more as speculated at the start of the summer as everyone knows that Real Madrid are in a need to sell him after they inflated their squad with Mesut Ozil's signing. I expect €5-10 million less from the sale of Van der Vaart now, Real Madrid are no longer in a commanding position.

El Pirata
The other one that looks on his way out of Real Madrid is Esteban Granero, after a good start to last season, El Pirata faded away, and Jose Mourinho does not look interested in keeping the Canterano, Sevilla were reportedly interested in reuniting him with Alvaro Negredo, expect Granero to leave for €5-8 million.

And that is not the complete impact of the Mesut Ozil signing, the current young attacking midfielders in the academy (Alex Fernandez & Javi Hernandez), Dani Parejo and Sergio Canales, they will all see their opportunities of making it at Real Madrid cut viciously short.

Sergio Canales
Mesut Ozil's just 21, and the canteranos are just a few years younger than Mesut. Sergio Canales is 19, there is just no age difference between the two attacking midfielders, so it is obvious that Sergio Canales will see his chances cut short, and that is one thing no Real Madrid fan would like.

Sergio Canales has won many fans over with his performances last season and in the pre-season. It would be disappointing to see Sergio Canales on the bench, this will surely hamper his growth as a player.

The Canteranos don't even get their chances with older players at the team, it will make it even more impossible for them to break in the first team with a younger player in the team.

Real Madrid could have got Mesut Ozil for free next season but economically Mesut Ozil's signing is still a wonderful one. Mesut Ozil is one of my favorites but it's the effects like the possible exit of Van der Vaart & Granero, the reduction of the chances for the canteranos and Sergio Canales which reduce the sweetness of this transfer.

What do you think of the transfer?

Hala Madrid!

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