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!

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.
  • 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



              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 "" 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

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.


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