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.


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

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:

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:

Arbeloa --- Pepe -- Carvalho --- Marcelo
Di Maria--------------------------Ronaldo

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!



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