2007-11-06 Olympiakos 0 – Real Madrid 0
I suppose there’s not much of a point to post the highlights of last Tuesday’s Champions League highlights given that the match between Real Madrid and Olympiakos ended in a goalless draw. There are however a few points about that match:
Wesley Sneijder seems to be finding his confidence and his form back. He played pretty well last Tuesday, connecting the midfiled and attack well. He had a few great shots at goal that were stopped by the brilliant game of Nikopolidis (the Greek Side’s ‘keeper) as well as a few good potential assist passes, including the one tha led to RVN’s clever ship shot that unluckily bounced off the crossbar. (It would’ve been such a brilliantly ruthless play had that sequence ended up in a goal). We should all remember however, that Sneijder isn't Guti... and as well as he played that night, RM still lacked that player who could deliver the final ball to the hungry lions in the box: Raul and RVN (the CL's all time leading goal scorers). Thus Schuster was found looking 'for the blonde lad with the great left foot.' (Guti has a team-leading 6 assists so far this season).
That said, it is important to note that Guti and Sneijder are 2 different players. Guti, being more a pass-oriented player while Sneijder is one to fire on sight the moment he feels he's got a snuff at the goal.
A worth point that comes out of this however is that this situation shows that RM are in need of a consistent, world-class playmaker, who is adept at setting his team mates up as well as taking shots and banging in his fair share of goals.
Now I find myself pondering on a RM's recurring problem: that of split roles. We find a similar situation with the holding midfield role: where the responsibility of babysitting the back 4 and the playmaker as well as a secondary distribution point for balls is split between Diarra and Gago. Is this the way it will be forever? Or will Gago eventually evolve into 'The Prince's' true heir by learning to take on both roles. The Attacking Midfield role seems to have Real in the same conundrum: the goal scoring, rocket-launching Wesley Sneijder and Guti, the assist man. Will Sneijder eventually take the reins once he settles in long enough for Real Madrid? Or will we have to dip into our deep pockets again? (say, for our wet dream players such as Kaka and Cesc who has found his scoring boots this year... or Diego perhaps?)
Gabriel Heinze played a great game: In a situation where Schuster has been trying to figure out which Centerback would form the ideal pair with Cannavaro at the back, Heinze has come out as the pretty surprisingly answer considering the fact that he was originally earmarked to hold down the left back spot with Pepe and Metzelder competing to be Cannavaro’s partner at the center. Pepe’s injury however, along with Metzelder’s mediocre performances, coupled with Marcelo’s surprising reliability has given Heinze time in the center of defense where he has played very well. Last Tuesday, he was very clever, solid, reliable and hard. Kudos to the former Man-U man.
Calderon: You’re like Schuster, Shut the Fuck up!
Calderon has for the Nth time, opened his mouth with some regretfully arrogant remarks: claiming that Europe is shaking in their boots at the thought offacing Real Madrid, that Real Madrid is sowing fear into the hearts of all their foes: bollocks you jackass! It’s exactly that type of mentality and talking that’s responsible for all the ‘anti-madridisimo’ that’s been spreading around the world like a wildfire. Calderon should shut his mouth and let the team do the talking on the pitch.
Wanted: Sergio Ramos
News broke out of Marca today that AC Milan is targeting our wonderkid Sergio Ramos! Fuck off AC Milan! Someone ought to shoot the RM official who would actually be willing to sign off on such a deal. We have in Sergio Ramos, a potential future icon of the club, I would even dare say that Ramos has the makings of the club’s future talisman or captain. I do fear however that Calderon might be dumb enough to get suckered into a deal with AC Milan in an effort to rescue his ruptured pride by using Ramos as a bargaining chip for Kaka. As much as I adore the idea of having Kaka in RM, I will find it impossible to swallow the idea of Ramos in another club’s colors instead of RM’s white.