Thursday, July 17, 2008

Reflecting on Player Movements in the Calderon-Mijatovic Era Part 8

Arrival – Royston Drenthe
The first thing that Royston Drenthe has to do, or the coaching staff of Madrid has to do, is figure out exactly what the hell he is. Is he a left back? A Left Winger? A Central Midfielder? No one really knows…. No one’s sure. The sooner we find out what he is, the better for everyone. He’ll train on developing the necessary skillset for the said position and will finetune his considerable natural gifts to fit that role.

That’s one thing that Drenthe certainly has: natural physical gifts. He’s got pace, a cool ability to finish when the goal scoring opportunity presents himself to him, he’s got some moves (he’s got this signature ‘cross-over’ feint-jink move) and strength too.

That said however, I do think that Real paid too much money for him. But then again, Real does pay too much money for anything. Only time will tell if it was the right move to bring him into RM. The jury’s still out on him. For the mean time however, I do suggest loaning him out to some club that will give him first team action and help us figure out exactly what the hell he is. Worst case scenario, he’ll do well as ‘trade-bait.’
.
.
.
Arrival – Christoph Metzelder
I had HUGE hopes for Metzelder. He was a key player in Borussia Dortmund’s breaking of the Bayern stranglehold on the Bundesliga title, and considered unquestionable at the heart of the German National Team’s vaunted defense. The guy was even rated as an 86 in my FIFA 2007 game! So for him to come on a free transfer was definitely a great delight for me… at first. We knew he had spent a lot of the past few years injured. But heck, there he was with a ‘thumbs up’ sign during his medical telling us he’s strong as a bull. And what did we get: a season on the treatment table.

With his height, we all happily thought we should be less scared of those aerial balls and high crosses coming in. But who knew he was as slow as a hippo? He was totally not up to scratch during the Euros. Was he just getting back into shape? I hope we figure out soon enough if he’s any useful… coz if he’s not, we best put him on the shopping window and sell him to the first buyer before he gets really found out and we get stuck with an oversized oaf.
.
.
.
Arrival – Emerson then off to Milan…
Former Captain of Brazil, disciple of the great Fabio Capello and had a mean-as-hell nickname ‘The Puma.’ When he played well, Madrid won. Trouble was, that didn’t happen very much last season. He was slow, cumbersome, clumsy, conservative and covered very little ground. He was very much a redundant with Diarra’s presence and hardly offered anything going forward. For all the criticism Madrid’s fans get for not knowing how to appreciate Blue-Collar players, in this case, I agree with them. It was clear that by the time he reached Madrid, he was no longer the player he was at Roma or Juventus. Forget the comments of him being unsuitable to the La Liga style of play: he went back to Milan and remains a benchwarmer there.
.
.
.
Arrival – Jose Antonio Reyes then to Atletico Madrid
I had a really great impression of him when he came in. I’ve seen him with Arsenal. Fast, aggressive, has a great shot and can even score form free kicks. Sadly, he was a victim in Calderon’s obsession to land one of his 3 electoral promises: Arjen Robben. We later on also discovered that Robinho was best on the left. So there we were: from starting the past season figuring out how to populate the left side and we get stuck with 2 left sided players and then some more.
Sadly Reyes never shined with our cross-town rivals. I would’ve liked to see him succeed because I’ve always nodded approvingly at his public displays of affection towards Real Madrid. Somehow, I think the dip in form was very apparent… resulting in him not even being considered at all for a spot in Spain’s Euro-team. He scored some great goals for Madrid. Despite the see-sawing of his form in Madrid, I will always remember him for those critical goals and flashes of brilliance which we saw from him.

No comments:

Post a Comment