Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hapless! Helpless! Inept!


This is the first time I’ve ever felt so humiliated, so embarrassed as a Madrid fan this way since the fading days of the Florentino Perez years. Back then, I was still a new-ish football and Real Madrid fan, still half wondering what was going on, still unaware in many ways at how ‘big’ our collapse really was at the time.
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But last night (or rather, at 3:30-5:30am Singapore time), I was sitting in my living room couch, still struggling with the food poisoning bout I had suffered over the weekend, feeling…absolute indignation. As I pounded on the couch for every bad pass, poor show of defense, impotent attempt to attack and I cringed and winced in pain to see how Juve had totally dismantled us in the game, my thoughts drifted endlessly:
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Shut the Fuck Up Ramon Calderon!
This Jackass Ramon Calderon has the cheek to rip Alex Ferguson as ‘jealous of our 9 European Cups’. He also took a few pot shots at his old boss Florentino Perez. The next day, we get raped on our own pitch by the Grand Old Lady of Europe whom we jokingly remarked ‘had a broken hip.’ Bloody Fuck.

He seems to eat through his ass and shit through his mouth
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I’ve told many of my Man U-supporting friends that if they actually list down the Man-U lineup, I actually love most of their players and thus cannot explain why I dislike (note: NOT hate) Man U. The closest explanation I can come up with was Alex Ferguson whom I really respect but just don’t like. But on this regard: let me make a shout out to Calderon: Alex Ferguson has won 2 Champions Leagues, you Senor Calderon, in your 3 years in charge have not won a single one. Those 9 trophies in our cabinet, are not of your leadership so shut your pie hole until you win a couple of your own. I’d back it up if Don Alfredo made such a reply (though the classy fellow that he is, wouldn’t make such a remark), but from you… please stop embarrassing us!



I don't like Ferguson, but even then, I applaud him for his 2 Champions League Titles, which he won himself as a manager, how many have YOU really won Senor Calderon?
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And while we’re on the same subject, Florentino won it too you jackass. And he did it by bringing the world’s greatest winger at the time (Figo… who happened to be Portuguese) and one of the greatest footballers on the planet (an attacking midfielder named Zidane) to the club. You on the other hand, promised to bring in the guy who was the world’s best attacking midfielder (a certain Kaka) at the time and got your ass rejected in public… repeatedly, embarrassing all of us Madridistas. Then you spend the entire summer flirting with the world’s best winger today (also Portuguese!) and fail yet again. So before you talk shit about other people, I suggest you have a good look at yourself! Maybe you’re the senile one!
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I hate to say this, I really do, but last night, we missed Robinho. Fuck! There! I said it! We needed width (Glassman’s injury timing was just damn perfect again!), we needed creativity, we needed someone to open up the Juve defense: and we had… Royston Drenthe! We also needed goals by the way (last I checked, Robinho scored a hat trick for Man City not long ago).
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Royston D & Our Summer of Fuckups


Welcome to the Champions League Roy!
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Don’t get me wrong, by the end of our 0-2 humiliation at the hands of Juve, he was our best player. My reaction was of disbelief and ‘not again!!!!’ to realize that Drenthe had made the starting XI in place of Robben. At that time, I felt that perhaps Higuain should’ve gotten the nod in the starting XI, or even VDV. Drenthe started nervous, bungling up great chances to build up play or create danger. But somehow his selection seemed clear: spread the field or play wide enough to stretch the Juve defense open. He grew into the game soon enough. As his confidence grew and nerviness dissipated, he began making crosses, using his trickery and ran like crazy (Guillem Balague once wrote that he is a force of nature, that he can run all day)… perhaps, his performance was the only bright light for us in last night’s disaster: that he showed a longer flash than usual as a potential service-able player for RM.
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Here’s the thing though: Drenthe is 21 (I think), and was just tossed into the deep end just like that in a CL fixture against Juventus for one reason: without Robben, there’s no other natural wide player in our roster. We can talk tactics until Mars turns blue (more on that later): but the fact is that our summer fuck up in the market (coz of one jackass’ mindless pursuit for ONE player that turned into nothing) is the reason for this: pawning Robinho to lure Cristiano that ultimately led to the loss of both players (is that fuckin’ stupid or what?!?!).
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Coaching / Man Management / Tactics
Yes indeed El Kapitan is the top scorer of the Champions League, so is Ruud (closing in on Raul). But Higuain has been playing out of his mind. He should have been given the nod, Robben or no Robben. He probably would’ve played even better knowing that a certain Diego Maradona was in the stadium to likely consider him for the National team (one of his stated ambitions). This was a match where Real Madrid needed a man up front who had pace, has the ability to cross balls in and provide width aside from scoring goals: qualities that define ‘Pipita’. Instead, Schuster opted for Raul, who to his credit, ran tirelessly and made a nuisance of himself at times to the Juve defence. Raul however, is a player who has lost his pace entirely, and naturally prefers to drop deep to help his midfield in what was a very cluttered center of the pitch. Has sentimentality given way to plain old tactical soundness?



Schuster's Telling Himself: "Hmmm...Nevermind if we're down 0-5, and we really need to win this one, I'll make my magic substitutions during injury time and we'll win!"
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Then, here’s something everyone’s been talking about for a VEEEEERY long time now: why the hell does Schuster take so long to make on-filed adjustments? Jose Mourinho at times doesn’t even wait till half time to make them. Schuster waits AT LEAST till the 65th to do them…. All the frickin’ time! He waited until the game was almost over before he introduced Saviola and Van Der Vaart in: what the hell did he expect them to do on the pitch? Warm up for an after-match training session? I’ll probably be saying this for the first time (though I’ve thought it plenty of times): maybe Schuster just isn’t good enough for Real Madrid? In every single time he’s had to face a team with real class and managed by a manager of real caliber in a big match situation where the onus is on RM, he has faltered. Now, now, now…. I’m not asking for his head… I’m just really beginning to doubt his capabilities as a tactician.
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Now here’s to hoping Mars turns Blue.

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