Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bye Bye Bernd, Hello Juande

Bernd is wondering what time it is... Time for you to go Bernd. Buy yourself some Tampons.
You can't say it wasn't coming. Our football has been terrible. His relationship with the press (a function which is very important for the RM manager) has been a circus because his mood swings towards them have been worse than that of a genetically moody woman with the worst kind of PMS. He reportedly had an icy relationship with El Kapitan Raul and the sporting director never liked him anyway. The board, it was said, couldn't stand him too. The only man who was said to be a believer of his was Ramon Calderon.
That was until he committed one of the gravest mortal sins: 'Winning in Barcelona is impossible. They are flattening everyone... this is their year. We can only hope to put on a decent display.' He might have been right. I have been wincing in pain all week not from our sorry loss to Sevilla, but from thoughts of how we will get slaughtered at the Camp Nou on Saturday. That however isn't the point, especially if you're the manager of Real Madrid. It's a disgrace to admit defeat before a match is played, regardless (or perhaps, especially) if we're talking about the 'eternal rival.' Fuck injuries, fuck poor form, many Davids have killed Goliaths with less. Besides, it's not as if we're 'David'.
I've said plenty of times that its perhaps not a good idea to sack a manager midway through a season. I did however state that in case we get into an emergency wherein our Champions League qualification is in danger, then perhaps we'll need to do something. Yes indeed there are 69 points left to play for and perhaps we can still turn things around, but let's admit it: at our current condition, even though it's not impossible, it's improbable (cue in Adidas impossible is nothing commercials... Not!). And for what Schuster has shown us so far (and likely to show us had he continued), he'd probably be sacked by June anyway... There is the worry of a long term solution of course. But in this case, we seem to have met my mentioned criteria: we are now at 5th place in La Liga, with defeats to the likes of Valladolid and Getafe while conceding goals as if we were a newly promoted side. What I'm saying is that I believe that we were already in a situation that was headed for disaster: not just because of the results, but more because of Schuster's lack of interest or ability to solve the situation which was further exacerbated by his sudden inclination to make things worse.
I was hoping Bernd could save our sinking ship even if it seemed that he was having trouble / seemed incapable of doing so. That to me wasn't the problem. The problem is that he didn't even seem interested to save it and had, for weeks now even manifested a keen-ness to sink the ship himself. This cannot stand.

Juande, this is Peja, You are his Bitch now, I hope the 2 of you can get along
Which brings us exactly to where we are now: Juande Ramos and the oulook for a long term solution… which is where the genius of this deal comes out: for Juande Ramos to be on a six month caretaker contract. How many teams can get a manager (one of the 'candidate' coaches in our upcoming summer shortlist anyway) who has won 5 titles in 15 months on a caretaker basis?
With what Schuster has done and seemed on course to do, what will be the difference IF Juande fails? I say, not much.
However, if Juande Ramos manages to succeed, then he'd already have had a 6 month warm up to go on to do bigger things to prove all his doubters (myself included) wrong. We can talk about timing too: Juande Ramos now has 3 matches (tonight vs. Zenit, Saturday vs. Barca and the next Sunday vs. Valencia) to size the team up before the winter transfer market opens. Even then, he still has a month to buy players too, so the timing isn’t as awful as we think it’d be. Granted, that we have all these big games coming up, how would we have liked it anyway…. Do we prefer to have a manager declare defeat 1 week before the macth and tell everybody ‘I told you so’ while we get massacred at the Camp Nou this Saturday? Or a manager who might put in some effort for us to win over the weekend ad that even if we lose, we can go out and say ‘Hey, it’s the first La Liga match we had with this manager’? I prefer the latter
Let me say this though: I too am a Juande Ramos doubter. He has not been successful as a manager at all except for his stint in Sevilla (think about it, Bernd was pretty good at Getafe, but was he REALLY that great? Surely not better than Juande at Sevilla) and has miserably failed at Spurs. He's not the proven title winner that RM should have as a manager. We should have guys like Mancini, Benitez, Wenger, Scolari: tactical geniuses who have REAL title credentials. Despite all this though, I am unwilling to dismiss Juande: how could I, how could we after such massive success at Sevilla where as manager, he almost always kicked our ass when we played them. And they played some pretty nice football too!
Juande Ramos is part-stopgap, part-longterm solution. The next 6 months might tell us that which one he is. For while his failures are there to see... we cannot deny that he has merits that deserve the benefit of our doubts. And let’s try to be fair too: at this point, perhaps the goal left for the season is to push as far as we can (hopefully to at least the semis) in the Champions League and a Top 4 (hopefully 2nd place) finish. Any expectations/demands beyond that I think would be unfair.
Between a man who might not be so great (but impressive in some sense as well) and doesn’t really know the ship he’s just gotten into but will try to keep us on course (read: Ramos) and a man who has developed a clear itch to sink the ship I’m in. I pick the former.
It’s happened already…. Now we should all just shut up and pray. And I mean pray REALLY HARD.


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  2. Interesting logic argument. I hadn't thought of it that way.

    1. If Juande fails (even more miserably than Schuster), Real have 6 months to start looking for a replacement

    2. If Juande succeeds, *he* gets 6 months to sort out the team's tactics and think about what is needed in terms of reinforcements

    As long as Pedja & Ramón don't spend another fruitless 3 months in the summer chasing a player we don't need...