Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Road to Recovery?




The Hunter is alive: 2 Goals vs. Bilbao in San Mames!
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To all the 'English-football-is-the-only-football-there-is' boneheads out there who called my beloved Real Madrid a 'pub team' for losing 4-1 to Liverpool at Anfield (i know of at least one jackass pundit at ESPN), I guess we're in the same pub league as Man U whom the reds trashed 4-1 at OLD TRAFFORD. Yes, yes, we were awful against Liverpool. We seemed scared, we were definitely sloppy, we were even lazy. But here we are in the wake of a convincing win in a bad-tempered match over the Lions of Bilbao in their very own 'cathedral' (San Mames).
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Floretino Perez going "I'm going to see all of you again.... REALLY soon."
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The sorry loss to Liverpool surely showed off that Real Madrid badly need some serious structural changes institutionally. I can only hope that gets sorted out over the summer: whether Florentino is the answer to that question, I don't know. I can't deny though that his return and the return of the Galacticos does excite me. But here we are today staring at what is left of the season, and though there are those who say that winning La Liga isn't good enough, I say to them: what can we do? Midway through the season, if someone had mentioned that we actually had a shot at La Liga, the response would've been 'what kind of drugs are you taking?'
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When Juande became manager last December, I said that the only objective left was to go as far as we could in the champions league and to secure 2nd place in La Liga to avoid having to qualify for the Champions League in during a summer of elections. We may have failed in 'getting far' in the Champions League but we are now just 6 points off Barcelona with an outside chance of winning La Liga. when we look at the bigger picture, I wouldn't consider our season (under Juande that is) a failure.
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Lassana Diarra has just been awesome. Great Signing!
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San Mames last weekend showed us some promising signs: Huntelaar is coming alive: proving to be the '9' we have needed since losing Van Gol. Sneijder had a decent game for the first time in many months and looks to have posed a dilemma for Juande by making an argument in favor of keeping him in the middle with Lass instead of Gago. I do think he will need to learn to track back on defense more. Ditto for Lass who has pretty much erased the doubts regarding his place not only in the squad, but also the starting XI. I'm happy to see Raul succeed in his role as 'trequartista' as we are finding him to be useful to the team even when he doesn't score goals.
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The sore point is to see the issues regarding Robben come to a head: in the form of his little feud with Huntelaar. The glassman's talents cannot be doubted for sure, but his decision making needs to be improved especially at a time where the other parts of the team are starting to come good.
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Lastly, I would like to make an appeal to those running the club or those running for the presidency: please buy a new left back in the Real Madrid calibre! And I don't mean a 35-year old Roberto Carlos! Heinze is a walking catastrophe. And I really think Juande should give Miguel Torres the opportunity he deserves.
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Anyway, here's to looking forward to the Almeria match with more enthusiasm!

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