Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Few Months of Chaos... and hopefully cause for Optimism

It's official:
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Barcelona are the best team in the planet. Even all the irritatingly ignorant EPL-is-the-only-league-that-matters punters had to swallow that simple fact. Barcelona are not only the best team on the planet because of their historic treble, but just by the absolute class by which they have dispensed of all contenders: Goalfests and absolutely Beautiful Football. As a Madridista (and a Football fan first and foremost) I concede that with and full heart and extend my congratulations to all Barcelona fans out there.

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So what now for this miserable Real Madrid team? There are signs of optimism: We have Florentino Perez back at the helm and a new manager.

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As I've said previously, I'd have preferred to see Juande Ramos stay. I'd have preferred for Valdano and Perez to sit down with him and talk to him about what pieces he would need to make an improved version of his High-Power/High-Octane Sevilla side which I was in awe of. Instead, we find ourselves with Manuel Pellegrini, whom I don't consider to be a bad choice for his achievements in Villareal. But as I also said, I'd have preferred a proven manager with titles in his CV.
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Anyway, I suppose now is the time to take stock on our current squad if we are supposed to expect a big signing announcement on Monday (i.e. Kaka)... so here goes:
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1 - Iker Casillas
This product of our Cantera, the best Goalkeeper in the world, the Captain of Spain should also be made the Captain of Real Madrid this coming season as we send Raul to the bench to become a Squad Player.
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2 - Michel Salgado
Should be thanked for his years of loyalty and professionalism as we send him off to retirement or to the Middle East
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3 - Pepe

Should continue his treatment to ensure that the Getafe incident never happens again and to also ensure he becomes what many of us are already calling him: the next Fernando Hierro.
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4 - Sergio Ramos
Definitely a keeper for us... but he must take some serious lessons on positioning and decision making on when to rampage forward and when to keep it tight at the back.
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5 - Fabio Cannavaro
Off to Juventus
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6 - Lassana Diarra
Our starting Defensive Midfielder for next season. The 'missing Makelele' all these years.
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6 - Mahamadou Diarra
In this world, there are winners and there are losers. Mahamadou Diarra is a winner. And winners play for Real Madrid.
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I am so afraid they will sell him which would be a TERRIBLE idea in my opinion. We should keep him and figure out a role for him: retain him as a defensive midfielder since people in his position accumulate cards (and get suspended) easily or injured... or can he make the switch to become a Centerback like Hierro did. He has the makings of a good CB: great in the air, powerful, covers a lot of ground... where we've seen him on defense though, he didn't look comfortable.
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7 - Raul
Should accept a role as the team's 4th & 5th striker as well as a demotion to become Vice-Captain. He should also ponder retirement this upcoming season and take his place in the Pantheon of Real Madrid's greats... and a front office job.
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8 - Fernando Gago
Transfer Fodder. His status as a starter for Argentina might allow us to fetch a good price for him.
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9 - Javier Saviola
Off you go. Nobody cares where to... only if you can manage to fetch us any sort of fee.
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10 - Wesley Sneijder
Likely to end up as transfer fodder too... I would however, like to see him stay... he will need to accept a role as a squad player though... I doubt that.
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11 - Arjen Robben
He's always injured and he can be REALLY selfish when he plays. But when he's got his mojo going, he's exhilirating to watch. I say keep him.
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I've read that he too will be shipped out. I disagree. I think they should keep him and decide on ONE winger purchase: CR7, Ribery or David Silva (My vote: Ribery)... after all, we have another backup in...
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12 - Marcelo
We discovered that he is actually a Left Winger and not a Left Back. Keep him. He will need to accept a lesser role and eventually grow into the squad. He's only 20-21 (I think) anyway...
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13 - Jordi Codina
Given his age, I think they might let him go. I wouldn't mind having him as Iker's immediate backup though.
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14 - Guti
I am sick and tired of him and his diva antics. Get rid of him please, perhaps he can fetcha good price in the market too.
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15 - Royston Drenthe
Should be loaned out or sold with a buyback clause.
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16 - Gabriel Heinze
Should be sold off or used as Transfer Fodder. He is the one player in Real Madrid I wanted to chuck the remote control at as I watched in misery his defensive blunders.
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17 - Ruud Van Nistelrooy
One of the greatest goal scorers of all time. He took us on his back to win us our first title in many years with his goals. I'm confident he still has it. We should let him retire with us if he'll accept a lesser role.
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There is talk that he would be shipped off too. Because he's Dutch... because he's old. I say keep him on the condition that he accepts a role as a squad player. One of the greatest goal scorers of all time sitting on your bench will always come in handy. Let him retire with us... perhaps he and Raul can retire together... then we'll be in for another offseason excited over the prospect of buying striekrs in the market.
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17 - Dani Parejo
Should be loaned out... I don't see him getting a lot of Playing Time with this 2nd-coming of the Galacticos.
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18 - Ruben De La Red
I was so happy to read about him being on the pitch again. If he's cleared to play, this canterano and Spanish International should most definitely have a place in our squad.
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As I grudgingly began to accept that his football career was over, news of his return to football in a charity match was an absolutely preasant surprise. If he can indeed play again, we should definitely keep him. I do think however that it'd be too much to say that we shouldn't try for Xabi Alonso anymore and just shove him straight into the starting XI.
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18 - Julien Faubert
Really? He plays for us?
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19 - Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
He can't dribble, Can't hold the ball, Can't control the ball... I thought we bought RVN's heir. That was so wrong! If the rumors are true that Man U are interested in him: use him as bait to get CR7... or even better.... Vidic.
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20 - Gonzalo Higuain
Once Raul retires: give him the '7' please. He is the future of Real Madrid. Before that, he should be a guaranteed starter for next season. By far, the player of the season (albeit a terrible one) for us.
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21 - Christoph Metzelder
As we all began to doze off at the thought of him and how slow he supposedly was, he has shown glimpses of usefulness to us in the absence of Pepe. Can he accept a role as a suqad player though? If not, maybe we should call Bayern Munich and see if they need a Centerback... a German International Center Back. If they're interested, then we should do a cash+player deal for Ribery.
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22 - Miguel Torres
Can play right back, left back... supposedly can play Centerback too. A good professional, a canterano... one for us to keep!
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23 - Rafael Van Der Vaart
A Flop. When the rumor that Bayern were interested in him came out... it got me REALLY excited: a part swap with Ribery? (see remarks on Metzelder above)
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24 - Javi Garcia
I expect a glut in central midfielders next season. And this season, he hasn't been able to prove himself. I think we should cut him loose.
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25 - Jerzy Dudek
Our back up keepers should be from the Cantera... so I'd like to see him go. I also read somewhere that he might end up at Feyenoord.

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