Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting Bitten in the Ass by the Lions




Castrol Boy Tried Hard... but there wasn't enough Castrol I suppose...
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Kevin of the OwnGoalNetwork left me a message on Skype following the match at San Mames: "What a deppressing result."
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0-1 to Athletic Bilbao after a rather good performance is indeed a deppressing result. It was one of those results that made you go 'Well, that's football for you'. Real Madrid managed to put on a good attacking display, creating some great chances to score goals after a match where they pretty much dominated the game (save a few instances). All this after an early blitz from the home team that saw them hit each of Casillas' posts twice before Lion King Fernando Llorente stabbed us in the heart classic Bilbao-style: through a header off a set piece. Replays showed Ezequel Garay at the corner of my TV screen right behind Llorente with a 'Huh? How'd he get there?' look on his face. It wasn't even a 'Noooooo!' expression complete with a failed clearance. It was just a look of absolute helplessness and innocent sense of unawareness. We miss you Pepe. With no left back to get Arbeloa to play right back, and Christoph Metzelder aspiring to become a research guinea pig to showcase through his body to the next generation of doctors the full range of ailments the body can conjure up, we are stuck with Garay. What ever happened to the long legs that supposedly decieved people about his actualy footspeed? Where was the footspeed in the first place when we saw those Athletico coutnerattacks rushing onto San Iker during the second half as he haplessly chased after them a good 5 meters behind?
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Is this now truly the beginning of our defensive conundrum for the season?
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Athletic Bilbao 1 - Real Madrid 0: Garay walked onto the pitch asleep at the wheel.
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Oh, Garay, Garay, Garay... our chances of titles are officially no longer resting on the shoulders of Kaka, Castrol Boy (CR96), Pipita or Benzema...they are now banking on Eze G's allegedly long legs which he claims is the reason he doesn't appear to be a fast sprinter. Now that's a thought to make me so scared that I'll shit my pants. Here's to hoping that the young Argentinean Center Back can show us that he his cojones are about the same size as his compatriot's (Pipita) and show us the character befitting a man who wears Real Madrid white.
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The Lion Hunter?


Until he 'explodes' and shows us what a Good Player we all know he really is, I'm calling Karim our Crash Car Star.
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Prior to last night's match, the Spanish Website Defensa Central had dubbed Karim Benzema as the 'Lion Hunter' perhaps as a bid to boost the confidence of the young Frenchman. The 22-year old did play a birgh frist half, making plenty of Basque hearts skip a beat during the first half, including a shot attempt that had beaten the Athletic keeper Gorka, but ultimately failed to beat the post. By the second half though, Real Madrid's Crash Car Star was out of gas and was hardly existent in the match. It was thus sad to see Castrol Cristiano still trying to get the equalizer to no avail. Perhaps time will come when Benzema will come good for us, it was not to be last night though, the the cold January Bilbao night.
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I also can't help but feel many times last night, as Bilbao's parked bus and strong arms tactics came down hard upon us, how helpful it'd have been to have a genuine, 'battering ram', '9' type of striker out there on the pitch for us. This of course was a pointless exercise, as Ruud Van Gol was probably watching the whole affair from his Madrid mansion (pondering a move to Galatasary perhaps?) and Negredo bore witness to his side's 4-0 demolition at the hands of the Cules whilst wearing a shirt that bore a Sevilla badge on his chest.
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Though we can always choose to look at all this and tell ourselves that we did well enough to merit a pat in the back, the fact remains now that we are 5 points adrift of the Barcelona behemoth that no longer needs to worry about the Copa Del Rey. And while it is true that there are 60 more points to play for, let me also highlight that we face the remaining 20 games of the season without our best Centerback and the next few more without our leading goal scorer (I'm not talking about you Castrol Boy)....
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Here's to hoping for better returns for the remainder of the season...

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