Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Gorosito Pitch

All of Madridisimo Celebrates Arbeloa's First Goal
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Well, so much for the 0-4 Dai was expecting / hoping for. I wouldn’t go as far as calling the performance as dishonorable though. If anything, despite the possibility which opened up for Manuel Pellegrini to get flak for choosing to field his first choice squad (after injuries, I mean), I’m happy that it wasn’t made a fuss about now that we are looking at a 2 point gap vs. Barca following their loss to Atletico which followed a match that didn’t turn out to be the cakewalk that most people expected.

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It wasn’t a cakewalk indeed. How could it have been with the state of the Xerez pitch looking as bad as Gorosito’s (the Xerez Coach) hair??? How a team in the first Division of a League that counts the 9-time European Cup winners and the current best team in the world among its ranks can have a stadium in such bad shape is beyond me. Not only is it ugly to watch a game in such a terrible pitch, but it is also dangerous for the players to be playing full steam in such conditions…. Regardless of whether they are the relegation fodder players of Xerez or the Billionaire Hotshots of Madrid. I had half-jokingly told myself during the match: for the state of the pitch alone, Xerez SHOULD be relegated.
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Thoughts of Players Past
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As every follower of La Liga had predicted, Xerez played with a park the bus strategy, massing their players in front of their penalty box and swarmed the spaces of the Real Madrid midfield. This resulted in nothing more than a series of sporadic midfield exchanges for Real Madrid at midfield… with the most dangerous offensive plays coming from the repeated balls being sent in by Esteban Granero (not that they were that effective in the first place, given the players we had). As this endless pattern repeated itself over and over again during the first half, I began to think of 2 things:
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1.) Where’s Guti when you need him? (I know I’m no fan… but what the heck… the guy’s got his attitude in check and he’s in good form) In the middle of that first half orgy of football mindless rambling We REALLY needed that killer through ball to get to our strikers.
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2.) The number 17. That was the number of Ruud Van Nistelrooy or Alvaro Negredo during the preseason… a few of those balls sent in by Granero would probably have created a chance or 2 had we had one of what used to be our ex-targetmen in that penalty box….
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All that is water under the bridge now though… so I guess it’s touché.
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Arbeloa’s Cherry
As the referee blew his whistle for halftime, flashes of the 0-0 at Sporting Guijon ran through my mind. Is this going to be one of those matches that will make us conclude ‘Oh Real Madrid aren’t very good at breaking down organized defenses… like Barcelona can’ all over again… that is until Alvaro Arbeloa showed up to pop Xerez’s Cherry to pop his own to make it 0-1. It was a goal that had me pumping my fists in the air so hard that I stiffened by fat-covered arm muscles so much that they became sore. I was happy to see the canterano score: for all the talk of players playing well or not for Real Madrid, too little has been said about him despite the week-in, week out consistent performances holding his own on defense, coupled with his no-frills but solid contributions to support the attack. His goal came from a typical Arbeloa run down the right flank… with a touch of a diagonal run, perhaps in his bid to find the non-existent open striker in the box… culminating with a simple poke into the goal. 0-1 and the game was wide open for us.
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The Beginnings of a Bro-Mance

Kaka & Castrol Boy: Feel the Love!

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In the last several weeks, talk about what a supposed disappointment Kaka has been has escalated to a level that jeers were heard at the Bernabeu as he left the pitch during substitutions. In the last 2-3 games however (against Deportivo and Espanyol), we began to see glimpses of the Kaka of Milan: acceleration with the ball (though not as often as we used to see), marauding runs, strikes from distance (some of which were inches close), dangerous balls into the box and even goals (yes, ‘paocher’s goals’ count too)… I’m not keen to speculate on the reason why his form has been off: be it his adjustment to Real Madrid’s evolving style of play (from Pellegrinis’ 4-2-2-2 to his current 4-3-2-1) or injury… or perhaps even the CR96-related mental blackouts that every member of the team suffers from (I’m referring to how Real Madrid plays better as a team without Castrol Boy).
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Whatever the reasons may be…. What happened after Arbeloa’s opening goal probably got Florentino Perez reaching down his pocket for his celphone, texting his press officer, texting his press officer ‘Are you seeing this!?!?!? Take this down! Tell the world ALL about it!”
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Just like that joint interview with the UEFA Champions League Magazine show, where the 2 new galacticos were patting each other’s backs as ‘the best I’ve ever played with’ and ‘the best I’ve ever played against’… we saw some of that Portuguese-speaking chemistry turn into a romance after the world saw Kaka serve 2 delicious passes on a silver platter for Cristiano to score… the show was complete with a funny hand gesture between the 2 mega-signings complete ending with Kaka jumping on Cristiano for a Bro-mantic hug (cue in memories of cheerleader girlfriends being lifted by their American Football qu (cue in memories of cheerleader girlfriends being lifted by their American Football quarterback romantic interests as seen in a gazillion of those American teen movies).
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In all seriousness, they were plays that every Madridista (including this one) was happy to witness. One thought though: they should include Pipita to make it a Threesome.
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Now… let’s all march on to Lyon with a Bag Full of hopes.
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Finally, I’d like to wish all the readers of Madridista Mac (and all of Madridisimo) a Happy Lunar New Year (a.k.a. Chinese New Year).

2 comments:

  1. I'm quite content with the 0-3! And LOL at the Gorosito's hair joke!! Matter of fact, any joke with Gorosito is meant to be funny because that name alone is hilarious!!

    I agree with your analisis, it was definitely one of those matches that only real champions win. Pitiful pitch and 11 enemies protecting their goal, it often means that even though you shouldn't, you miss some points on the mud.

    It might be too appropiate to say this now, but Arbeloa is being my fav signing so far (well, maybe excluding Gitano Ronaldo). He's trustable on defense and able on offense. Kinda reminds me of a young Salgado...

    And we're closer to the top! Will we receive Barcelona already being leaders? There's a good chance, and it would definitely be a serious advantage.

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  2. For a guy to remind me of Salgado, (branded by Becks as the 'Hardest Man in Spanish Football... Real Madrid's own Gary Neville perhaps?), the dude will have to have that aura of don't 'F%ck with me or I'll break your legs'... Good Boy-imaged Arbeloa doesn't have that 'badass' quality.

    What he has is a humble, quiet, no-nonsense, workman-like and efficient quality...

    I would really like to see him retire in Madrid to a gallery of thankful and tearful Madridistas in the Bernabeu some day...

    check out this nice article in goal.com about him:
    http://www.goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2010/02/17/1793617/transfer-special-why-alvaro-arbeloa-has-been-la-ligas-the

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