Monday, 17 August 2009

Season 09/10: Real Madrid

Where do you start??

Looking at the Real Madrid squad it seems pretty safe to say they have two world-class players ready to fill any position on the pitch, whatever formation they play.

Having spent a ridiculous amount on players proven at the top level, the fact remains that these are players who have played at the top level, for club and country and should more than likely succeed at this great club.

But as Claudio Ranieri found out during his first term under the Abramovich era at Chelsea, money doesn't necessarily guarantee instant success. Stars such as Crespo, Mutu, Veron and Makelele were all brought in but resulted in a trophyless season, leading to Ranieri's unglorified departure from Stamford Bridge.

The same could quite easily happen to Manuel Pellegrini during his first season in charge at the Bernabeu. He's not exactly a household name and I would expect a 'Galactico' manager to be in place by the time the 10/11 season kicks in.

The egos at Madrid will first need to be tamed, particularly that of Cristiano Ronaldo who will undoubtedly be expected to be the star of the show of La Liga this campaign.

Then it will be onto how to accommodate such a vast array of talent into one starting XI.

Here's how I see it.

Casillas is a given in goal.

The back four will consist of Ramos, Albiol, Pepe, Drenthe.

Two deep lying midfielders of Alonso and Lassana Diarra.

Ronaldo on the right, Robben on the left with Raul/Kaka* supporting Benzema.

Notice the system seems very similar to that of Liverpool last season, this just shows how highly I rate this system and how it can be deployed to perfection with the correct personnel, Madrid and Liverpool possess that personnel. Simple.

This suggests that there will be a lot people leaving Madrid this season. Or will there?

The fact that Wesley Sneijder has retained his number 10 shirt for the coming season as opposed to it being taken by the arrival of Benzema suggests he is staying for now (he took Huntelaar's number 19 even when Klaas was still at the club). Sneijder is a player of undoubted quality and I hope, for his career's sake, that he either gets regular playing time in Spain or decides to move elsewhere so this can happen.

Guti, van der Vaart, van Nistelrooy, Marcelo and Mahamadou Diarra all face potential exits as the transfer window draws to a close.

Expect to see goals galore, home and away for Real Madrid this season. But the anticipation builds to El Clasico, Real Madrid v Barcelona, Messi v Ronaldo. Should be very interesting to see if Barca dominate as much as they did last year. Somehow, I am doubtful...

* Thanks to an observant reader I am now aware I have missed out Madrid's second most expensive player in their history, oops! I feel that although Kaka will play, possibly on the left to cut inside, it will be hard for Pellegrini to leave out a fan favourite such as Raul. Admittedly a glaring omission on my part of a fantastic player. Apologies.



  2. Wow, huge mistake on my part. I've put a little note at the bottom of the article explaining my reasons and thoughts as to where he will play. Although admittedly, I completely forgot. I will be incredible for Real no doubt.

  3. haha, that's what im here for nate! great article as always though :)


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