Thursday, 14 December 2006

Woody's not broken any more

While Real Madrid are scouring the market for central defenders, Jonathan Woodgate is making an impressive start to the season in the English Premiership with Midlesbrough (though 'Boro themselves have not been that impressive, lying only 3 points above the relegation zone).

With thirteen league appearances to his name, four more than he managed in two seasons at Real, it looks like his injury-prone days may be behind him. Woodgate was loaned to Middlesbrough until the end of the season, although the Riverside club will have an option to buy him for around 10 million euros.

However, speculation is mounting that Real Madrid are keeping a close eye on Woodgate's progress, given their recent troubles in central defence (Helguera is still out injured, since the game against Lyon, and Pavón and Raúl Bravo seem to be out of favour with Capello).

In an interview with As, Woody says that he has no idea what will happen when his loan term expires or whether Real Madrid will want him back. He adds that apart from the medical staff and David Beckham, noone else from the club has called him, although he thinks that's probably normal.

There's little doubt that Woodgate's intention was always to make a name for himself at Real, and perhaps earn a recall to the England side. Although unable to play for most of his time there, he seemed to be well-like by the rest of the squad, and he pleased the fans by making a big effort to learn Spanish early on. The loan has been beneficial because it's given him the chance to play regular football, and playing in the Premiership is a tough test of both his ability and physical condition. Undoubtedly a class player, he could play an important role in the back four for Real, as he has the passing ability to play the ball out of defence, but it remains to be seen whether he is to Capello's liking.

1 comment:

mega montana said...

i say give him a full season to prove himself to be fit again. If healthy bring him back, by all means!

In other news, Higuain has officially signed until 2013!