Monday, 8 January 2007

Dead in the water

Capello shows the strain of defeat at Riazor
The New Year started in the same way for Real Madrid as the Old Year finished and Capello is not only running out of excuses, but also explanations, for the poor run of performances from such an expensive squad. He may also be running out of time, although the president has other things on his mind, with the trial on the postal vote coming up in the next few weeks.

For a manager who prides himself on getting results on the basis of defensive solidity, the number of goals conceded in recent matches is reaching very worrying levels. However, what is more worrying is the apparent level of inconsistency in his decisions. Martí Perarnau's excellent blog cites 10 examples as evidence for the prosecution:

  1. Helguera goes from having no shirt number and training with the B team to ending up as key in the centre of defence.

  2. Pavón, prevented from leaving in the summer because the club needed him, has played no part in the current campaign

  3. Woodgate, leaves to play on loan with Middlesbrough while the club desperately scours the market for a central defender

  4. Raúl Bravo, Cicinho's natural substitute as right back, and able to play in a number of defensive roles, now does not even get called up to play

  5. Robinho, initially disliked by Capello, gets a chance due to injuries, impresses the manager so much he gets to play in almost every game, and then, all of a sudden, he doesn't even get called up for last night's debacle.

  6. Cannavaro is being asked to play more of a sweeper than a pure central defender role, which is accentuating his poor run of form, and preventing him from acquiring confidence

  7. The most powerful defensive midfielder in Europe (Diarra), is bought, allegedly at Capello's insistence, and now languishes on the bench.

  8. Cassano has not been tamed and the club is looking for a way out

  9. Raúl seems to get his goalscoring form back and is then asked to play far from the area, to run around with little effect

  10. Roberto Carlos picks up an injury and is replaced on the left wing by the right-footed Sergio Ramos, instead of new signing Marcelo

Sevilla's defeat at Zaragoza and Barcelona's dropping of two points at Getafe means that Real has not lost a great deal of ground on the leaders, but the omens are not at all good.

1 comment:

Boston Strangler said...

a good list, that. The most puzzling is loaning woody, especially since we've been searching for a cb to sign since august. Helguera just gives me chills every time i see him out there, one mistake after another with him.