Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Start of the Schuster era

In a presentation devoid of any kind of title promises, Bernd Schuster put pen to paper at Real Madrid once more, this time as its manager. It's been no secret that Calderón wanted him at the helm from the start of his accident-prone presidency, but was convinced by Mijatovic that Capello was a better guarantee both of getting elected and of putting the squad in order to bring back a trophy for the first time in three years. Calderón also recently admitted that Capello's fate was sealed as far back as February of this year, inexplicably, as far as I'm concerned, but I've covered that elsewhere.

Schuster supposedly bought out his contract with Getafe on Monday morning for some 480,000 euros, the last legal obstacle to his signing a three-year deal with Real and was duly presented in the early afternoon at the Bernabéu. In the subsequent press conference, he paid tribute to Capello's success in winning the league title, claiming it has calmed things down at the club, in terms of expectation. He did not follow this up with any promises to win, other than the usual comment that the club aims to win as many titles as possible. He placed much more emphasis on his playing philosophy, saying that "it's not just about winning titles. I want the fans to enjoy the football. I hope the idea I have in mind fits in with what the fans want. It's more than just tactics. All teams practically play the same, but we have to find something else. Giving freedom to player, for example, which is more important than a system. Last year can be an example. I have always preferred having a centre midfielder who helps in attack, and another who works in defence. That's just an example.".

This really says nothing about what he intends to do or whether he has any kind of clear idea of the way the team is going to play under him. I suspect that's partly because he is not as involved as some would have you believe in the club's transfer policy, so he'll have to make do with whatever the squad looks like by the time preseason training starts on July 22nd.

Given that Schuster is Real Madrid's 12th coach in 10 years, you would probably get very good odds on his not seeing out his three year contract. We shall see...

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