Monday, 24 November 2008

Much needed win is scant consolation for more injuries

There were a few positives for Real Madrid following the weekend's action in la Liga. A win against Recreativo de Huelva when the top three teams all dropped points means Real Madrid climbed to second place, three points behind leaders Barcelona.

It was also the first clean sheet since the 2-0 away win at Racing back in September, and, surprisingly, Real Madrid is now the best home side in the league, with sixteen points out of a possible eighteen. Aside from the purely statistical though, there is little joy to take from this game, and the patient is still languishing in intensive care.

There was so little football that there is barely any need to recap the game, if only to note that Sneijder's goal, six minutes before half-time, was the only one of a handful of chances to go in, helped in some measure by the wicked deflection it took on its way into Riesgo's goal.

Injuries to Cannavaro end Heinze forced Schuster to make Pepe and Ramos his pair of central defenders, and, to be fair, the squad looked a little more solid at the back than in recent weeks. Whether that was also because the opposition was not particularly ambitious in their attack is another matter. Miguel Torres, returning from injury, was an able substitute on the right flank and even Marcelo was less accident prone than thus far.

However, the lack of a true centre forward forced Raúl into a position he's uncomfortable in, and it showed. Even Higuaín managed to miss an open goal before having to be stechered off with an ankle injury that may keep him out for up to ten days.

To the already large injury list Real also added Sneijder's name. He was replaced by Van der Vaart, who will likely start in Tuesday's Champions League game against BATE Borisov. He is also likely to be joined in the starting line-up by either Saviola or youngster Alberto Bueno, both of whom had a few minutes late in the game.


Anonymous said...

´a little more solid at the back´I would say a hell of a lot more solid, which let´s face it isn´t difficult these days. I detect that Casillas also felt more confident too, and did what he had to do without giving me churning stomach I´ve been suffering of late! That and the result were the only things to be taken from the match, well that and the points dropped by the others. Bad bad feeling about Bate though

Gonzalo said...

I didn't want to give the impression that moving Ramos into the centre was the cure for all the ills Real has had at the back. I suspect the weakness of the opposition also had something to do with it (and even then they managed to get a few decent chances). Casillas may have looked a bot more confident, but the way he came out for the ball a couple of times had me holding my head in my hands. He's not the player of last year - it may be the malaise that everyone else is suffering from, or perhaps it's something personal.

John said...

Hi there,

It’s me John from Mundo Albiceleste. I’m not a Real Madrid fan but as an Albiceleste fan, I follow the club closely all the time because players like Gonzalo Higuain, Fernando Gago, Javier Saviola and Gabriel Heinze.

I do these are tough times for the clubs especially losing to Juventus back to back but I still feel Real are good enough to make it to the next stage. Perhaps as a supporter of the All-White Madrista, you may want to give some input on the team ahead of the Champions League clash later tonight.

By the way, rumours has it that you are interested in signing Hernan Crespo as the replacement of long term injured striker, Van Nistelrooy? You may also want to share your views with us on this.

madridista said...

Podolski's told Bayern he wants to leave IN THE WINTER. I can't think of anyone who needs him worse than Real at this point. Just hope Calderon somehow develops a bit of common sense and doesn't waste time again in January courting unlikely targets. Podolski would certainly be very handy for us, even if he plays only in the premiera. Certainly I think he would be better for the future than Crespo or Shevchenko. He'd be a better signing too than Arshavin or Gomez. Will Mijatovic and Calderon see it that way though ? I doubt it..

Lateral Izquierdo said...

is it just me or is bringing in Crespo to cover Van Nistelrooy a shocking idea?

miccy said...

Yeah, we won 1-O with Ramos at the back again :D

Btw Gonzalo, can you review my real madrid social networking site and tell me what do you think about it so that i can improve it in a near future.As u can see, i have revamped the whole site to a facebook-like style =P, thanks

Gonzalo said...

@madridista, @lateral izquierdo: Well, it looks like it's Huntelaar rather than Crespo or Podolski. What are your views?

@miccy: nice looking site - it just needs a little bit more content... ;)