Also, Zonal Marking featured our game. And, as always, they do an awesome job, here.
Here is the overview, but you should DEFINITELY read their post.
Real were undeniably sloppy at the basics tonight, and not all of that can be attributed to Sevilla’s approach. Their simple short passes under no pressure were wayward, while their marking at set-pieces was bizarrely slack for a Mourinho side. It was also interesting how obviously affected they were by Sevilla’s physicality, with both Higuain and Di Maria (probably Real’s worst two players) lashing out.
That shouldn’t take anything away from Sevilla’s display, though: their initial strategy – (a) pressing heavily, (b) marking Alonso and (c) using an extra holding midfielder – meant they stifled Real’s passing throughout the first half, and although Mourinho could call upon three fantastic attacking options from the bench, Michel was able to respond.
Michel set up intelligently and reacted alertly, and deserves a great amount of credit tonight.
Great great game from our boys. Letting in just two goals in four games is pretty impressive. Only scoring four leave some room for improvement.
Piqué says Mourinho is ruining Spanish soccer. As if there has never been tension in the clásico before. Or pig’s heads thrown or anything. What’s really ruining it is Madrid and Barcelona. Not so much because of episodes like last night but because of their stranglehold on the game – their economic and political power and their continued failure to contemplate the consequences of their actions.
Barcelona’s quotes after Clásicos have always struck me as a bit strange; either they’re all involved in an elaborate, ironic joke just to troll the entire world, or they genuinely don’t realize that they are also always involved in the fights, sniping, and general ugliness. And while in general I wish Sid Lowe would spend more time talking about the other 18 teams in La Liga (admittedly, he does more of this than probably anyone), I loved this quote from his Supercopa wrap-up. “Ruining”. Exactly.
I thought the biggest story in the press conference in which Del Nido said Gio is definitely not coming wasn’t that we’re not looking to sign the Tottenham forward, but rather that we’ve been in contact for two weeks now with some other club for some other player that no one in the press has mentioned. I’m obviously not sure who that team or player is, and I doubt this story is based on any super concrete facts, but the possibility of Afellay coming on a loan is a very interesting one indeed–he’s a fantastic attacking player, we obviously tried very hard to sign him last year, and he’s nearly guaranteed to spend endless hours on the bench watching Pedro and Alexis fight it out for the spot he was most likely to occupy for Barcelona. Will this be the year Afellay becomes Barcelona’s Canales? It’s an interesting idea for Sevilla; we’ll see.
Finally, just wanted to point out what you’ve probably already realized: with the planned early September international break, the LFP strike for the first two weeks of the season actually pushes back the first game of the season a third week, to September 11. When we take on Villarreal…hopefully by then we’ll have our roster finalized and ready to go!
So, there is an article saying that Marcelino, our new coach (for those who haven’t been following things too closely over the summer), recently said that Guardiola is a better tactician than Mourinho.
Am I the only person who, when reading this, was thinking: “WTF?!?!?!? SHUT YOUR G-D MOUTH AND STOP PI$$ING OFF OUR OPPONENTS AND GIVING THEM EXTRA MOTIVATION WHEN THEY PLAY AGAINST US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
If you are Mourinho, what are you going to think? Of course there is the argument that everyone tries to play their best for every game and it won’t matter. But I’m not always sure that’s true. Especially when considering an ego-maniac like Mourinho.
Or, perhaps he’s giving Mourinho a taste of his own mind games medicine. Trying to get the mental edge on him, in some way that I don’t understand, before the season starts.
But for me, I don’t like it at all. He offended Betis, now he’s probably offended Mourinho. Does anyone know if he has a history of this?
I’d much rather he shuts his mouth, worries about OUR team and OUR players, and lets our performance do any and all talking.
Gio: Still some rumors suggesting that he might be headed towards us. But I assume we need to wait for the Copa to be finished. Mexico won’t progress to the next round, so his participation should be nearing a finish. It will be interesting to see if other offers come in for him, given his good performance in the Gold Cup. I’m not sure if he’s done as well in South America. Also, the Luka Modric standoff in Tottenham might be indirectly affecting us as well. Part of why he was expendable for Tottenham (aside from never having played particularly well for them) was that Modric was playing so well. If Modric gets his wish and leaves, then Dos Santos is suddenly one step closer to actually playing… We’ll see. I’d like him to come (as I’ve stated elsewhere).
Jeffren: Some emerging rumors that Sevilla are interested in Barca player Jeffren. I imagine this is Plan B hunting if Gio falls through. Have many of you seen him play? How does he look? Any preference between him and Gio?
Negredo: Just wanted to point something out. In two separate articles, by two separate players (del Moral and Coke), Negredo was sited as the player most accommodating and welcoming to them as they transitioned to a new team. This is for natural reasons as he played with del Moral for the Selection and with Coke at Rayo Vallecano, but its just nice to hear that he is such a good teammate and leader. I want this guy on our team for a long time to come. This is the last year of a potential Real Madrid buyback right?
Romaric: I mentioned this in a comment, but he’s still around. And we don’t really have any other healthy attacking center mids right now. He definitely had some excellent stretches for us last year. But his attitude went to $hit for some stretches as well. What do you all think? Given that there are no buyers right now, should he be given a real chance to be a part of this team again? Or should we find a way to sell him no matter what price?
Otherwise, sounds like things are getting going in preseason. Del Moral says that Marcelino is putting a lot of emphasis on hard work and defense to make the team as balanced as possible. I’m in support of that. Of course, its kind of a throw-away statement, especially this early in training. But yeah, this team has room to tighten up in the back…
Just a quick comment. Del Nido has been really outspoken recently about revenue sharing and restructuring TV deals to be more equitable. I think its all really interesting even while I don’t necessarily know all of the accounting that lies beneath the surface. But the gist is that Mierda and Barca seem to get a hugely disproportionate share of TV revenues leading to a situation where the rich get richer. Del Nido went so far recently as to call for an 18 team league, excluding RM and Barca, if they are not willing to comply.
A lot of it is obviously posturing, but its interesting how vocal Del Nido has been about this and will be interesting to see if anything comes of it. Anyone know much more? Have any thoughts?
If everyone reading this blog could send in a check, I’m looking online for a nicely decorated seasonal fruit basket to send over to Riki and his Deportivo la Coruna teamates in appreciation for their match against Mallorca. We owe you one guys. You couldn’t have awoken from your zombie slumber a moment sooner.
In what was probably the most important week in La Liga, both for our rojiblancos as well as the rest of the league, we landed precisely where we’d hoped. Here we are in 4th place, our fate entirely in our own hands, and just one Almeria away win away from a ticket back to the Champions League (or the qualifying round at least). And Real remained second place as a nice special bonus.
OK. Obviously the path taken to get to this spot was a little unexpected. But we are where we’re at.
And I think there are some definite moral victories coming out of that game. Yes, we went down VERY early and were getting dominated. But we came out much stronger in the second half and brought it within a goal despite going a man down. So, whereas I’d worry that an 0-6 loss, as this thing seemed destined for early on, would have destroyed our momentum heading for the final match of the season and our showdown with Atletico Madrid in the Copa, I think we can keep our heads high.
Anyway, just still glowing from our Champs League prospects. Two TRUE finals coming up for this team. Let’s hope we can find enough warm bodies to staff our back line (Fazio’s injury didn’t look good in the replays, Konko is inelligible, and Adriano hurt too… ugh). This season might just turn out OK in the end.
Based on standings, recent form, and number of times mentioned in “greatest team of all time” debates, this is the easiest of the three games we have left of the schedule. Of course, in addition to showing that Racing haven’t had a great year, the league table also shows that we’re playing a team very much in the relegation battle, which means two very bad things for us:
1. As relegation-threatened teams always do at the end of the season, they will play really hard and go all out, probably producing one of their best performances of the season.
2. As we always do throughout this season, we will play really poorly and walk a lot, probably producing one of our worst performances of the season.
Plus, you know, they beat us last time. No good match preview would be complete without an injury report, so let me just go ahead and copy/paste that part from any such preview this entire season: “Several key players continue to injured. A couple are coming back. One of them is not healthy enough to play and will be re-injured. Three more will be injured in today’s game/warm-up/bus ride.”
At the same time we’re playing (1pm CST), Mallorca will be playing Real Madrid, leaving me with the sports fan’s worst scenario: hoping for a win for the most hated team in the world. What do I do if CR scores the game-winner?!? If the loathing and rejoicing parts of my brain (I think that’s how the brain works) see each other in that moment, my head will probably explode (I’m positive THAT’s how the brain works). I guess I’ll hope Higuain scores a hat-trick and Cristy misses the open net 8 times. And that Sergio Ramos gets a red card in injury time.