When Karma Bites Your Ass (Real Madrid 0 – Atletico Madrid 1)
|AS’ cover yeterday was spot on. Atletico Madrid played like a proper football team. Real Madrid’s played like a Suburban Millionaire’s neighbourhood team where the players hardly knew each other.|
this season’s likely La Liga winners are going to be Barcelona.
place second this season will be Madrid… and at the rate things are going on at the moment, it looks to be Atletico Madrid.
It was bound to happen sometime – Real Madrid were bound to lose a match in the Ancelotti era at some point. So now here it is – at the hands of our city rivals. Losing however wasn’t what hurt me. Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side has been rising and rising over the past few years. It was inevitable that at some point, they were going to beat us. What really hurt me was how Real Madrid were so hapless and so unprepared to face Atleti. They were all over us and there was ZERO coherence in the way that Real Madrid played – it was as if everyone was just waiting for Ronaldo or Bale to magically score… or for the Atleti of the past 14 years to turn up and self-destruct… or for the ref to call a ridiculously dubious penalty ala Elche. Yup: the ref’s incompetence bailed us out on that one. Last Saturday however, Atleti’s brilliance and our team’s incompetence allowed Karma to haunt us. We may have escaped from the draw midweek, but we did not escape from the jaws of defeat last Saturday. There’s no denying that some form of justice was served onto Real Madrid.
|Morata should be given a full game to play not just because he’s a young, hungry and talented canterano…. but also because he’s a tactically different type of striker to Benzema and gives the team a different dimension in attack.|
When I first saw Morata, at 6’3 and with comparisons being made by his coaches and many pundits to Fernando Morientes, I thought to myself: ‘Target Man’. When I really saw him play though, I was also astounded by the fact that for a guy his size, his pace is also very impressive.
Last Saturday, as Madrid hunted for the equalizer, Madrid in my opinion needed to do a few things SIMULTANEOUSLY:
1.) Quicken the pace of passing and moving through the middle, which could have been helped by:
2.) Stretching the pitch open with supporting fullbacks supporting our inverted wingers by overloading one of both flanks and…
3.) Having an active, mobile target man available in the middle to physically impose himself on Atleti’s CBs and be yet another aerial threat.
Ancelotti sent Morata in, who duly executed an on-target bicycle kick from a cross and also took on a few Atleti defenders on a mazy run on the left flank like he did many times for the Spain U-21s last summer. Morata is now chomping at the bit for a chance to start and prove himself. His substitute appearances have shown him to be over-anxious to prove himself in the short 20-30 spells he’s been getting as a substitute thus far. The kid is due for a start, it started with a few murmurs but bit by bit were are hearing the madridisimo clamor for it.
Note to Florentino: Madridisimo will applaud you for bringing a galactico, but it will worship you if your mandate produces a homegrown canterano to lead the team’s next generation. In Morata and Jese, you might just have the right pearls. Please have your men treasure them.
The REAL question is how Madrid can pick themselves up from their current troubles. We have Copenhagen next at the Bernabeu and there is no reason why we can’t beat them and APPEAR to paper over the cracks that have appeared over the last few games (heck, I won’t put it past Benzema to score a hat trick even). The test I’m keen to see would be the match against Levante in the weekend – another tough defensive side playing in their home ground.
All of us are pining to see a solid Real Madrid victory not from a ‘bailout’ super-golazo from Ronaldo or a dodgy refereeing decision after a bad team game. What we’re all waiting for is a performance that reveals a a well-coached and well-executed game plan. And only when we can manage to do that can we expect Karma to bite other people’s asses and not ours.