Thursday, October 29, 2009

This month's Poll: Title year for Real?

Part I

The poll asks the very interesting question as to whether Real Madrid should be expected to win a title this season. Most (the envious) would say something like:

"Of course they must... they spent € 1/4 bn in one season!"

"They have two of the best players in the world in one starting 11: Ronaldo and Kaká - what else do they need?"

or as one of the answers in the poll suggests:

"They have to, otherwise their president and manager will get fired, it's Real Madrid after all..."

This last one is the problematic one. After several years of ridicule in the Real Madrid presidency, Florentino Pérez has returned to try and restore faith in the club's fans and bring joy to Madrid as a football capital.

Now, let's note, that this is the same man that once sacked Vicente Del Bosque after winning a League title because "he seemed exhausted" to replace him with Man Utd's Carlos Queiroz with horrid results. He's also the man that let the last hero of 90's for Real, Fernando Hierro without a grand finale!

However, let's not forget that he did manage to bring the world's best players to the club and to play well together. He also managed to restore the club's finances using an aggressive investment policy and very daring strategic approach to the club's assets.

The first (word not to be repeated again) "Galácticos" phase, with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo, Ronaldo Nazario & David Beckham, seem to be the aim of the new "Floren Team", but even though this first era had a gradual build up over three years, the new project seems to be compressed into one.

This simply means that there must be patience. Let's not forget that even though heavy investment was made this season, there were also many players who left this year (Sneijder, Robben, Cannavaro, Huntelaar, Negredo.... etc) and that nearly €150m was made from the sale of these players leaving the net investment closer to €100m, a figure comparable to some other European clubs (Manchester City, Chelsea other years, Barcelona, Internazionale...). So with a new starting 11 with five new faces: Raúl Albiol, Xabi Alonso, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Benzema - and a new orchestra director, experienced Manuel Pellegrini, who can expect them to play in perfect harmony, have a recognisable style of play and also obtain outstanding results at the same time?

There will inevitably be several surprises on the way, but in my opinion the investment made this season will see its fruits with a slightly delayed effect - but surely the media and public pressure won't let this occur without at least another couple of managers on their way and perhaps a reshuffle in the management board of the team - something ridiculous all Real fans are having to get used to....

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