Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pepe, Roberto Carlos, & the full back position...

Unfortunately, I know what Real Madrid centre defender is going through with his ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) injury - as I have recently suffered the same pain. But in a twisted way, I would happily go back in time and have it again if it meant that Pepe could be saved from it. If this wasn't clear already, this is a massive blow to Real Madrid.

The ACL (diagram included below) is a tricky ligament, and the operation involves replacing the actual ligament tissue with a piece of tendon "borrowed" from one's thigh. In most cases, the knee is never as strong as going into the operation, and even though it is an extremely common injury in footballers, it is one of the most scarring and scaring.

Losing their best defender, and one of the best in the world's
defenders for the entire season, Real' €250 mn spend could be utterly useless if they don't act in the January Transfer Season. The centre of defence seems extremely well covered with: Albiol, Metzelder and Garay. However, the full back positions, as was the concern right at the begining of the season is the main problem. Will it have to be Brazilian veteran Roberto Carlos who returns to the Spanish capital to bring some stability back to the defence? (Did he ever do this in his 10 year spree at the club?)
Even though he has announced his move back to Brazil to play with old team mate Ronaldo; it is evident to most that a move back to Real would be too tempting to turn down for him.

Marcelo has clearly demonstrated his technical and attacking skills in midfield (when covering for injured super star Cristiano Ronaldo). Drenthe is far from being a left back, Arbeloa has proven time and time again, that he is a decent substitute - but not a starting player for Real Madrid.

Ramos is in-charge of the right wing at Real (with Cristiano's consent), but he may be required to participate in the centre of defence with Pepe absent, leaving Lassana Diarra to take over the right back position and opening up his old role to Mahmadou Diarra. That perhaps, may be the best alternative, however, will Pellegrini's engineering degree lead him to an exciting innovation avoiding a new buy in 2010?

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