Following Real Madrid's humiliating defeat to Barcelona in El Clasico, everyone started talking about what should be done at the club to reshape the team and restore its pride and image as Spain's, Europe's, and the World's most powerful football club.
With the elections to be done this month, everyone is certain that Florentino Perez will regain the presidential seat and re-adopt the notion of "Galacticos"—the team that is filled with superstars. His idea only worked for a couple of years before, then it collapsed and the club had to hire Fabio Capello to do a "clean up" and get the team's spirit back.
I personally don't have anything against Mr.Perez, but if he is really going to reform the team in the way the press is reporting, then we'll definitely go into a "trophyless coma" for another four or five years.
However, in my opinion here is what the club needs to do.
1) Keep things stable
I believe everyone agrees with me on this one. After this election, there should be no more. We don't have to change presidents, and presidents on their sides, should stop scandals and focus their efforts on serving the club rather than themselves and their desires.
2) Keep Juande Ramos
To begin with, he is a top-notch football manager. The fact that Tottenham sacked him doesn't mean a darn thing. Heck, even Capello was sacked twice when he won two titles. If you are going to evaluate a coach, then your evaluation needs to be objective and systematic. Study Juande's history, tactical ability, and football knowledge and you'll realize he is one of the best coaches in Spain at the moment.
Another reason to keep Ramos is because there aren't better ones at the moment. Fergie, Wenger, Mourinho, Ancelotti, and Rafa are all tied up to their clubs. You can go to the route Barca went to by hiring a former player and a younger coach, but it is too risky. Pepe Guardiola proves me wrong here, but why risk it when you already have a great coach in Juande Ramos?
3) Keep the team's foundation
What is the foundation of our team at the moment? I'm gonna tell you. Casillas, Ramos, Lass, Higuain, Robben, Diarra, and Van Nistelrooy are the players that when gone, the team greatly suffers. Guti, Raul, Salgado, and Cannavaro are also important players, but due to their age, they can't continue at the club and thus can't be the foundation of the team. So the first thing to do is keep our young yet important players—and you guessed it—let go of the old folks. Wish them the best of luck and serve them as well as they served us when we needed them.
4) Feed the team strategically
The coach, not the president or the guy who mows the pitch, is the one responsible of this task. He should analyze the team and its players. He should look at the areas which we need to restrengthen, and look for players who could play in these areas.
The first thing he needs to do is look at the Castilla and see if there is really an impressive, extremely talented youngster who can seriously and quickly develop to be a first-team player. It is typically difficult to find such a player, but Real Madrid has one of the best youth systems in the world and has always presented fantastic players to the world. There is gotta be another Messi in there.
The second step is to scout. Look at the youth sectors of other clubs and spot the unique talents in there. Four clubs master this very well. Barcelona, AC Milan, Manchester United, and Arsenal. Most of their first team players are either youth products or players whom they discovered. We need a scout who is intelligent and understands football very well to take this job. Another thing is that he can keep his mouth shut until a deal is sealed with a young talent. Maybe a role for Zidane?
The third step and is harder to implement is to look for already world-class players at other clubs. The art of this strategy relies in the research, and the way of approaching the players and their clubs. Ramon Calderon and his staff sucked badly at this. Barcelona and AC Milan master it. They can get whoever they want, without breaking any rules or starting any wars with other teams.
In terms of who I think should be signed, loaned, and sold, here is my list below:
To be signed
1- Winger: Franck Ribery
We have always had problems on the flanks especially when Robben was injured and even when he was there. We need someone like Ribery and I can't seem to think of someone as superb as he is. What I like about Ribery is that he is truly world-class and less problematic. He is a leader, a team player, and has the potential to be a FIFA Player of the Year.
2- Left-back: Phillip Lahm
I can't think of anyone else but Lahm to play as a left-back. Gabriel Heinze is an ex-footballer and it is irrational that he continues at the club. Marcelo is doing a good job, but a replacement for Heinze is important and with the characteristics that Lahm has, he could really be a good fit for the job.
So now that Cannavaro is reportedly undergoing a medical with Juventus, we need to look for a quality center-back. Garay, whom we bought a while ago but loaned out to Racing, will be here in the summer, and I wonder if he can be counted on. In any case, another defender should be signed, and I really can't of think of anyone at the moment, can you?
To be sold
As I said earlier, Gabriel is no longer capable of playing at a competitive level so it is time for him to hang up his boots. However, before he does that we need to find a replacement.
It hurts when I see Saviola not given any chances. I think Schuster is who to blame because he was the one who brought him and never used him. And now with Higuain, Huntelaar, Van Nistelrooy, and Raul, Saviola basically has no chance of a first team spot. Chances are near to zero and the best thing for him and for the club is that he goes to another team.
To be loaned
I've never been a big fan of Gago and I think many of you realize this. I do like him and I think he is a good player, but I'd loan him to a good team in Spain, Italy, or Engalnd so he can develop quickly. Instead of relying on him primarily, we should be counting on Diarra and Lass because, in all honesty, they are so much better than Gago.
Royston has the talent, but still lacks a lot of things. Even basic things. And he'll never get chances with Marcelo, Robben, Higuain, and Huntelaar on the squad. A good solution is to loan him to another team (Juventus are said to be interested) and let him develop there.
As the case with his young teammates, Javi Garcia can't seem to get a chance with players like Lass and Sneijder on the team. It all depends on him. If he thinks he can be better than those guys, then he should probably give it a shot, but If he thinks he can't compete with them and doesn't want to sit on the bench, then loaning him would be a good idea.
To be honored
Michel has been at the club for a long time, and we must honor him. If he still wants to play football regularly then he is free to go to the States or the Gulf, but If he is okay with a managerial role in the club then he is welcome.
Guti's only problem is that he is inconsistent. If he wasn't, he would probably be one of the best players in the world. He, also like Raul, has been at the club for a long time and I don't think he should retire but he shouldn't expect a lot of playing time. He needs to choose: a warm bench or a nice job at the Cantera.
Alright. I'm playing with fire here, but what the heck? Raul is a legend, and legends need to retire at some point. Raul shouldn't retire If he doesn't want to, but he should know that he is simply incapable of playing at a competitive level. He limits our potential and sometimes influences our strategy. When Raul plays, we play with 10 men not 11.
Though, part of the problem is the coach. No one has ever had the balls to bench Raul. Actually, I remember Capello doing it a couple of times, but Capello is no longer here and Juande or whoever will be the manager should have the courage to tell Raul to warm the bench sometimes.
One more last thing
A large part of the problem is that we don't learn from our mistakes. Our officials don't learn from their mistakes. They keep doing the same thing over and over again. What we need is stability, work ethic, had work, dedication, faith and most importantly patience.
Now it is your turn...
I'm sure you've got something to say and I want to hear it. Do you agree or disagree with me? What do you think should be done to create a Champions League winning Real Madrid team?
I'm all ears.
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