Some Premier League fans' lack of knowledge about other leagues infuriates me (some, not all).
I'm still so happy/pumped/excited about us reaching Lisbon! 12 years people lol, now just 90 minutes away from lifting that damn cup :D
.....However the only downside after the game was my mind kept going to the fact that our commander in the middle Xabi Alonso will miss the final : ( due to that stupid yellow, it was soft but he can only have himself to blame really. He didn't even need to make that slide tackle but still chose to commit late.
So, Illara? Isco? or Casemiro? I'm guessing logically it will be the man who is considered to be his replacement and Carlo will go with Illara. I'd love to see Isco as well given a shot but a midfield 3 of Isco - Modric - Di Maria might be a little to soft and offensive minded. Then there is the young diamond in the rough that is Casemiro (who I feel is so underrated) and deserves a chance. However a Champions League final might be a bit too big for him in Carlo's mind at this point, it's true that the young Brazilian lacks experience but the confidence and ability and he is a proper D-mid/B2B.
So to be honest I'm not sure who will be our midfield 3, saying now we are facing Atleti, I expect us to line up in the 4-3-3 again. I think we can all agree the BBC/BRB will lead the front line, Iker in net, our back line will be a discussion for another day but who starts in midfield in Lisbon Madridista?
P.S.- Again, at this point I suspect who will/should start but I'm not sure lol...
Is just me or are you guys still a little sour from that loss...? I don't want to harp on the ref but I think most would agree Undiano didn't have a good night on Sunday in terms of decisions. Now Madrid can't only blame him though, the fact of the matter is we gave Barca way too much space in between the lines, our normally solid back line was not compact/balanced enough and we missed a few chances that should've been buried in that 1st half.
Now I'm not blaming any players because to be honest, maybe just me alone, but I was pretty satisfied with all of our players effort and game on Sunday. Maybe Ronaldo, Alonso and Carva could've performed a bit better but it happens, no biggie.
Cutting to the chase, the reason why I feel slightly still sour is because we were matching if not outplaying Barca until we were down a man and in no way do I feel we deserved to lose that match on Sunday. We at least deserved a draw IMO, that red card changed everything and once i saw him pull for his back pocket I knew it was going to be a massive uphill battle not only to score another but keep Barca from scoring as well down a man. When playing a man down against a possession team like Barcelona who are one of the top sides in the world with arguably the best player in the world in Messi....you are pretty much screwed with one less player.
Oh well, I guess all we can do now is hope the team bounce back from this and just look forward with hope, forget the whole ref fiasco and keep it in the past. The bottom line is we did not lose any title on Sunday night, let's build on the positives, learn from the negatives and forget the "what-ifs". Any thoughts?
By the way, heads up my fellow Madridista :D, I know a loss to our rival sucks no matter what but we still tied for top of the table and we can still exact revenge on that "other" team in the Copa Final. Ignore all haters (though at times I do agree the the urge to expose the absolute idiotic nonsense can be too much to bare : )
Ok, I have exaggerated that Isco bit. Isco is a clog in the way of equilibrium, while Ronaldo is an interference, but not a hinderance. And I wasn't implying we should bench him for an extended period, but 1-2 matches would've done the job. Think Ramos in November, he badly needed a benching to get his head out of his rear-end. Anyways (and thankfully) the suspension seemed to have done the trick.
Okay, you have misunderstood me. Ronaldo is a tactically lazy player. Physically, Ronaldo works hard, this comes as no surprise. Ronaldo runs a lot to forge space for himself, invert with the ball, achieve centripedal positioning, swap wings, and getting in goal-scoring positions. But Ronaldo's playstyle is extremely limited. He only thrives in a wide position with space. If he is man-marked more often by the top teams, he wouldn't have as much impact. Ronaldo doesn't tend to fare well with markers (Phil Jones, Ryan Giggs, Felipe Luis, Sergio Busquets with Spain). It's not only that he doesn't even defend, but he doesn't even press higher up the pitch. That should be a staple for any wide player! And I wouldn't say we're half as bad without Ronaldo (with him, 2.4 goals per game; without him, 3.46 goals per game).
Teams COULD have luxury players, but it would be infinitely more beneficial if they weren't luxury players. Hazard, Ribery, Robben, Bale, Suarez, Ibrahimovic, Cazorla, Rooney, Lewandowski, Reus, Schweinsteiger, Messi, Pedro all do more than they HAVE to do...essentially every big team has all their players work more than just required. I'd highly suggest Ronaldo do the same. Not a necessity, but it would make him a more refined player.
Gonzalo Castro, Werner, Huszti, Bale, Susaeta, Bedimo, Lambert, and Schneiderlin all have several assists. Yet almost none of them have a shred of creativity in them. Many of these players (and more) are more defensively focused. Assists don't tell the whole story. Maybe they could be a good crosser, very industrial, etc. al. Ronaldo isn't even in the top 25 players in La Liga, in terms of key passes created. He has abysmal through-ball ability, and his aerial crosses need vast improvement. His terrestrial crosses are very good, however.
The danger of the set-piece is extremely vital. Gareth Bale is EXTREMELY accurate with them. Ronaldo doesn't take a "few", he takes several of them per game. And when he does score them, he's lauded as if the past several dozen haven't even happened. Meanwhile Bale has shot like what? 15, with 5 goals? That's pretty impressive.
Ribery certainly pulled the strings in the knockout stages. By and far the best Bayern player against Juventus and the first Arsenal game. Every other game has been a fantastic showing by Ribery. Many people point toward Robben and Muller as the lynchpins for the Barca slaying (and rightfully so), but Ribery was extremely important, as well. In the first 20 minutes of the first leg, Barca had more of the momentum. Ribery was the main one (along with Alaba) preserving Bayern's composure. That's when Schweinsteiger came in and pushed the initiative for Ribery to create 2 goals of the 4. Plus his backheel assisted Robben for the winner.
Mourinho's tactics certainly backfired: give us the ball and restrict Alonso with a forward to win the numerical midfield battle. Pressing in the midfield also was a mainstay of opposing teams who had the advantage over us. So a deep defense, wouldn't that have required a creative player to unlock it? Ronaldo didn't. Wouldn't it have required a player to step up? Ronaldo didn't. Ribery was fortunate in this aspect, as he was part of a legendary Bayern. But still...in many Bundesliga games, Franck has literally dragged Bayern. First, his absences were always sorely missed. Ribery never lost with Bayern last season. He didn't play in the Bayer game, Arsenal game, Dortmund game, City game. Now in the Bundesliga, here are the games in which Ribery dragged Bayern:
-Bayer Leverkusen away
-Monchengladbach in the last game of the season
I remember another handful (my memory seems to have failed me).
I'm not asking for Ronaldo to be perfect. I just think his game should be refined a little more. And he has improved in this aspect, as he has been dropping deeper, passing more, and defending corners. And I am not saying this in hindsight. Although this Schalke game, he was utterly fantastic. So I hope he continues his improvement.
I'm not trying to bring Ronaldo down, but Ronaldo has been annoying this season, in some aspects.
Trust me. Bar Zidane, Ronaldo is my favorite ever football player. I absolutely love the guy, his dedication, and his sheer athleticism.
BUT if he is warranting criticism, I won't hesitate to give it to him. Heck, even if my father was a footballer I would criticise him if he deserved it.
Let me give you the basics of what needs to be done about Ronaldo (purely my opinion):
-He needs to stop over obsessing over goals. He has taken the most shots in Europe, the most free kicks in Europe, and, of course, the second-most goals in Europe (with many fewer games than Ibrahimovic). Now this might sound all fine and good. But Ronaldo, in a way, ruins the purpose of the 4-3-3. In a 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2, or 4-2-2-2, Ronaldo would excel. In a 4-3-3? Not so much. The 4-3-3 is masterstroke if EVERY player is willing to put in a TEAM shift and effort. This means that if di Maria ventures to the wing, the whole team has to accomodate to make the most enterprise of every single move. If, for example, an Atleti, Athletic, Dortmund, or Schalke press higher up the pitch in an away game...Ronaldo's lingering on the wing waiting for a counter will do absolutely no favors for anybody. Ronaldo needs to learn to press, defend, PASS more, and not shoot 80k times a match. And, in my opinion, he's pretty average in possession. He would excel in a counterattacking role, that's why I haven't criticised him under Mourinho, as he was doing his job. Look at Robben and Ribery. Pre-Heynckes, they were nothing but a bunch of showboating, selfish, and lazy glamor and glitzy players. Jupp whipped these men into shape. Ribery was constantly in issues with Heynckes in 11-12, and Robben was outright benched last season for 6 months. Ever since, they have not only improved offensively, but they have also been far more efficient (heavy pressers of the ball, extreme defending, and the cliched ball-hog Robben is a completely new player).
-His ego. And it's not entirely his fault. Real Madrid, Sepp Blatter, many football pundits, his monumental fanbase, his teammates, and Florentino Perez all constantly, to put it in lay-man's terms, kiss his butt to no end. If ANYONE says a word against Ronaldo, they are quickly shot down and hushed. Why exactly is Ronaldo still considered for free-kick duty? Bale has an infinitely better record in a much, much, MUCH smaller attempt amount. The thing is, with all of these constant and never-ending compliments and (I really hate to say this, but I can't find a more emphasizing term) butt-kissing, why should he consider improving? I mean, I don't feel he had a great 2013, but he won a Ballon d'Or, so he probably thinks otherwise. Why should he improve? When Mou said Ronaldo wouldn't accept advice, he was onto something. But nope, he was criticised to no end. So if people constantly fail to acknowledge Ronaldo's flaws, this hurts him as well as RM. He doesn't feel the need to improve. I'm just glad Ancelotti has made him defend a little, at least. If someone were to look at Ronaldo's goalscoring records (don't get me wrong, I'm in love with them, too), they would gasp at the thought of his improvement. But the fact of the matter is...goals aren't everything. Ronaldo's goals come at a cost.
In 2013, I was an advocate of Ronaldo's Ballon d'Or campaign. But other than his 69 goals (gross oversimplification), what exactly did he do? Don't get me wrong, goals are nice. But they really aren't everything. Barring goals, Ribery was pretty much better in every aspect than Ronaldo. In hindsight, I can see why many were mad Ribery hadn't won it. Plus, in the big games Ribery was much better. Every time I've told someone this, people bring up his goalscoring record in El Clasico and the UCL knockouts. Honestly? I don't care about that. Ribery has PULLED THE STRINGS of every knockout match he's played in. The final was a bit underwhelming, but he still managed to escape Piszczek to assist two goals in the final. Meanwhile, Ronaldo may have scored...yes, I know...but what impact were they really? A fantastic header and an athletic tap-in, literally 5 seconds worth in 180 minutes. I haven't really seen him do anything else. I'd say he did really well in the Galatasaray games. But against BvB, he was absolutely awful. He scored a Hummels/Higuain gifted tap-in into an empty net. He didn't help the team at all in the semifinals. He always lets his frustration get the best of him. And with Portugal, if he really impressed nationally, he would've not needed to play Sweden. If CR can't defeat the likes of Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Israel, then that's sorely disappointing. The Sweden performance was redemption, not innovation.
I really have more, but I don't want to make this too lengthy. I guess my point is that he's a historical goal scorer, and a legend in his own right. But he's not the best player in the world, in my opinion. Please don't get the wrong idea of me, I really love Ronaldo. But I love Real Madrid much more. I mean, Ronaldo interferes the balance as much as Isco, but the concept of reforming Ronaldo is blasphemy in the eyes of many. There's a reason why Isco's benched, and not Ronaldo.
I hope you keep an open mind about this.
Hmm? No, what gave you that impression?
It came from your constant remarks about me being an American. It's not your first time dropping by to say something about me being an American who knows nothing of football for seemingly arbitrary reasons (Like I'm supposed to know you live in England). There is absolutely zero depth to a comment like "An American implying someone from England doesn't know anything about football? Lol." Unless you'd like to elaborate on that comment further your post translates directly to "I'm a stuck up a-hole European who thinks Americans can't know anything about football because they're Americans", which is actually a very common mentality I've encountered, which is why I said people like you are what's wrong with football. Unless you'd like to deny ever making that comment or any like it, which is also very common from people like you when you get called out on your BS.
Like I said before, my post was more out of frustration than anything else. I won't apologize, as you really are an all around ass to me when I haven't previously said or done anything negative to you, but now that the moment has passed I couldn't care less about you until the next incident, which I would like to hope doesn't occur, or we'll likely butt heads again. Andy Doubleday and I used to have problems with each other but now I have some of my most interesting conversations on this site with him, more so than most Cules, even. I see no reason why the same can't happen with us, if you get over your ridiculous superiority complex.
When I was typing my reply I completely missed your apology for generalizing US football fans that you tacked onto the end of one of your paragraphs. This paragraph was originally ripping you to shreds for demanding an apology without offering one yourself... I even thought of an excellent Nazi analogy to use (writing major, infinite creativity)... it wasn't pretty. I'm sorry for the comments about you being "Some guy" from India. To be honest it (along with that entire post) was an uncharacteristic knee-jerk on my part after you struck a nerve with me. A lot of the people with the attitude you displayed actually know far less about football than I do (I watch and read analysis, study the game, player's movements, decision making, etc., although I only started doing it in the past couple of years, to better understand what was going wrong with my club. You can learn a lot about football in a short amount of time if you just make an effort to. Playing it since you were five as I have probably helps, too).
Your reasons for supporting Madrid are your own. I don't mind them, but if I literally copied and pasted your post, said I lived in Milan, and said I became a fan because of Ronaldinho I'd have a legion of Madridistas harassing me over being a "Bandwagoner". If you must know, I had several friends who are actually Catalan that I hung out with on a daily basis when I was a kid. They introduced me to professional football, and at the time of introduction the only club I even knew of was, of course, Barcelona. Sure, they won the champion's league around the time I started being a fan, but at 11/12 years old that didn't matter to me. I support the (American) football team my dad supports for the same reason, despite them being in horrid form for the past 20+ years.
And I honestly don't know what to think of Liverpool right now. They were good, but who knows how they'd fare against teams on top of their game in the CL? Arsenal were way out of sorts in that game. Their marking was loose, their line was high, their spirits were low, and their passing game was stiff until the closing minutes. What's funny is how, despite this humiliating loss, they're still very much in the running for the BPL, because it's "More competitive". Imo if a league is competitive you have to be consistently dominant to win, or one of your consistently dominant rivals will win instead. Just look at the La Liga table compared to the BPL table. They have around the same point total as La Liga's top teams despite being several weeks ahead. Three losses and three draws effectively eliminates you from the title race in Spain. It's how a table should be built, imo. If a top team loses to a bottom table team and then loses to another team at the top of the table, they shouldn't be the champions unless they turn their freakin season around, but in the BPL that's forgiven because all the top teams get destroyed or lose to teams they really ought not to.
Your life story means little to me when you're such an asshole based on my nationality. You don't think I have reasons for supporting Barca? I do, and my reasoning is ironically quite a bit stronger than just seeing a top player play for the club, as I'm often accused.
The comment, in of itself, was harmless from me. I was just passing through, and normally I would have little problem with you making a comment to defend your precious Englishman. But this is a constant problem with you. Even when unnecessary, you pop in with your attitude and reply to my comments trying to incite argument when it isn't necessary.
I couldn't give a damn if you have a desire to talk football with me, but "Lately" I have actually toned my trash talking down almost to nothing. If you go back to that article that twisted your panties up your ass you'd see not a negative word was even said about Madrid. In fact, in the past several months now, I have only said negative things towards Real Madrid in direct response to your Hala Madrid(!) moron friends who put the RM crest as their symbol or have the club's name in their username. There's a reason I am able to have such long, in depth discussions with several Madridistas now, when I was formerly hated by literally the entire board. Take your blinders off, I'm far from the guy who rushed onto every Madrid article to rub Barca's superiority into your faces.
Despite you being such an all around asshole I don't have any negative feelings towards you that you seem to harbor for me. My previous post on your wall was made more out of frustration than anything else.
And despite you not wanting to talk football with me, I typed this up while watching the opening minutes of Arsenal at Liverpool (Ironic because you said you came from London) and 16 minutes in Liverpool is up 3-0 and dominating. Those guys will be scary in the CL next season. And as I typed that sentence, they scored again, so... 4-0.
I don't see why you have to make comments about my country of origin having to do with my level of knowledge of football. With a name like Suraj Patel I am pretty sure you weren't born in Spain, either. How does some guy from India who latched onto a top club have such a superiority complex?
People like you are everything wrong with football in general and you're really a piece of shit. I wasn't even dissing your team and you still have to come in an insult me. Fuck off.
Isco was virtually just a prospect when he went to Madrid, but yeah, he's been phenomenal thus far... Brilliant signing.
Are you also for Ronaldo for the Ballon d'Or?