Die-hard fan of Real Madrid. I want to go to the Santiago Bernabeu. I love dynamic football and hate the 9-0-1 formation unless employed against Barcelona LOL. Cristiano Ronaldo is my favorite player. Jose Mourinho is, in my opinion, the best football coach in history. I don't mind calling football soccer and vice-versa. I think the top 10 players in history (in no order) are Diego Maradona, Pele, Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Franz Beckenbauer, Paolo Maldini, and Gerd Muller. I am an American. I also like the Memphis Grizzlies, the LA Galaxy, Boston Red Sox, and the San Francisco 49'ers.
You're welcome, Andy. :-)
Simeone really has made our back line incredible. We now have the most in-form CB in the league (Godin), the best CB pairing in Spain, the best LB in Spain, and one of the top 5 RBs. Our keeper isn't too shabby either I suppose. ;-)
Turan is elite, but he was before he came here so we can't take too much credit there. Same with Falcao, obviously. Costa was a risky signing, but it's really paid off. That definitely comes down to Simeone having lots of faith in him and believing that he would make good on that trust.
Courtois' contract ends this summer, but he'll probably stay on for another year since Chelsea aren't ready for him to start yet. We'll see, though.
I would love to have Torres back, but only if he cuts his wages by about 60% haha. We just can't really afford him and, honestly, he isn't worth what Chelsea pays him (not to us at least). We could get equally talented players like Yilmaz, Soldado or Negredo for cheaper and with smaller wages.
Thanks again, mate! Nice to talk to you too and best of luck next season!
I would fire him in a heartbeat.
There are plenty of Portuguese coaches who are good enough for the job, but I actually wouldn't mind having an experienced foreign coach. Pretty much anyone besides Bento would do lol!
Well, if you've read any of my Portugal-related comments on BR you'd know that I'm not the biggest fan of Bento. You're completely right about his stubbornness and lack of tactical flexibility. He does deserve credit for Portugal's excellent performances at the Euros, but he's been the major reason as to why we've been struggling in the qualifiers.
I like Bruno Alves, and I am well aware of his aerial threat (3 goals already in qualifying) but he's quickly becoming a huge defensive liability. As I mentioned in an article last week, I'd rather have a center-back who can defend than one who can score the odd goal every now and then. Luis Neto has replaced Alves for Zenit, so why not replace him for Portugal? Portuguese-Canadian, Steven Vitoria had a brilliant season for newly promoted Estoril, but doesn't even get called up. Sporting's 20-year-old Tiago Ilori has been really impressive for Sporting and will likely be a long-term starter for the national team in the future. Why not begin to ease him into the squad?
Almeida is the worst finisher I have ever seen, bar none. I know we're not blessed with much depth at center-forward but come on ... Almeida shouldn't be anywhere near the national team. Eder and Benfica's Brazilian-born striker, Lima, are top-class strikers, but they're either left on the bench (Eder) or completely ignored (Lima) in favor of Helder Postiga...
It's really tough to watch since I know we have more than enough quality to win this group comfortably. Bento is simply preventing this team from reaching it's potential and it's driving me nuts.
Hi Andy. Thanks for the message, amigo. I'm always happy to discuss Madrid matters. :-)
I am an Atleti fan, yes. Thanks so much for the congratulations! Madrid fans have generally been VERY humble and congratulatory since the Copa del Rey final. I have to say it has surprised me a bit. The locals here acted as expected, but I thought my online "rivals" would be a bit less humble I guess. Perhaps I need to look in the mirror at this point. :-/
Anyway, thanks again. I really hope we both do well in the UCL next season. As long as we aren't facing each other, I'll be rooting for you and Barcelona the entire way. A new coach and a better long-term plan from Perez that institutes serious stability would help.
Simeone just signed an extension this year so I HIGHLY doubt he'd leave before 2015. I love the guy and would take no one over him right now. Seriously, no one. I do think it'll be Ancelotti at Madrid next season and most people here seem to agree. I'd be a bit surprised if it isn't him at this point.
I'm not sure when Madrid will win La Decima, but they've had the talent to do so for half a decade now so it's not about the individual players. I think Perez might have to go honestly. He cares as much about jersey and marketing sales as he does about trophies and that causes a lot of short-sighted transfers to happen. Better long-term investment is needed without big names.
Mourinho leaving will help in the long run I think. He wasn't a good fit and tried too hard to put his own stamp and style on Madrid without really adjusting enough given his squad and needs. I mean, who turns down the option to sign Santi Cazorla AND Isco for Luka Modric? Poor decision-making in favor or playing "his" type of football even though that wasn't what the team needed.
Pacos de Ferreira are certainly having a remarkable season for such a small, humble club. In fact, Pacos are even a tiny club in Portuguese football standards: They represent a small Portuguese town of 8,000 people, their stadium can seat 5,000 spectators (average 2-4 thousand a match), and their annual budget is around 3.5 million euros!
It's become quite clear that their talented, young manager, Paulo Fonseca, is the mastermind behind such an incredible story. Pacos is not a team comprised of many technically gifted individuals. They are however, largely made up of experienced, intelligent, hard-working players who know how to play as a team. Pacos is the quintessential "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" type of team, a well oiled-machine.
The defend as a team, press as a team, and attack as a team. Defensively, they're brilliantly well-drilled and disciplined; their midfielders are extremely fit, press tirelessly and are comfortable in possession; and their attacking players seem to always make the right decisions in the final third.
In terms of tactics, Paulo Fonseca prefers to use a very narrow and compact 4-4-2 diamond with ambitious fullbacks. They rarely beat teams by 2 or 3 goal margins, but they excel at grinding out results.
It'll be fascinating to see how they fare in the Champions League group stages (if they progress through the play-offs of course). I personally think they can surprise a few people with some quality performances and maybe even secure a third place Europa League spot, but it really all depends on if they can hold on to their key players and Paulo Fonseca.
I would be happy with either Jupp or Pep really. However, I understand why Bayern moved for Pep when they did. It may have been their best chance to get him before letting him get picked up by another team. Jupp has done a fantastic job though and hopefully Pep will help Bayern build on this success so that they can remain at the top. It's always harder to stay on top than it is to get there.
No idea pal. It all depends on the next manager. It seems the obsession with it actually hinders the club...
Now Gotze is going to Bayern, I want to see BVB win. It's now or never. I'm an adopted fan for the next month!
Only one winner there for me pal.
Did you enjoy the previews?
Hey Andy :)
Hope you enjoy, pal.