September 29, 2010
It is amazing how quickly the press can change their tone after a massive result or atrocious defeat, promptly hailing the club in question as the greatest of all time or one doomed for relegation. The former was the case in Madrid on Wednesday as the sports media giants Marca were asking, “Do you think Madrid has qualified (for the elimination rounds of Champions League)?”
Mourniho, who got involved in the speculation after stressing the importance of his side’s result, declared that with a win at Milan they will have “practically qualified.” Sitting atop the group table on six points, two ahead of Milan, Madrid are certainly in a promising position with regards to advancing in the tournament; nevertheless, a lot can happen in four games and nothing, especially in the Champions League, can be taken for granted.
September 27, 2010
“Not scoring goals have cost us four points,” lamented Jose Mourinho after Saturday’s uninspiring goalless draw at newly promoted Levante. Two matches removed from their Champions League debut, Madrid has shown resiliency in earning results while not in their best form; but the question at hand remains, when will Madrid reach a championship-level quality? A midweek Champions League tie amidst a La Liga season beginning to take form, Madrid need to find an answer sooner than later, before the 2010-2011 season is too far gone.
September 22, 2010
Unsettling as the last two games have been, Madrid have taken all six points and now a total of ten form the the first four matches. Jose Mourinho was quick to express his distaste with his team’s form, though, lamenting their ability to produce results when not at their best.
Highlighting the anti-football played by Espanyol on Tuesday night, Mourinho noted they were still able overcome their stubborn Catalan visitors. Saturday night in San Sebastian was a different story. It may have been a combination of a Champions League hangover or underestimating their newly promoted opponents, but Madrid were lucky to escape with a victory. Fans and pundits alike would agree that Real Sociedad deserved at least a share of the points.
September 17, 2010
Wednesday night’s Champions League fixtures demonstrated the difference a finished product can generate versus one still striving towards cohesion. Similar to last years group stage, Real Madrid has started on the right, albeit through an unconvincing victory, path. A little more than one thousand kilometers North of the Spanish Capital, an Arsenal side lead by a young Spaniard made a thunderous statement to the rest of Europe: we are among the elite. Madrid cannot stake the same claim after their shaky 2-0 defeat of Ajax. Although it is a loaded comparison, the clear disparity in the two matches was the finishing, an issue highlighted by Mourinho after the match.
September 13, 2010
There is a trite expression that says those who do not study the past are doomed to repeat it. Hopefully, for Madrid fans, history will repeat itself this campaign.
Saturday saw Jose Mourinho record his first victory at the club since taking the reigns as manager while Los Blancos’ rivals to the North were shockingly upset by newly promoted Hercules Alicante. The Valencian club has spent the majority of their professional existence floating between the Segunda and Tercera divisions; however, after a 12 year run in the top flight saw Los Blanquiazules back down to the Segunda, the side made a brief one year return in 1996/97. Notably beating FC Barcelona twice as Real Madrid were crowned the Champions of Spain.
While it is incredibly early to begin title speculation, supporters in the Spanish capital will hope the results from the past weekend will serve as an positive omen.