Problems? What problems? The last time I updated the blog Madrid had been held to consecutive draws, had seen their lead at the top of La Liga cut from ten points to six, and had blanked out media coverage. Oh, and they'd announced plans to build their very own island, too. Just your average drama-packed week at the Bernabeu, then.
Eight days later? Six points from six, one foot firmly in the semi-finals of the Champions League, 13 goals for, two against, Madrid back in front of the media and Jose Mourinho saying he isn't going anywhere, despite press reports linking him with what now seems a monthly return to the Premier League - this time with Manchester City.
Things are all rosy again at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It just highlights the performance levels Los Blancos have set this season that a last-gasp draw at home against big-spending Malaga, and a world-class leveller from Santi Cazorla, and a point away at Villarreal, caused some levels of panic for Madridistas. Madridistas, or the Spanish press? Probably the latter.
Troubles in the dressing room, suspensions to key players, uncertainty over the future of Mourinho. Everything, if you read the Spanish press after those two results, was going against Madrid. Barcelona continued to plug away and had closed the gap at the top of the table. Were Madrid going to throw the Liga lead away after such a strong season?
Of course not. Easy to say now, of course, and the league is still going to go down to the wire - especially with a Clasico at the Camp Nou to come. But look back at my last post and I said the results would only act to spur Los Blancos on going into the 'business end' of the season. Mourinho likes to be in a position of 'us against the world' - he made it like that after blanking out the media and his troops have issued the best response - through performances on the pitch.
Sociedad at home? Check. 5-1, thank you very much. APOEL in the Champions League? Job very much done, 3-0. A Madrid collapse from that, at home, is unthinkable and would undoubtedly be the biggest upset the history of the competition. It's not going to happen. Three more points at Osasuna? Check. Not just three points, but Madrid have found the going tough in Pamplona before. No wins in their last three visits. Two defeats, one draw and just the one goal. This time - another 5-1. It was a result that didn't flatter Los Blancos and it could have been more. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goals there, the first a superb thunderbolt, and his second to take him outright leader of the leading goalscorers this season.
Critics very much answered.
Madrid have shown this strength of bouncing back before. The home defeat against Barca, when things pointed towards a Madrid win, could have knocked Los Blancos off-track, but they hit back in emphatic style against Sevilla. They've done so again, and it's this strength that should still take them to the title this season. It wasn't just the result, but the manner of the result. Smiles on face - even for CR7. It was a team effort. Mourinho heaped praise on Raul Albiol and Esteban Grenaro, who came in to plug the gaps left by Pepe and Sami Khedira, and rightly so. Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema continued to show they can play together up front - the latter with an unbelievable stike to open the scoring.
And just when you think things couldn't get much better, Angel di Maria returns to the fold with a substitute appearance. For me, di Maria has been one of Madrid's players of the season when fit, but unfortunately injuries have plagued him this term. He'll almost be like a new player for the most important part of the season - a timely return. Keep everything crossed that the wing wizard will be injury free between now and the end of the season.
Brett Kimura (@brettkimura) got in touch with me on Twitter this week to ask how each potential outcome would shape next season, ie if Mou will still be at the Bernabeu in 2012-13. It's something I've talked about before in this blog but it's something that's still of interest, and could still potentially change as the season draws to a conclusion.
Mourinho has always spoken of his desire to return to the English Premier League, a competition he holds dear to his heart and, perhaps, the league he enjoys most from a personal point of view, perhaps down to his healthy relationship with the press there. But it's my belief that he'll remain in Madrid not just until he's won La Liga, but until he's won the Champions League, too, or, of course, until he's pushed.
So what if he wins both with Madrid this season? One would think he'd look for a return to England. Especially with teams such as Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and perhaps even Liverpool looking for new managers at the end of the season (that's if Spurs boss Harry Redknapp takes the England job). Manchester United? Sir Alex Ferguson looks set for another couple of years at Old Trafford, and Roberto Mancini's job looks relatively safe at Manchester City, although this is modern-day football we're talking about here - anything can happen.
Having said that, recent noises coming out of the Bernabeu suggest he'll still be there next season, no matter what happens at the end of this one. Mou is still contracted to the club for another two years and I believe he'll stick around to see that contract out. To see that out and not be sacked in itself is pretty much a success for any man at the top at Madrid. He knows the majority of doors for him will be open in England no matter when he becomes available, so there's no rush to get a job when the first one becomes available in England.
I'm a big Mourinho fan, I even had my picture taken with him at the Bernabeu (okay, I admit, it was one of those photoshop jobs on the ground tour!), so long may his time as leader of Los Blancos continue.
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