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and they’re back!*

October 3, 2010

* although according to Mou, they were never gone.

I knew that Mourinho wouldn’t disappoint me yesterday!  Plus, other news ahead of the game tonight.

One. Mou spoke to the press yesterday (watch a video here).  A lot had been made of how he had closed the training sessions and canceled the player press conferences in the last two days, and so he addressed those issues, as well as some other ones.

On the “closure”: this question was the fourth one, but I had expected it to be the first.  [He then brought out a sheet of paper† – the one he’s brandishing in the above picture – which was a detailed analysis of the exposure of the team to the press in the month of September and printed on official Madrid letterhead, no less.]  In September, I allowed the press to view five complete training sessions, or in other words, 450 minutes.  And the journalists were allowed access to 15 minutes of 10 other sessions, or 150 minutes more.  In total, 600 minutes, or 10 hours that were open to the press.  In addition, there were 16 press conferences, seven of mine and also those of Casillas, Cristiano, Higuaín, Xabi Alonso, Granero, Khedira, Carvalho, Arbeloa and Benzema, plus six more after games, as well as those in the mixed zone after games.

This week, which you all called “the silent week,” there were interviews, press conferences and public events with me, Benzema, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Ramos and Pepe.  Tell me, what other club does this?  My intention was not to distance the team from the press.  You all are privileged people.

[† knowing what a control freak he is, I’m shocked and surprised that Benzema’s name is not aligned with the others.]

On Cristiano: no player is untouchable, but right now Cristiano is untouchable because he works like no one else.  He’ll score.  When a team is being constructed, you need to maintain the fundamental principles, and he represents those principles… of ambition, discipline and solidarity.  There are other players on the team that have those principles as well.  If I only had Cristiano, I would be dead.

On the case of Pedro León: no comment.

On the Auxerre game: I was happy with the game.  The Champions League is different, it’s a competition of six games and if you lose one, it makes things difficult.  Auxerre had played on Saturday and that’s why I thought they would show signs of fatigue in the second half.  This was the reason why I played with a more solid lineup that was better at recuperating balls and put in Özil and Di María.  It worked and we won.

On the new field: it’s nice, very nice.  That ugly image you saw before is no more.  It will need more time to become perfect, and tomorrow the players will have difficulties.  But it’ll be great in 15 days or so.

More Mou: he told Football Focus: when we arrive in any airport in the world, or even in Spain, it looks like the Beatles arriving in San Francisco in the ’60s.

And a random note: on the back of his sneakers, Mou had the flag of Portugal.

Looking ahead to the Depor game (sigh… every time they play at the Bernabéu, I get apprehensive because unwanted memories of the centenariazo surface…):

Two. Madrid trained yesterday at the unusual hour of 18h and in the unusual place of the Bernabéu, I guess to get used to the new field.  The good news was that Sergio Canales, Raúl Albiol and Fernando Gago trained with the rest of the team, leaving only Kaká and Eze Garay in the sick bay.  Yay!  The next session will be on Tuesday at Valdebebas and will be open to the press, which is not a big deal considering that about 2/3 of the team will be missing due to international commitments.

I loved how colorful the scene was, with the players wearing shirts/vests in different colors contrasted against the backdrop of the most beautiful stadium in the world.

Three. In the call-up for the Depor game, the main surprise was the exclusion of Pedro León once again.  Meanwhile, those players just coming back from injuries – Canales, Gago, Albiol – also didn’t make the cut, while canterano Juan Carlos Pérez made a third straight appearance (no playing time so far though).  And Pepe returned after serving a one game suspension.

Goalkeepers: Casillas, Dudek, Adán
Defenders: Sergio, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Pepe, Carvalho, Mateos
Midfielders: Granero, Lass, Diarrá, Xabi Alonso, Di María, Özil, Khedira, Juan Carlos
Forwards: Higuaín, Cristiano, Benzema

Four. And Mou in the press conference let us know who would form the starting 11: Iker, Sergio, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo, Khedira, Xabi, Özil, Di María, Cris and Pipita.

This will be the first time that Mou has repeated a starting line-up this season (in this, the eighth game between all competitions), due to injuries (Sergio, Carvalho) or sanctions (Pepe).  This eleven also started the Real Sociedad game.

I hope that despite this, the team is learning how to play together.

Five. Picture via Marca.  As (the majority of) his teammates boarded the team bus to the Mirasierra Suites after the training session at the stadium, Pedro León waited at this door to be taken to his car in the parking lot.  Pobrecito.


Six. And congrats to Rafa van der Vaart for his two goals yesterday, which helped Tottenham defeat Aston Villa 2-1.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Miche permalink
    October 3, 2010 12:44

    Mourinho was prepared! Haha.
    I hope whatever happened with Pedro Leon is resolved, and that he’ll be called up to play again soon.
    Rafa is doing rather well at Tottenham. I’m happy for him.
    Looking forward to the game later today. 😀

  2. October 3, 2010 12:51

    The Peter Lion situation is extremely weird…. something must have happened in the dressing room or between him and Mou.
    I am glad that the pitch wouldn’t be embarrassing anymore.

    Attention Mou: Real Madrid are the Beatles of football ( apologies to Liverpool!), there will always be people waiting for them and screaming at them wherever they go!

    • October 3, 2010 12:56

      Forgot to add: Rafa Van der Vaart, I wish he was still with us. Seeing him scoring goals makes me sad but also proud and happy for him. Good luck Rafa!

    • Maisoun permalink
      October 3, 2010 16:48

      yes yes the Beatles with better hair…and bodies and tans and on and on!!! 😉 and I much prefer Sergio’s singing voice haha

  3. luca00 permalink
    October 3, 2010 13:39

    Una, I would be eternally grateful for a pic of Mou’s sneakers with the Portugal flag…

    • October 3, 2010 13:45

      I’ll hold you to the eternal part…

      • luca00 permalink
        October 3, 2010 15:14

        Muito obrigada!! If I ever encounter Iker in real life, I will try my best to wrestle him out of whatever ugly shoes and/or plaid shirt he is wearing…

  4. sidney permalink
    October 3, 2010 15:10

    Thanks you for a blog like this:):):).I visited it since the world cup and I have heard of it at kickette.You are doing a FANTASTIC job!Carry on:):):)And thank you also for doing it in ENGLISH since many madritistas like me are not very fluent in english or espagnol(I wish I was).

    • Cindy permalink
      October 3, 2010 16:18

      Can I second Sidney’s response. This is the first thing I check when I go onto the internet. I hope Pedro’s situation is resolve the next time the team plays.

      I know I said this before but I HATE INTERNATIONAL BREAKS.

    • October 4, 2010 02:17

      😄 thats sooo cool! I think I found this blog from Kickette too! haha, now I’m totally addicted to it! I check it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and I feel sad when there arent any new posts. Ha, I guess it’s what inspired me to start my own blog.

  5. October 3, 2010 16:15

    First of all: I like your blog very much!

    Regarding this article: I really love Mourinho!
    He is THE SPECIAL ONE in all aspects.
    You observed very well.

    In my Cristiano & Kaká blog I am collecting the “Mourinho of the day” quotations because Mou is their boss and always has something special to say, in his own special way.
    :o)
    http://kakacrisfan.blogspot.com/

    Hala Madrid!

  6. October 3, 2010 17:19

    I’m not following RM for the past week, dyk what happened with Pedro Leon?

  7. lola permalink
    October 3, 2010 20:08

    Great blog! I recently started watching football -and especially Real Madrid- again and reading your comments and esp. the recaps of games has been very enjoyable.What a great team!

  8. October 3, 2010 21:44

    I am watching the game, end of the first half it is, my comm just said: “everybody’s wet, that’s for sure” LOL

    I admit honestly – before the game my biggest hope was for Sergio not to get a red card. Now, as I see this rain, this hope is still there, but it is also almost replaced by the hope of seeing as many pictures from that match tomorrow as it is only possible.

    the match, besides being cool to watch for me from the football-point of view, is damn hot. 😉

  9. Jennifer permalink
    October 3, 2010 23:26

    Haha I LOVE Mou’s control-freak-ness. Of course he charted all of these things and delivered a detailed report on press coverage… to the press. Never change, Mou.

    The boys are looking good, but hopefully they play as well as they look 🙂

    Poor Pedro León. That’s all I can say. All the speculation must make it even worse for him 😦

    P.S. Not having internet for the past few days has made me realize just how much time I spend on Real Madrid-related things… I dunno how I’m going to survive for another week without it! Ack!

  10. Tash permalink
    October 4, 2010 13:18

    I wonder what other reports Mou keeps? He probably has a whole folder full of them, categorized by month and alphabet of course 😉

  11. MsLaSuerte permalink
    October 5, 2010 20:33

    Una, could you possibly explain the “centenariazo” situation? What do you mean?:)
    Thank you.

    • October 6, 2010 07:29

      The short version: in 2002, Madrid celebrated its centennial. The RFEF authorities were very accommodating to them and allowed the final of the Copa del Rey to be held on March 6 (the exact date of Madrid’s centennial) and at the Bernabéu. Madrid made it to the final, and they faced Depor in that game. But what wasn’t in the plans was Depor beating Madrid 2-1.

      • MsLaSuerte permalink
        October 6, 2010 22:10

        thank you very much for your detailed explanation!!

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