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circus aside, there is a game tonight

March 3, 2011

Well, lost amidst all the controversy generated by Mou’s press conference yesterday is the fact that there’s a game tonight.  And not just any game, as Manuel Pellegrini will be making his return to the Bernabéu (after coaching the team to a record 96 points last season) and Madrid fighting to stay alive in the race for the Liga.  Hopefully history will be on our side:  Iker Casillas has never lost to Málaga (knock on wood), having won 14 times and tied four times.

ONE. Someone asked in a comment in the previous post why Mou’s words were disparaging towards Pellegrini, so here’s the full question and answer.

Question: Do you think comparisons to the Madrid of Pellegrini are fair, as they had one more point at this point in the season?  Do you fear the same thing that happened to him will happen to you, that you’ll be axed if you don’t win a title?

Answer: The same thing no because if Madrid gets rid of me I wouldn’t go to Málaga, I would go to a grand club in Italy or England.  I wouldn’t have any problems in coaching another great club.  Comparisons can be made.  If you all say that Madrid had one more point and was first, that’s true, but you have to also say that they were no longer in the Copa at that point and also had to make a comeback after losing to Lyon.

That’s why people perceived both Manuel and Málaga to be insulted by the statement, as Mou wasn’t very tactful.

TWO. In any case, we can’t underestimate Málaga tonight, even though they haven’t been lucky lately, as they are 19th in the table.  We’ve lost to teams in the relegation zone before, and Málaga is also injured, both physically (they have eight players out due to injury) and in terms of pride, after Mou’s declarations, and teams like that are always dangerous.  On the plus side, the calendar hasn’t been favorable to them, as they have three games in six days: they played Monday against Almería, they’ll play us tonight and then they have to face Osasuna on Sunday.  However, unlike certain people, no complaints about the schedule have been heard coming from them…

THREE. I also have to add that I hate the way that Manuel Pellegrini left, or actually, was forced to leave Madrid becauseit reminds me of another departure that I have yet to get over, that of Vicente del Bosque, as there are many similarities in those histories: Florentino Pérez, a coach with the reputation for being a gentleman, a record setting/trophy winning season, a new, “brand name” Portuguese coach waiting in the wings, lack of gentlemanly conduct on the part of the directors, the nearly simultaneous departure of a legendary club captain…  If this club really prides themselves on being a gentlemanly club, they have to stop doing things like this.  And Mou needs to stop ranting and complaining.  It makes everyone look bad.

FOUR. In his time with the press, Mou also revealed that the days of players giving press conferences (remember when it used to be a daily thing?) are more or less over, because “the players here are not part of the communication strategy… they go to the press conference and say normal things.  I think that you all (referring to the journalists) already have enough to write about with the interviews that Ribot conducts, the time the players spend in the mixed zone after games…  you have so many opportunities that I don’t believe you need more.  And then, if you write about all who criticize me, you’ll fill 20 pages each day.”

FIVE. As for the concentración last night, I guess it was “stick by your fellow countryman” night.

SIX. In other news, Gonzalo Higuaín is back on the field as part of the second phase of his recovery (the first phase consisted of physiotherapy and gym work).  Yesterday, Pipita stepped onto the field for the first time in months to start exercising with the ball.  Gonzalo was operated on just about two months ago, on Jan. 11, and his recuperation is progressing as scheduled.

The only picture of Gonzalo smiling that there was, although it also might be a grimace.

SEVEN. Speaking of Pipita, he’ll be the next Madrid star to be interviewed on the Real… series, with RealHiguaín airing this Friday at 19:30h on RMTV.  I would have expected Cristiano to be next, but I guess Madrid doesn’t want us to forget about Gonzalo.

EIGHT. And Madrid’s web site gave us this interview with Castilla winger Denis, who scored a goal in Castilla’s 2-0 victory last Sunday.  But what I love are the pictures, and the original poses!  Why can’t the first team pose like this, instead of always having to stick up their thumbs in the air?  (The cider pouring pics are because Denis – who is Russian – spent part of his childhood in Gijón, Asturias, where his dad played for Sporting.)

NINE. In other Castilla news, their starting goalkeeper Jesús suffered a fractured finger during the training session yesterday and he’ll be out three to four weeks.  A familiar face will step in for him during that time:  Tomás Mejías.

TEN. And stalker alert:  Madrid has already chosen the hotel it will stay at in Valencia for the final of the Copa del Rey on April 20.  The chosen “headquarters” will be the Hotel Palau de la Mar, and the club has reserved the entire hotel for the nights of April 19 and 20.

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. IsaBella permalink
    March 3, 2011 09:54

    It’s a pity that there won’t be any player press conferences anymore, but I guess it’s part of Mou’s tactics, maybe he simply doesn’t want anybody to say too much. All those who open their mouths to the press are part of the ‘communication strategy’ as Mou put it and they know exactly what to say to protect their image and the club’s. I really hate this PR zone. 😦
    anyway, good luck to the boys for tonight and Pipita: muchisima suerte!!

  2. KDJ permalink
    March 3, 2011 10:34

    4 days ago, out of the blue, I had a bad dream where we got butchered 4-0 by Malaga and 2-0 by Lyon. It was a nightmare!! I really hope my dream won’t come true. Hala Madrid!!

    • amouria permalink
      March 3, 2011 16:52

      should be a nightmare………oh gush

  3. amouria permalink
    March 3, 2011 10:54

    The would is full of hypocrisy, which angers Mou and others, me included. When a journalist tells a couch that ‘you do not speak the truth’, what should be the response? To thank him? to appreciate his comment? No, Mou was wise in telling him that you are a hypocrite and you do not want to hear the truth.
    However, I did not like the comment about malaga and Belligrini, that was out of place. This is the comment that should have been avoided, agreed.
    Any way, As Una said, in Spain, apparently, some ‘important’ people can say nonsense and get away with it, such as calling a coach an asshole or a clown. This is not freedom of speech, it is freedom of insult…

  4. PepperPots permalink
    March 3, 2011 11:06

    The pressure is really creeping on everyone. WOW.

  5. RubyTuesday permalink
    March 3, 2011 12:05

    I really miss the time when Real Madrid was a club which has a coach who respect rivals. I miss also the time when players speak to the press (only to hear things as funny as the one said by Parejo: “Cosas peores se han visto, aun podemos ganar la liga. No vamos a bajar la toalla ni a tirar los brazos” or like Roberto Carlos when he called Heineken his coach Heynkes)
    And I miss where the coachs have not such protagonism.
    I am Madrid’ fan since I was child, but nowadays I feel a bit sad about all that is happening.
    By the way, I’m really happy for Raul and Jurado who are in the German Cup final 🙂

    • JulieFromParis permalink
      March 3, 2011 22:24

      Raul’s season with Shalke is amazing. He is showing them who’s the boss out there, 4th with 11 goals. Im really happy for him. I know looking back is of no use but i bet Madrid could have done with him for at least another season, no? Just saying.

  6. Whiskey permalink
    March 3, 2011 14:08

    All of this extraneous nonsense taking place in the press is starting to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Circus is the right word Una. I have enormous respect for Mou but sometimes I wish he would take the high ground and not take the bait. I’ve been hoping that Pellegrini would do well this season after Malaga hired him – I think the way he was treated by the club and certain media was disgraceful and (as far as I have seen or read anyways) he has not shot back. Anyhow on to good news – so happy to hear about Pipita! Hope his recovery is going well – we need him back soon, but we also need him back 100% healthy 🙂

  7. March 3, 2011 14:51

    Thanks. I wish the official website would provide the complete Q and A and video of the press conferences. I think it’s poor that you get more info from fansites like this. It’s like they think if they don’t print anything controversial no-one will know, but all you get is the words in twisted form in the tabloids instead.

  8. March 3, 2011 15:08

    Oh sorry I forgot to ask, who is responsible for the players not being part of the communication strategy (I presume he means giving pressers) the coach or someone else? If it’s the coach it’s a bit strange as he has complained he takes the brunt of everything.

  9. March 3, 2011 17:08

    Real Madrid has always been proud about being a club with class, values and good manners. When I hear Mou’s press conferences lately it makes me really sad because he has actually gotten worse, I understand that he doesn’t like to be diplomatic but he is damaging RM’s image by insulting small clubs and their coaches. If I was a Malaga player, I would have extra motivation to give my all and beat RM today.

    Complaining about the schedule doesn’t help either when there are lots of other clubs who suffer the same or more.
    If Mou wanted to talk about the schedule, he could have said that the LFP should make the schedule of the games with days and timings right at the beginning of the season like in England, so it is better for planning.

    BTW, Marca’s cover today is shameful and disgusting( like most days) . I love RM and I think we will win but if somehow we lost or tied today what would be the cover tomorrow?

  10. DebS permalink
    March 3, 2011 17:42

    I heard an interesting comment made by the commentators on GolTV during “the team in La Liga who shall remain nameless”.

    Phil asked Ray what he thought about the comments Mou made about Pellegrini & Malaga. Ray’s response was something along the lines of “that’s Mou, I wouldn’t expect anything less”. Then Ray went on to say that Mou says things like this to draw the attention of the media away from his players to himself…that it’s his way of keeping the critics from harping on his players by taking all the flack himself. It makes a lot of sense and is a great strategy since he doesn’t seem to mind the criticism whereas his players are more vulnerable (i.e. Canales, Karim) to the attacks/comments made in the press.

    I was SO happy to hear about Pipita! I’m sure it must lift his spirits to be back on the pitch.

    • Margie permalink
      March 4, 2011 14:15

      If that’s true it’s just making inflammatory comments to sweep other inflammatory talking under the rug, instead of rising above inflammatory comments altogether…

  11. Nicole permalink
    March 3, 2011 20:21

    Hey Una,

    First off, I’m a very big fan of your blog!

    And I know this is off topic, but I was wondering if you (or anyone reading this for that matter) know if there will be a USA tour this year? If there will be, do you know where I could find information about it? I really want to start planning ahead to go watch our boys play!

  12. Ros permalink
    March 3, 2011 21:24

    I was very sad when Pellegrini “left” last year. I like his calm way of dealing with things. When I read and saw the interview of Mourinho, I just figured he was in a bad mood, and it would have been perfect time to let his players help him out. I think it is kind of odd that sometimes he is so tactful and knows how to smooth things over, but other times he seems to enjoy stirring things back up again.

  13. Rayne permalink
    March 4, 2011 08:45

    I think the media’s making a mountain out of a molehill again to sell papers. I’ve reread the quote three times now – three – and while I can perhaps see a slight to Pelle and Malaga there – it’s a stretch.

    What Mou did was be honest. He didn’t insult the team or the coach. But if he left RM, we all know he’d go coach one of the huge European teams. A Chelsea or an Inter Milan. And that is the only difference he highlighted between him and Pelle – that Pelle would take a post at Malaga, not a historically lauded ‘Big European’ team and Mou wouldn’t. I just think if Mou meant to hurt with that response, he could have been a million times worse.

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