Next Game

Celta Vigo v Barcelona

Sunday, 05 April 2015, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Camp Nou

Last Game

Barcelona 2 - 1 R Madrid

Sunday, 22 March 2015, 20:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Ramos gamble costly

The selection of Sergio Ramos in midfield for El Clasico cost Real Madrid a chance of victory, says Gerry Armstrong and Gaizka Medieta.

Last Updated: 27/10/13 at 11:44 Post Comment

Sergio Ramos: A strange selection choice in midfield for Real Madrid

Sergio Ramos: A strange selection choice in midfield for Real Madrid

Speaking after Barcelona's 2-1 victory at Camp Nou, Armstrong and Mendieta agreed that Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti made a serious selection error when deciding to play centre-back Sergio Ramos in a central midfield role.

Goals from South American duo Neymar and Alexis Sanchez gave Barcelona victory in the first meeting between the two La Liga rivals this season and first-blood to new Barca boss Tata Martino.

Former Mallorca striker Armstrong was confused with Ancelotti's line-up and questioned his tactics.

He said: "It was a negative start from Ancelotti's selection - Sergio Ramos in the centre of midfield as an anchor-man, what was he thinking?

"I think he must have thought he was going to put pressure on the midfield and put pressure on Messi when he was picking up the ball and turning and running but he was out-thought because Tata Martino had Messi playing on the right-hand side. Ramos was always on the wrong side for me. He never really seemed to be in the right position, he seemed lost.

"As a centre-half he's very decisive. He makes big decisions and is very positive but because he was playing front of the two centre-backs he didn't seem to be getting involved in the game and it sort of passed him by," added Armstrong.

"He was also so fortunate to not be sent off. He's an impetuous player and his record of sending-offs and yellow cards shows that. He's played as a right-back and as a centre-back, I've never seen him play in midfield - that was a big gamble and I think it cost Real Madrid big time."

Former Barcelona midfielder Mendieta agreed with Armstrong and was puzzled as to why Ancelotti did not select a more suited player than Ramos, such as Pepe.

He said: "This was a big gamble play in him in this position for such a big game.

"If Ancelotti was thinking of having a physically strong presence in the midfield to stop Messi in midfield, why not put Pepe there? - he's played more times in midfield than Ramos - I don't think he's ever even played there and you could tell that because for most parts of the game he was just jogging around and never really closing down or putting pressure on the ball.

"He was just more worried about holding his position in front of the two centre backs."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Footer 365

Harry Kane to make first England start against Italy, says Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Harry Kane will make his first start for England in Tuesday night's friendly with Italy.

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle starts for Italy against England in Turin

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has been handed a start for Italy in their friendly against England in Turin on Tuesday.

Two Chelsea fans summoned to appear in court over claims of racist chants

Two men summoned to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in May following claims of racist chants at St Pancras Station.

Mail Box

Can Wenger Coach Young Players Anymore?

One Mailboxer wonders whether Wenger has still got ability to bring through young talent. Plus £50m for Sterling, stop being matey with footballers and Blackpool...

Forget About Flair And Play Like Greece

'Forget about flair and play like Greece' is one outsider's advice to the England national side, while an Arsenal fan wants to sell Theo Walcott to get Marco Reus.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company