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Real Madrid will soon be the Man Utd of Spain
So the spotlight is well and truly shining over Madrid this morning after getting their asses handed to them by Ajax. Headlines are going with “humbling”, others with “humiliating”. The first is hinting towards Madrid still being an excellent team, the latter hinting at Ajax being minnows. Let’s just be 100% honest and call it an ass whooping, because that’s what I saw.
This Madrid squad is crumbling now, the defeats are mounting up, the confidence is gone, and they don’t have a Ronaldo to bail them out. Their actual bail out superstar is constantly injured, they’re management situation is a shambles. And let’s be honest it always has been in the modern era.
They’ll soon be the Man Utd of Spain, with the noisy neighbors of Atleti gaining more and more power and success in the Spanish capital.
And while it’s easy to pile on and kick a team when they are down, what we should all be focused on is how superb that Ajax performance was. It was almost a throwback to total football. They played with so much flair, skill, and seemed to possess so much more technical ability than I’ve seen in a long time from any team. The downside being that any success in this competition for Ajax always leads to the squad being raided for the best talent, and we know at least 5 players will be going in the summer transfer window. But as we’ve seen time and again from this team, they know how to handle it and show that it’s not all about moneybags. It’s about culture, and coaching and team building.
I hope they can keep the guts of this squad together for a while it’d be nice to see Ajax shining on the European stage again.
The Culk, seriously reminiscing this morning
Good fun reading the hatred of Ramos this morning. I actually enjoy his sh*housery, I think football needs villains and he’s very good at it.
In particular though I *love* how players like that wind up sanctimonious fans so much. It’s like oxygen to me. Is that normal? Probably not, but seeing the likes of John Aldridge losing their sh*t on Twitter over a tackle is just…I don’t know, it’s like I power up off their anger.
Can’t just be me?
Stu (schadenfreude levels are going be off the chart at the end of the month), Twickenham
I think the most striking thing about last night is that Liverpool fans still really aren’t over it. Let it go lads, they beat you fair and square and the Salah thing wasn’t deliberate.
The level of animosity levelled towards Real Madrid in the Mailbox this morning was tediously predictable. As always when it comes to assessing Spanish football and/or politics (of course, if it’s even questionable that the two are distinct dimensions) but anyway, the origins of this seem to be the often repeated and lazily formulated ‘Barca good, Real bad’ argument.
This morning’s mailbox is almost entirely dedicated to rants, gloats and borderline froth at the mouth jubilation at the expense of Real Madrid’s loss. This is actually completely understandable. A team that has dominated (potentially unjustifiably) the competition for so long to go out and to go out in the manner they have, well, it’s funny. Anyone other than those from certain barrios in Madrid will find the humour in what’s happened but the hatred you see in the Mailbox this morning as well as on social media over the last 12 hours really does go beyond this.
Now, I could go onto a rant myself about Spanish history/football and how these lazily formed dichotomous assessments are way off the mark but I don’t have the time and it will largely be ignored. But just as a quick comparison to illustrate the different reactions in the British audience (admittedly using F365 Mailbox as sole sample size)
Look at the Mailbox from the morning of 11 April 2018. The night before Barcelona experienced arguably their worst night in European football. Squandering a 3 goal lead to crash out in shamefully to Roma in the quarter finals. The Mailbox response? Well, a Spanish footballing giant crashing out, who arrogantly claim ownership over the competition and what a football club is, didn’t respect their opponent/expected to waltz through, a club that spends grotesque amounts of money on footballers (consideraby more so than Real Madrid incidentally in recent years) and a team with it’s own fair share of cartoon villains, well, you’d expect some strong stuff…
I’ll save you a Google, the Mailbox had nothing of the sort of schadenfreude on display this morning. To be fair, on the same evening Liverpool beat Man City so the Mailbox is dominated by that but last night Spurs won 4-0 on aggregate against a very capable and strong Dortmund team so you’d imagine the Mailbox would be full of Spurs fans contribution about their win, possible advancement into the competition etc. But no, let’s all have a go at Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos.
So as someone with Spanish links and continuously sees this anti-Spain/Real Madrid rhetoric it would appear either one of two things happened.
One, Spurs fans didn’t care about last night and none of them wrote in or two, Spurs fans did write in but it’s much easier to go with with Real Madrid bashing headlines?
Back to work now but looking forward to the inevitable reaction of British people telling me they know more about Spanish football and history response.
Adios y un besito muy grande
Why wasn’t Tadic that good for Southampton?
Question in this morning’s mailbox…why wasn’t Tadic that good for Southampton?
1) One game in ten, he was. On his day he was unplayable for the opposition and when he was in that form, he was a bloody gorgeous man. Nine games in ten he was anonymous. I don’t watch Ajax so maybe this is still the case, but judging by his marvellous stats this year I’d guess not.
2) Tadic spent half his time at Saints either playing under Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino or Mark Hughes. It’s not a surprise that his best and most consistent performances came under Koeman.
3) Tadic needs to spark off other players. In the beginning he had that relationship with Graziano Pelle. By the end of his time with us he didn’t have that kind of quality alongside him up front.
4) He’s an emotional guy and needs a lot of love. Clearly he’s getting that at Ajax in a way that he didn’t get in Southampton, especially during the periods when he looked like he couldn’t trap a ball.
I think all Saints fans had a tear in their eye last night. Partially in happiness for a good guy who loves playing football and partially because we lack the creativity and guile he gave us when at his best.
Jon Tucker, Southampton
Criticism of Spurs fans
Like all spurs fans I was delighted with the result against Dortmund, and I too commend the Borussia fans. This was a great all round team performance over two legs, and a sign of the lessons learned in Europe after three successive seasons of champions league football. It’s even more satisfying given our recent wobble and generally poor form over the last month.
I must, however, take umbrage with Aaron’s assertion that “Spurs fans need to learn something from these Dortmund fans.” When Spurs beat Madrid at Wembley 3-1 18 months ago, I stayed until the end, like most fans, to soak up the atmosphere. What a mistake it was. It took me nearly an hour to make it the half mile to Wembley Park Stadium. An HOUR – to make it 800 metres from my seat, as we were funneled down the narrow confines of Wembley Way and held at checkpoints as 90K fans attempted to get to the one station serving the stadium. That’s before I even hopped on the train to join my mates at the pub…
The overall fan experience once your in the stadium at Wembley is decent, but part of the reason you’re seeing attendances of 30 – 40K for midweek games isn’t because Spurs fans are fair weather, it’s because getting to and from the Stadium is such a miserable experience. Contrast that with White Hart Lane, which can be accessed – with a walk – from multiple London underground and overground options, reducing the amount of wasted time queueing to even get to a station. The sooner we move into the new stadium the better. Until, then I’ll reserve judgement about what Spurs fans can learn
Dan James, Spurs ’til I get to Wembley Park Station/die…whichever comes sooner
I’m sure if he wore glasses, had a beard and was a jovial German he would have received a slap on the wrists.
Ridiculous decision from the FA but what’s new.
On lighter news up the spurs – never in a million years did I think we would qualify with no kane and no alli from the first leg but hey what do i know
That Daniel Storey article on Cruyff is superb and one particular quote from the Great Man instantly jumped out:
“Why couldn’t you beat a richer club? I’ve never seen a bag of money score a goal.”
That mentality is why Cruyff is rightly remembered as a pioneer, a true revolutionary of football. That’s why it makes it all the more hilarious to compare it to a quote from a certain someone, a forgotten man with no European legacy whatsoever, and who continues to desperately wait by the phone for that call from an elite club offering him a job, even as Real Madrid change managers 15 times in three months:
“You cannot compete with financial resources”.
Watching that magnificent Ajax side destroy reigning European champions Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, with a team of kids that collectively earn less per week than Mesut Ozil, every Arsenal (and Tottenham/Liverpool) fan that has uttered that utter “cannot compete” garbage for the past 14 years should hang their heads in shame. You’d have thought the successes of Leicester and Atletico would have put this excuse-making rubbish to bed.
Sure. It’s a lot harder to keep up with a Citeh. But Liverpool, Spurs and Arsenal are hardly provincial clubs with agricultural budgets. There is a way, it’s just that for 14 (Arsenal) almost 30 (Liverpool) and almost 60 (Spuds) years, these clubs have utterly failed to find it.
Stewie Griffin (cannot compete with Denzel Washington)