Friday, May 1, 2009

El Clasico Special: Fan Vs Fan

Posted by: Ashay K, India


Photo Credit: Saurabh (Cule)

So in line with the “El Clasico” preview, our blog team did a small “Fan vs Fan” bit on Orkut. We invited Cules and Madridistas from the Real Madrid vs Barcelona community on orkut to participate in a common questionnaire. We got some really interesting, some whacky and some spiteful answers. One thing cannot be ignored though; although the two sets of fans absolutely loathe and despise each other, there is a kind of grudging respect for the rival teams, if not for anything, then simply for what the rival club symbolizes.


So, we move on with the questionnaire and let the readers come to their own conclusions about the matter…

What do you think of your rival team’s squad?

Joan (Cule) put it straight and up front about Real Madrid: “They have little depth in certain areas of the squad. The squad is totally uncompensated. No right wingers, no quality reliable left backs; they only have 3 center backs, they lack pace in all departments but especially up front. They lack a consistent creative midfielder who dictates the pace of the game. And they have too many injury prone players”

Sachin Chandra (Cule) took a slightly diplomatic tone: “well they are a young squad with pretty good talent even though not world beating talent; they have excessive squad players who are not worthy enough to play in a club of such a big stature but still play. The squad lacks any kind of creative spark in its play”

Rai Krol (Madridista) was full of praise and gushingly commented: “I think they are the best technically gifted team i have seen play. They do not just play football; sometimes what they do is art”

King (Madridista) answered it limerick-ishly: “Youth, Flair, Speed, Skill, Possession, all summoned up by the brilliance of Pep can be summed up as Barcelona's style”

What do you think about the chances of your team?
Overall, the mood from the Cule camp seemed to be quite confident. Same cannot be said about the madridistas though.

Joan (Cule) answered confidently: “Pretty good chance of getting a positive result. Its do or die for Madrid but it isn't for us, so realistically an away draw would be an excellent result for us where as it would be a terrible result for Madrid”

Kunal (Cule) wasted no time in putting it mathematically: “75 % chances of winning and 15 % of drawing”. We assume the missing percentages to total it to 100 are the chances of losing according to him.

Pradeep (Madridista) was quite frank about his team’s chances: “It’s slightly less than that of our rivals. We have many injury problems and many of our key players are missing. Real Madrid need a win and any other result wont do for us which is a big advantage for our direct rivals!!”

Paulo Martin (Madridista) also tried his hand at being mathematical: “I think we’ll push very hard, especially at the start of the game and at the end again depending how close the game is. We have the advantage of playing at home and crowd carrying the team and the fact that Barça will be fatigued. I’d say its 60/40 in our favour”

What strategy do you think the coach of your team will employ in the clasico?

Saurabh (Cule) quipped: “Same as always: Attack, Attack & Attack, and a 4-3-3 formation. We'll play our usual passing game”

Karthik (Cule) had something different to say, other than the above mentioned (patented) answer: “I think we will be given a bit more physical strength in the midfield by adding Keita. I think the coach will let the team play just as they had played the season and he would ask the players to press for the ball a bit more so that the opposite team will get frustrated”

Paulo Martin (Spain) put it quite laconically: “Probably cautious counter attacking football but strategies tend to go out the window in a clasico.”

Pradeep (Madridista) sounded a bit apprehensive: “With many of our players missing, I dont think we will be attacking from the first minute! We may try to play defensively and will step up our play according to the score line at half time.”

What strategy do you think the coach of the opposite team will employ in the clasico?
There seemed to be a divide in the Cule camp about this. The madridistas seemed to have a common consensus.

Karthik (Cule) expects something out of the ordinary: “Well i think real madrid would come and attack us a lot. They have a very good holding midfielder in Lass and I think VDV will be up to the mark in the clasico since he is very intelligent on the ball. Their defence will be a bit weak but i think they will attack and defend together as a team. Higuain can cause lot of problem to our defence since he is doing spectacular and he has been an absolute revelation this season.”
Joan (Cule) is more in line with the feelings coming out of the camp nou: “I think they`ll be fairly cautious and try to counter attack us at all times. I don't think Madrid are capable of carrying the game and keeping the ball, they are much more comfortable giving the possession away and counter attacking.”

King (Madridista) commented: “The same strategy they have used all season; Pass, Pass & Pass till they find a hole. Keep possession and be wary of physical contact”

Rai Krol (Madridista) seconded: “Same as always; possession football at its best”

How confident are about your team winning this match?

Prashanth (Cule) had the disposition of taking whatever comes his way (except defeat, of course): “Would love Barca 2 complete the first double for us since 98-99 is it. But a draw would be fine with us as well!”

Kunal (Cule) was quite confident though: “I m a bit jittery keeping in mind that the team will travel to England, but then since it's the Classico our team will leave no stone unturned and will surely do a double on RM this season.”

Kashan (Madridista) was a bit philosophical: “I believe in destiny and Real Madrid is all about Winning”

King (Madridista) sounded a bit desperate: “It’s a do or die situation for us. We can only go for a win if we are to have any chance at the liga. But barcelona have always been a super stubborn side and defeating them will not be the same as defeating sevilla or the others. How ever if we lose or draw, we can say goodbye to la liga. Fans will play an important role in this fixture”

What is your match prediction for the clasico?
Most of the cules predicted a draw and their predictions do have a ring of truth about it. Barcelona hasn’t really done the double on Real Madrid for a long time. So the overall mood coming in from the cule camp is that of cautiousness.

Karthik (Cule): 2-2
Saurabh (Cule): 3-2 to Real Madrid (Probably the only cule in this whole world predicting a loss for Barcelona)
Sachin Chandra (Cule): 1-1
Kunal (Cule): I think Barcelona will win 2-3. Iniesta , Yaya Toure and Dani Alves will play a big role in it and perhaps Eto'o.
Kashan (Madridista): 3-1 to Real Madrid
Paulo Martin (Madridista): 2-1 to Real Madrid
Siddhant (Madridista): 2-0 to Real Madrid
Pradeep (Madridista): 2-1 to Real Madrid

We only hope that the predictions by Madridistas come true and they don’t end up like our current interim club president.

What does your rival club symbolize to you as a football club?

Prashanth (Cule) summed it up in a very short sentence: “Never say die attitude, determination ..fans who want attractive football !”

Joan (Cule) seconded: “Fighting spirit, grit, determination and its never give up attitude.”

Kunal (Cule) had a grudging tone about his reply: “They believe in : Hit, Hit, Hit, Hit; Keep on Hitting until the opponents die or they die themselves; But never say die.

Karthik (Cule) put it as neutrally as possible: “Madrid has a great history, a great captain, a great goal keeper. They are sure to bounce back soon enough to their glory days”

Rai Krol (Madridista) admitted he was a bit envious about Barcelona before going to reply: “Admirable footballing philosophy, excellent brand of football and excellent youth set up”

King (Madridista) didn’t hold anything back as he said: “They are our arch rivals and both sets of fans dont like each other at all, but I will be frank here. I think barcelona are a wonder ful team and they have a very good way of handling their youth, they play beautiful possession football and are among the best clubs in the world. I hope they keep playing the way they are and make spain proud by kicking those lazy english clubs (read here as Chelsea, Manchester Utd / Arsenal) out of our sight”

Paulo Martin (Madridista) put it as neutrally as possible: “Brilliant style of football, never vary their style or change their philosophy of football. Always look to the youth system as a solution and not a problem and I admire them for that.”

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