Thursday, May 7, 2009

Squad Analysis

Posted by: Paulo Martin, Spain.

The bloody defeat to Barcelona on Saturday at the Santiago Bernabéu has provoked a veritable earthquake in Real Madrid. The history, philosophy and fighting spirit of the club has kept us fighting until the final whistle, but this time it has become clear that our chances of victory were not real. The club lived in a fantasy that Guardiola and his players woke us from as sharp and harsh as possible.

Now, just over a month for the election to the presidency Madrid, the club movements are accelerated. Regardless of who wins the election the Merengues demand and expect changes. Deep important changes. It has been made clear that the squad is not good enough and making a couple of signings will not be enough to strengthen it if the club wants to compete in all 3 competitions as is expected from it.

Before making additions to the squad some casualties will have to be made and among them could be some major players. It will be a long and difficult process, but at the start of next season, the squad could be very different from today.

Here is my analysis of the squad:

Casillas - Nontransferable: Although during Florentino`s first term at the club he was being questioned by the president, he has earned his right to stay and become a club and world icon. For many, Iker today is the real "galactico" of Real Madrid.

Dudek - Transferable: The Czech has not played, and when he has not had an outstanding performance to close the door to the youth keepers. His function could be carried out by Codina.

Codina - Nontransferable: The canterano has demonstrated a good level. Is able to replace Casillas, and until he plays he can continue learning to play from the worlds best keeper: Iker Casillas. If he wants to progress away from Madrid, youth team has alternatives.

Salgado - Transferable: The Galician is in the twilight of his exceptional career and looks set to pack his suitcases bound for Qatar. No longer is he able to dominate the right-back role. His character does not compensate his physical shortcomings.

Pepe - Nontransferable: Assault aside, the Portuguese is one of the best center backs in Europe. If he can control the outbursts he will once again be very important for the team.

Sergio Ramos - Nontransferable: The Andalusian has not had a good season. Was very confused throughout the season and has made grave mistakes, but if it regains his focus he will again become a great player.

Cannavaro - Transferable: The Italian central back has reached the end of the season at an average level, but you begin to notice the years on him. Furthermore, it appears that he has committed himself to Juve for the coming year. We shall miss his professionalism.

Marcelo - Nontransferable: Not very active in defense but in attack was great as is expected from the Brazilian. Has not shown that can be a regular starter as left back but looks like a good left winger, still young and has room for improvement.

Miguel Torres - Nontransferable: While not spectacular, always done well playing in either the right or the left. Great squad player for next year.

Heinze - Transferable: The Argentine is no longer the player he first was when he arrived at Madrid. Has gained strength in the dressing room because of his strong character but has lost strength on the pitch against rival forwards, no longer is his presence respected and feared and he is surpassed with ease.

Metzelder - Nontransferable: The German has been shown to be a great solid reliable central defender, he has made it clear that he has sufficient quality to play for Real Madrid.

Javi García - Transferable: Canterano. He has not played too much this year and when he has he had to switch between two different positions: centermidfelder and center back. It seems like he is not Real Madrid material.

Drenthe - Transferable: He arrived in Madrid as a diamond in the rough. He had room for improvement, but it is clear that there will be plenty of polishing to do before he becomes a diamond. Has not gone down well with the public of the Bernabeu and is considered not worthy of wearing the white shirt.

Diarra - Transferable: In past seasons he was the only players keeping our midfield together, but little more. Much of the balls that recovers he gives away again in the after a bad pass. Unable to launch the offense from our area.

Gago - Uncertain: The Argentine has quality to spare, and is great physically and is not afraid to fight for the ball. His problem is his irregularity. Has been "absent" in all the big game, the games where we expected the most from him.

Lass - Nontransferable: If Madrid wants to keep a midfielder that offers any containment then it should be him. Since his debut he has shown class and character and has become a key part of the team.

Guti - Transferable: An institution within the club, but is still questioned by his ever lasting problem: his irregularity. He is capable of best (while being marked can give an impossible assist) but also the worst.

Parejo - Nontransferable: This creative center midfielder has barely been able to demonstrate his quality. Alfredo Di Stefano`s favourite canterano has a lot to offer.

De La Red - Nontransferable: He is recovering from heart problems and should be important part of the squad in the future (if his medical condition allows it). His vision and his quality of play have never been questioned.

Sneijder - Uncertain: The player who struck it big in his first games with Real Madrid, his power and his class have been diluted over time. Only if he recovers and regains focus will he remain as part of the squad.

Robben - Uncertain: There is no doubt about the quality he has. However, a team as big as Madrid can not afford to have a player that plays only 45 percent of the matches of the season due to injuries.

Faubert - Transferable: No comment. The signing inexplicable. Has barely played.

Van der Vaart - Transferable: He arrived with the hype of being a "superclass", but perhaps having played far from his natural position or adjustment problems have resulted in him not delivering what was expected of him.

Raúl - Transferable: The captains time has come for him to pass the torch. Thanks to his intelligence and quality he continues to have good stats, but a young striker with more quality and pace will surely bring more and better things. Madrid would miss his winning mentality and his Madridismo.

Saviola - Transferable: He is not a striker for Real Madrid. Last season took the few opportunities he had coming out from the bench well, but when played full games hardly saw him at all.

Van Nistelrooy - Uncertain: The Dutchman is one of the worlds great goal scoring mahcines but is at the downhill of his career. Ensures goals, but maybe someone younger can bring more to the team.

Higuaín - Nontransferable: The Argentine grows and grows every day. Not world class yet, but a very good player. He has been improving his finishing and demonstrated being strong and having character and faith in his possibilities.

Huntelaar - Nontransferable: "The hunter" has shown he can score goals in the league. The Van Nistelrooy of the future.


  1. Hello Paulo. Nice point to mull over. I agree with you on most counts except for a few players.
    1) Drenthe- he has not been given enough chances on the wing like the Netherlands junior team. I would prefer loaning him out.
    2) M. Diarra- He is a liability once Lass came in, but what would happen once Lass is out with injury? With De la Red's status unknown, I feel it might be risky getting rid of him.
    3) VDV- I feel he needs to be played enough times in his preferred position- behind the striker and then be judged. He cannot play on the wing.

    I would also prefer if you would indicate the who you would like to see in the squad instead of these players we have. Your perspective should be different as you are a resident Spaniard. Also, any castilla products that can take the 4 UEFA mandatory spots on the team?
    - A Spaniard in the works.

  2. don think raul or guti shud be sold...they shud be starters thats all.

  3. I, for one, think that if Raul is dragging down the team, then he should be sold. We should have a coach capable of benching Raul. If we dont, then might as well sell him.

    I dont need anyone to sell me Raul's greatness; he's one of my favorite players. But I also know that its imperative that the team comes first and then the player.

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