Tuesday, January 29, 2008

They Just Keep on Winning

With style or with out, Madrid are on a historic run right now. They have the most league points to this stage of the campaign in their history. They almost have a double digit point lead on the second place team Barcelona. Not only that, but they have a confidence and a swagger that can’t be seen in any other side at the moment in Spain. They are coming off a crucial victory in La Liga in which all of their closest rivals dropped points while they gained three very valuable points. The game was not only important from a league table perspective but also from a performance basis. This was the first game in a while where the regular starters played and won with a true team performance. The last few weeks they had been relying too heavily on miracle saves from Iker Casillas and deadly strikes from Robinho and Ruud Van Nistelroy. However on Sunday everyone stepped up their game.

One player that made a very significant improvement was Fernando Gago. He was winning balls and making excellent passes, including a phenomenal flick to Sneijder which led to the game winning goal.

Also in the middle of the park, Guti had a very positive performance. He tends to be on and off but on Sunday he was most definitely on. His assist to Robinho was brilliant and his overall game play and passing was spot on.

As has been the case lately, Robinho is to be commended for a brilliant performance. He has transformed into a phenom on the pitch. Finally all the promise is coming to fruition.

The defense was rock solid and a special recognition should be made to Michel Salgado who played his heart out and only came out due to injuries.

There are a few out there who are beginning to whisper that with the victory over the weekend, Madrid may have all but wrapped up the league. I for one don’t agree with this sentiment and in fact it is this type of thinking that could ultimately lead to the team’s demise. However that fighting spirit that was kindled under Capello has lingered with this bunch and one gets a sense that they’ll continue to fight for every game until the season ends.

One interesting thought about this game and the next few to come. What is Schuster to do with Arjen Robben? The team is solid right now and throwing Robben in the mix could hurt the chemistry that is building between the regular staring eleven. Also with no more Cup games, Robben will have to build back his form and confidence in league games or heaven forbid a Champions League tie.

Things look good and are going well but let’s not forget to stay humble because at this time last year we were looking up to Barcelona.

1 comment:

!Nuffy said...

I agree. I think we should stay humble and stay focused. I remember back in season 2003/4 when Beckham arrived. At this team of the league we were ahead by many points but ended up losing the title to Valencia.