Friday, May 11, 2007

in which we bestir ourselves to care

About something other than the fluctuating percentages of the likelihood of Maldini making an appearance in his eighth Champions' League final in Athens on May 23rd. The Gazzetta dello Sport reports today that Real Madrid

[obligatory pause for laughter from the galleries, since their coming as close to winning la Primera in five-odd years than they ever have is no reason to stop making fun of them]

is planning a bid for one of our favourite players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Yesterday, news of their desire to capture that much-beloved emperor of the masses and FC Inter's least favourite party animal, Big Man Adriano, had leaked out, and all seemed well in the world of la Real, with everyone involved not knowing their arses from their elbows as per usual. Adrian (wot Google Translate calls the fun-loving Brazilian giant) could hardly have any serious rivals for that coveted position, the Antonio Cassano Spot On The Madrid Bench, anywhere in Europe, could he?

Today we hear that Zlatan is also included in their plans. Which is also not very puzzling, since he fulfils Madrid's basic criteria as top candidate for next year's flavour: he's had a good season, and he doesn't photograph badly. Well, apart from the nose. We wonder what Madrid's problem with their current formation and the on-fire van Nistelrooy - not our favourite player, but you have to respect a man who plays in an utterly crap team with an utterly crap formation but is already challenging for Pichichi in his first season. And he speaks better Spanish than Beckham's managed in five years! - is. Too horsy? Too good a finisher? Too much discipline?

If they want to hire Zlatan to go back to his support/creative striker role, then I think we can enjoy the prospect of yet another touch-and-go season for everyone's favourite men in white. Kaka in central defence would probably create as many opportunities.

Position aside, we can't imagine how Real, whose player purchases are the club's substitute for the kerchief down your pants, is going to deal with a personality as insecure and volatile as Zlatan's. He'll be among friends if he heads out - Cannavaro and Emerson - but what puzzles us is the idea that Fabio Capello has a role to play in all this. Or is Capello, contrary to all our expectations, actually staying on next year?

What we've seen of Zlatan leads us to conclude two things about the type of environment that suits him best: one is a Maradona-in-Napoli style set-up, a smaller club that will build itself around him and depend on him to perform under pressure and be a figure of inspiration. Or a club with a smooth, efficient management that knows how to deal with fragile egos and motivate them sufficiently to gel well with a team packed with other superstars. Any opinions on la Real fitting into either of those categories?

And in more gossip about glass egos, we have been reliably informed by The Sun that Andriy Shevchenko felt impelled to explain his injury problems and lack of committment to one Chelsea FC to a personage no less than John Terry. It appears that 'I'm just here for the money, dude,' doesn't quite cut it with the Iron Man of English Football. What a load of bull, we say.

We don't hold much for the authoriteh of celebriteh and the like, but we do wonder what would have happened if Sheva had turned around, looked his at least partly overrated teammate in the eye, and asked him to come talk to him when he had a couple of Ballons d'Or and a record as one of Europe's most successful players ever.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Kaushik said...

nice post. Especially the Shevchenko finish was a nice touch. I mean I remember when we watched Chelsea play Liverpool in the Community shield back in Hyd in August, Sheva was looking good. his goal against Tottenham, clear candidate for goal of the season. I think Sheva is just the punching bag for the Jose- Roman feud. It's a shame if he wants to sell Sheva and get someone like Eto'o. shee

Real Madrid like to link themselves to everyone. I'm so happy Ruud is playing brilliantly. Van's the man!Van Basten's doing him a great disservice by not playing him.

11:41 AM  
Blogger William said...

Nice post. It will be interesting to see how they would use Zlatan, since he is a similar player to Ruud. Both are good at fighting off defenders in the box-- although Zlatan is the better passer.

3:07 PM  
Blogger roswitha said...

kaush: didn't van basten have problems with his supposed ego or something? but there's managers for you. they all hang together.

william: i don't know if zlatan's similar to our ruud at all, he's not what i'd call a fox in the box, of which striker type ruud is the most successful representative. i do think he'd do well in a creative role, to be honest, if only he can persuade himself to be a little elss of a dickhead.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Szerelem said...

won! won! won!
Inzaghi! AND Pirlo freeeee kick!
:D :D :D :D

2:17 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home