The player moved along the byline and each touch was perfect. Every time he received a ball, it was passed on to a target perfectly. Ancelotti and Florentino Perez looked on with smiles a mile wide. The fans in the stands sang and chanted. It was indeed a beautiful day as Gareth Bale walked onto the Bernabeu pitch for the first time. It was also ironic because the presentation of the Welshman is the most organised Real Madrid have been this season.
A few weeks later and Bale would make his first appearance at the Bernabeu in a game. One nil down and chasing a game, Carlo Ancelotti shook things up at half time and brought the former Spurs man on. 45 minutes later, Enrique Cerezo left the presidential box with the smuggest of smiles as Real Madrid players walked off to boos and jeers from their fans. Players bickered amongst themselves as Atlético had done it again. They had promised lightening wouldn’t strike twice, that the Copa win was a fluke and lessons had been learned but Simeone and his men were not to be denied. For 14 years, over 25 games, Atleti had failed to beat Real Madrid. Now they have done so twice in five months and both times have been on Vikingo turf. Florentino was once seen as untouchable but fans are turning, so too are the press.
Some Madridistas have started a campaign to kick out the press and started chants last weekend. But it is not the press who are to blame. With no Alonso and no Özil, Real Madrid lack shape and organisation. Isco has stepped up but the style that Ancelotti is trying to implement is fair from clear. On Saturday they lost by one, it could have been more. Atlético aren’t afraid anymore, neither does it appear are other sides. Real Betis took them on, Elche were cruelly denied a deserved point and Villarreal took a point off them. It is time to face the reality that so far the new project has not started the way all expected it to.
And that may be the issue. Once again Real Madrid are embarking on another ‘new project. We have been here before, we have the t-shirts. Each time there is a changing of the guard we are told that this time it is different, only for time to show it isn’t. Once seen as the chosen one, it seems that Florentino is starting to take some of the blame. Even on this website once faithful fans have voiced concerns. His supporters argue that he was re-appointed President this summer but it was in an election where you need to have over €60m in your bank account and to be a socio for over 20 years, so hardly democratic, is it? He spent all this summer pursuing Bale, a great player but worth more than Ronaldo? There were other areas that needed reinforcement but the President was determined to get the Welshman, at it appears at any cost.
On Saturday night a few hours after directing insults at some journalists, faint chants for Jose Mourinho were heard. Outside the ground fans were asked their opinion and many were only too happy to say that they wanted Mourinho back. Not so faint were the chants telling Florentino to go. They weren’t very loud but they were audible. Never before has the President been so up against the wall. AS have even asked did he ‘lie’ to supporters and shareholders in the AGM. They also ran a report and all his broken promises. The Madrid paper are at the point of no return now and continue to look at his faults. On Sunday morning they ran with the headline: Millions 0 Football 1. Was there any other way to make their point clearer than that?
Benzema has always been a favourite of Perez and he even went to his house to convince him to sign for Real Madrid but the player has failed to develop in the manner in which he was expected to. He gets whistled and booed now and whilst most of it is due to his form, some of it is directed at him because of Florentino. Higuaín was sold because there was no love. Özil was sold to help balance the books but on Saturday night fans desperately wanted them back. The sale of the German has enraged many Madrid fans. When Bale was presented to fans, they begged for the midfielder to be kept too. A few hours later he was an Arsenal player and some fans have been furious ever since.
On Monday there was a meeting between all the players. One thing that was brought up was the constant leaking of stories to the press. Ironic then that we all know what was spoken about then. On the programme Tiki Taka on Monday night, Madridistas were already calling for the heads of Carlo and Zidane. Before they always had Atlético as a fail safe because no matter how bad things were, at the Calderon they were worse but these days Atleti are flying. Real Madrid aren’t in crisis but people who were once exempt from blame, are suddenly having themselves questioned. Not a crisis but still an uncomfortable situation at the Bernabeu.
Around the Ground
One game at a time for Simeone. He raced down the Bernabeu tunnel but his smile said it all after the game. Atleti with their feet on the ground but a huge win.
Messi is out for a few weeks but Barca still win.
Rayo have major issues and they only have themselves to blame.
Those darn refs again!!!!