A month into the 2009-10 campaign, Europe’s most anticipated team is fulfilling exactly what it promised: winning games and tallying boatloads of goals.
We’re talking about Real Madrid, of course. Four games into their season, this summer’s big-spenders are undefeated, averaging an absurd four goals per game. Impressive.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Spanish giants have been scoring like bros at a frat party, while featuring a squad that quite honestly may rival FIFA 2009’s World XI. But reading score lines does not equate to watching play—And that is where Madrid’s scoreboard dominance becomes deceiving.
In observing the inaugural month of Los Galacticos II, what cannot be looked past is that the Real Madrid squad do not look fluid. Their play is tainted by static motion and a lack of structure, and most notably does in fact resemble that of a World XI—no chemistry. Nor have Madrid established a consistent line-up. Depth is crucial, but rotations can be disruptive and must not be overused.
These struggles are largely attributed to the arrival of new personnel at the Bernabéu this year. Newcomers Kaka and Karim Benzema are finding only limited involvement on the field and have been disappearing for long stretches of play. (Christiano Ronaldo, however, is thriving, but he is an alien, i.e. his chest is made of body armor.)
Madrid’s new look, though, has taken its toll on the entire squad, and right now it seems as if everyone is in transition mode. The club has promised to build their renovation around their prized imports—and rightly so—but Bernabéu regulars are now finding difficulty in adjusting to their new roles within the team. Featuring a creative, free-roaming attack, Manuel Pelegrini needs his squad to be structurally strong behind the ball—defensive roles Gago and Lass Diarra are struggling to stick with. Club captain Raul also seems lost amongst his offensive unit, straying from his traditional role up top to foreign parts of the pitch.
Okay, so already Los Galacticos is a repeat failure, right? Not quite. In fact, things couldn’t look better for Real Madrid.
Building a team is no easy task. It takes time. But the fact that the new-look Madrid are thrashing opponents right off the bat with no team chemistry is unbelievable. It’s scary to think what they could achieve once they establish some familiarity on the pitch.
It’s true, yes, Real Madrid have not been tested by the strongest of opposition, but there is this sense of power, this sense of the will-to-dominate when their army takes action on the field. Quite honestly, this army looks poised to handle anything that comes its way.
Good teams win games—no matter how the task is done. The best teams, though, win with a process, a script currently being written in Madrid. Real Madrid have their pieces. I can’t wait to see what the puzzle looks like.