El Clasico: Asking for the impossible…

April 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Posted in La Liga | Leave a comment
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This past week has been a difficult one with many questions looming over the game that we have all circled in our calendars with such anticipation. I have been cracking my head with all those questions that I’m guessing have been running through all madridista’s heads, “Can we beat them?” As I posted a couple of days ago the Champions League match were Arsenal became the latest victim to taste the cules venom did leave me with more pessimistic thoughts than I would have wanted seeing as el clasico was only days away. Plus it was impossible to run away from the constant reminders of the new God of football (in case you haven’t heard its Messi). The press with their search for the kryptonite against the prodigious enano Messi left me even more puzzled over our chances and had me looking left and right for that kryptonite. Could it be Arbeloa or maybe Ramos? Why not send half our players to flock around him each time he dares flirt with the ball? Maybe Pellegrini can distract him on the sidelines with a stack of videogames and a happy meal? However, then you have to worry about the oxygen provider for the cules… Xavi. And that’s when I start to cry. How do you stop a man that doesn’t even need a ball to dictate the game for Barcelona. Just when you think you have him all figured out he is two or three steps ahead of you. Then you have to consider Iniesta, Alves, Keita, Ibra, Toure, Pedro… and the list goes on, which leaves one with the conundrum of where to plug the puncture before it starts overflowing to the point that it gets out of control. All of this was overwhelming and I have to say I started to feel as though this clasico might just end up being a blaugrana affair and nothing more.

However, after strolling around seeking for some enlightenment on how to avoid the Barcelona chokehold I stumbled upon a light that gave me hope. Instead of looking for answers or kryptonite I had forgotten to look at our virtues that have gotten us where we are at right now. Sure our midfield isn’t as dazzling as the one made up of Xavi and Iniesta, but that ok because their style doesn’t fit our own. Theirs is a game of possession and putting the ball to sleep with the constant passing, while we have shown many times that we can do just fine without having the round one, however, don’t make the mistake of leaving it in our hands for more certain than not that ball will end up kissing the back of the net. The scandalous number of goals this season  go to show how deadly we can really be. Xabi will be key in stringing the magic together while those in front will be the ones to put the polish on the final product. Xabi, it should be no surprise will be our life line and whatever happens during the game it will all come down to the decisions he makes on the green. No pressure!

The match at the Camp Nou demonstrated that you really don’t need a specified defensive tactic to withhold the force that is Barca, but rather play them with intelligence and orderliness and you really put them in a pickle because it is not only one team commanding the game. The first half is the perfect example in demonstrating how to go tête à tête, and had we not wasted the chances that came upon us it would have culminated as the ideal match. Unfortunately, we all know how that story ended. Nevertheless, we need to translate those first 45 minutes  to the Bernabeu to set a clamp on the title. And no this is not revenge for last season! To win is simply an obligation that comes when you play for los merengues  especially when it comes to the passionate night of el clasico. It is part of that orgullo vikingo that requires our players to be triumphant and nothing less. It is simply that.

Therefore it is important to understand that we are facing a Barcelona who is undoubtedly the best in their history and that their football is more cohesive than ours, and that definitely gives them an upper hand. Still, we must concentrate on what we do best and play our game. Hell, sometimes it is not about football or the talent, but it can all come down to the willpower of who wants it more, and I am sure our desire is stronger than theirs. And that my friends gives us the upper hand.

To conclude, after coming out of that lull of skepticism it finally dawned on me that this opportunity to bring down the smug nouveau riche from their high chair is one that could not be passed. Like I’ve said, in a sense they are stronger than us, but that does not make them unbeatable and if there is one team than can defeat them it can surely be us. They are not indestructible but rather humans with flaws that we must exploit. We have nothing to fear!
This quote I found I think best defines our situation and the mentality we must take to tame the cule beast: “Sometimes asking for the impossible is the only realistic path.”
A por ellos!

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