The 4-0 nil defeat by Alcoron was bad. Indeed, what a result. This was certainly no rookie Madrid side. The likes of Raul, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso were ably and adroitly outperformed in a sensational David vs. Goliath contest.
The freak nature of the result may have been shocking, but for those of us who have taken a keen interest in big-spending Madrid’s season the result isn’t confounding.
Indeed, the loss at Alcoron was preceded by defeats by Sevilla and AC Milan as well as a draw against Asturias side Sporting Gijon. Put all these results together and it is clear for all to see that patience with Pelligrini will be running out quickly, but why should he take the blame for the systematic problems that never seemed to be cured.
The opportunity to take the job at Real came out of the blue for the Chilean. Despite protestations by the Madrid overlords that he was the man to oversee their grand project, it is clear to see that the likes of Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho were more coveted for the position.
Pelligrini, who had performed miracles in masterminding Villarreal’s seamless transition into a regular feature in the Champions League, took over at a club that is notoriously fickle in regards to its manager’s tenure. Indeed, Pelligrini traded in the safety and security which many years of success had created at Villarreal for the insecurity and culpability of the helmship of a maverick project at Madrid. A gamble that will fail if Madrid don’t achieve success against local rivals at the weekend, if rumours circling the Spanish media are to be believed.
Indeed, one of the rumours that has disgorged from Madrid is that Michael Laudrup has been told to avoid work to keep himself available as a replacement for Pelligrini. Blimey, you’ve got to feel sorry for the Madrid boss. Yes, he inherited a squad of unlimited attacking potential but also a squad riddled with untried combinations and a malignant tendency to concede poor quality goals.
Madrid spent like a man without arms over the summer, buying the best players in the world such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. However, this has been a blessing in disguise for Madrid. The overt-spending policy has been a carapace for their underlying frailty, a weak defence that has not been remedied. Indeed is has been exacerbated. And here is the crux of the Galaticos problem.
A host of big-summer signings cannot guarantee team success, Catalan rivals Barcelona have superb individuals, individuals who function together to create an all-singing all-dancing footballing machine. Yet, Madrid have only attained success this season through individual brilliance, namely through Ronaldo. And it is Ronaldo’s absence that has shown the fact that Madrid look confused and disjointed as a side.
Pelligrini is certain in my eyes to be sacked at some point, a reference not to his poor managerial skills, but to the unremedied problems that continue to undermine Madrid as a footballing side is as much a problem created by a misguided attacking ethos at the team set about Florentino Perez and his boardroom pals.