Everyone knows the score. We know who the trophy-holders are. We know that the possibility we will win any other trophy but this one are low. Time to gird up some loins, methinks!!
These two teams had very different weekends since playing last Wednesday. Sevilla came back down 2-0 to tie 3-3 with 10 men. Real Madrid lost 1-0 away at Osasuna, leading many to proclaim La Liga lost to Barcelona and asking for a focus on the other trophies that Real can still possibly win. So, obviously, for both clubs this is the best chance at silverware for the 2010-11 mantle.
Interesting things have happened as a result of the weekend’s matches, too. The Madrid press, being the consummate professionals that they are, gently suggested the idea that perhaps Mourinho doesn’t rotate players enough. Just to throw a couple numbers your way, these are the number of La Liga games that Real Madrid players have started:
Iker 21/21, Ronaldo 21/21, Di Maria 20/21, Marcelo 19/21, Ozil 19/21, Carvalho 18/21, Alonso 18/21, Ramos 17/21.
For comparison, these are the eight highest starter/games played ratios on our team:
Palop 17/21, Navarro 17/21, Alexis 16/21, Perotti 15/21, Caceres 14/21, Zokora 13/21, Kanoute 13/21, Escude 13/21.
Just as gently as Mourinho was urged to rotate his players more (he doesn’t, and should), so too came Mourinho’s righteous reply, “It’s been a while since Real were in this many competitions at once.” As if to say, “You forget that players can get tired when you’re fighting for so many trophies. I cannot be blamed for trying to win them all by playing all the best players ALL THE TIME!” Um, yes. You can. Clearly, Mourinho knows that his best chance at winning trophies this year does not come with Ronaldo, Alonso and Di Maria on the bench, but when Alonso starts getting hurt and you bring him in to play on the weekend before this match when he has the flu, you aren’t showing a lot of confidence in other players (AHEM! Pedro Leon AHEM! Canales). Watching Alonso come off the bench this weekend was quite a shock. It seems that Mou has only a plan A, and using other players in the starting lineup is only a chance for the match to get exciting before he subs his big guns right back in. The Lass/Khedira midfield didn’t work this weekend, so on came Alosno and Kaka.
Enough about those idiots. We need a win, bottom line. If we score one more goal than they do tomorrow, we either win or force extra time. Let’s show them who the champions are!! (we are)