Monday, 18 October 2010
Real Madrid must capitalise
Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid team are top of La Liga and pose a real threat to Barcelona’s recent dominance. His team are still taking shape but are beginning to offer the threat Mourinho had predicted a few weeks ago. Whilst Cristiano Ronaldo spent the first few weeks shooting on sight and missing he remained patient and finally the goals have started to come.
The summer was spent adding to the midfield (bringing in Di Maria, Khedira and Ozil) and strengthening the defence by bringing in Carvalho. This has given Madrid the base for their lethal attacking players Higuain and Ronaldo who scored a brace each in Saturday’s victory over Malaga. Last season both Barcelona and Madrid broke records for their total points score at the end of the season and this season will be as close. The weekend also saw Xavi pick up another injury which may keep him sidelined for a while; he is instrumental in everything Barca do well and Guardiola is only too well aware of how crucial he will be in the coming months.
Whether Mourinho can replicate this form in the Champions League remains to be seen; the double header against Milan should give us an indication. They have not reached the quarter finals for the last 6 years and this will be one of Mourinho’s key objectives this season. Few however would doubt his ability to put Real Madrid back among Europe’s elite where they belong.