The 2010/11 season for Real Madrid begins today when they face Real Mallorca at Estadio Son Moix. It has been an eventful summer for Real Madrid and its fans (just like each summer is with the transfer speculation!) . Without further ado let’s glance over what has happened for us over the summer.
New Manager – Jose Mourinho
We have a new manager in Jose Mourinho who is easily one of the smartest managers around, a major tactician, knows what he’s doing and has the ability to get the best out of his team. We saw that with Porto, then Chelsea and then Inter Milan who won three trophies last season including the Champions League. He replaces Manuel Pellegrini who despite doing a stupendous job in the domestic league couldn’t take us past the last 16 in Europe and we bowed out of the Copa Del Rey in embarrassing fashion by losing to a second division side in Alcorcon.
The rumours and sounds of the Portuguese becoming our new manager were loud for a very long time at the end of the previous campaign and it was formally announced on 28th May and he put pen to paper on 31st May.
He has instilled a lot of faith in us Madridistas and also in the squad. His tactical ability would do us a world of good.
Unlike last summer where we splashed out cash left and right, this summer has been smarter in terms of choice of personnel. The players who have been signed are all experienced and we haven’t gone overboard with the spending on them either.
Players signed : Sergio Canales (forward/attacking midfielder) from Racing Santander for 5 million Euros ; Angel di Maria (forward) from Benfica for 25 million Euros ; Pedro Leon (midfielder) from Getafe for 10 million Euros ; Sami Khedira (holding midfielder) from Sttutgart for 12 million Euros ; Ricardo Carvalho (defender) from Chelsea for 8 million Euros and Mesuti Ozil (attacking/creative midfielder) from Werder Bremen for 15 million Euros.
Just like each summer we were linked to many many players around the world but looks like the control of deciding which player would be brought into the squad and which player won’t was in the hands of Mourinho. There were a lot of rumours in the beginning about Steven Gerrard coming to Real Madrid but in the end it all turned out to be a hoax and a bunch of frenzied rumours. Further there were strong reports of Mourinho linking up with his Inter squad member – Maicon, but talks stalled over the possible valuation of the player. Next rumour was of Ashley Cole (another former Mourinho player at Chelsea) but those reports were again rubbished.
With 6 players coming in, we also bid farewell to our captain – Raul and Guti who both have served the club for more than a decade from their early years in the youth academy to the first team and have won many trophies with the club. They have been extremely pivotal to the club both on the pitch and off of it. They have been with the club through thick and thin and haven’t ever complained with the lack of first team action.
We also had two youngsters – Marcos Alonso and Rodrigo Moreno go elsewhere possibly due to lack of first team action.
I would again expect La Liga to be down to Barcelona and us but this time around the teams would be harder to break down as compared to last season. We have many interesting and exciting players in our squad who can make an impact on a game.
The biggest challenge for Mourinho would be to bring together the squad to be motivated and to gel as a whole, as a team. There are way too many midfielders and making them click would most certainly be a mammoth task.
Mourinho knows how to handle Barcelona as he has shown in the past would make the El Clasico an even interesting prospect than it usually is.
It’s time for us to win the title.