[The post is inspired by a conversation between Madridista and Nadeen Alkhatrash on Twitter]

We have an image of having truckloads of money and using it to buy players for extraordinary amounts and we proved that true by buying Cristiano Ronaldo for £80 million. We are also criticised for not giving the managers enough time to settle and get the house in order with the pressure being immense from fans and more importantly from the men wearing the suit and taking decisions at the club. This is also true because we have the tenth manager in seven years in the form of “special one” Jose Mourinho.

While all these negatives and criticism do exist for each and every club (including Barcelona) but has our image deterioated beyond repair now? And more so, has it gone even more downhill this year than it has in the past?

HOW HAS IT BEEN HURT?

Early on in the season, Jose Mourinho and Sporting Gijon’s manager – Manolo Preciado had a spat which turned ugly as Spanish authorities and then were charged to have escelated things to such a level that it risked creating a hostile environment when the two sides met in November. Mourinho had accused Preciado’s side of not trying hard enough to beat Barcelona and giving them easy passage. Exchange of comments between the two managers really sounded petty at times and there were news reports of even more tension off the pitch when Real won at Molinon.

During that time he was also banned from being near the technical area after he was sent off to the stands in November again during Copa Del Rey win over Real Murcia.

Mourinho has been overly critical of referees as well. There have been instances where he’s laughed at the referees during the game, questioned them and their decisions in post game interviews and even gone to an extent of making a whole list of their errors.

Recently, Spanish football federation carried the news bit where the referee of Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid was announced on their website by saying “Turienzo Alvarez will take charge under the gaze of Mourinho, who believes he has been wronged by referees in the latest league match days.” . This direct example and mention of our manager showed the dislike that exists at the top level of Spanish FA. Real Madrid PR people didn’t take much time in issuing an official announcement on the website by condemning the actions of the league officials.

It’s not that only Mourinho is to blame for getting all the negative comments and criticism this year. It is also the directors and officials namely Perez and Valdano who have been full of ego about how the club should function and maybe detracted from their reason to bring Mourinho in the first place. Both men have been adamant to get their way out of situations even if it means the managers decision and ideas are ignored. Higuain who had picked up the herniated disk injury in November could have received surgery then and been back by now to play a crucial role in our efforts to win trophies. But Valdano wanted him to get the slow recovery which in the end didn’t help as Higuain is out for a considerable period of time.

Even on the transfers front, the clashes between Mourinho and Perez/Valdano exist with the latter asking for Benzema and Canteranos being given the chance while Mourinho is pressing for a number 9 to be signed in the January transfer window. The clash of ego being a huge issue here.

WHAT CAN CHANGE THIS ALL?

A title can! We haven’t won the league since 2007, progressed past the group stages of UEFA Champions League since 2003-04 season so any title right now would be welcome. The triumph of victory which is synonymous with what this club represents is the right way to bring things to where they should be. But things will not be easy. We have Lyon to come up in February for first knockout round and draw against Almeria may have hurt our hopes for La Liga .

All the negative bits that have revolved around us from all parts can be averted if we win a trophy (or so I think it can be averted!).

What matters more? The image of the club or the title it collects? Let’s put it to a poll and see what you all think.


Note: I am not targeting Jose Mourinho or Jorge Valdano or Florentino Perez in this post. My interest is the club and not the individuals.

Bonus reads : How Mourinho’s love affair with Real Madrid is heading for a nasty break up (Daily Mail)
The sage of Real Madrid (Jorge Valdano) (FT)