We all become curious when someone states their thoughts about our beloved clubs – whether they love, hate, or admire our favorite clubs and the different things about them. So, in this special article, I welcome a special guest, Anustup Sikdar, a colleague, a great friend and also a die-hard Barcelona fan, to learn his views on different aspects of Real Madrid. So here we go, without delaying, let’s see what Anustup has to say about Real Madrid and their upcoming 2010-2011 season.
Welcome Anustup. And thanks for coming.
Q1. First of all, where do you think Real Madrid slipped up last season to finish empty handed?
Anustup: The two most important players of RM didn’t play continuously – Ronaldo and Kaka. Undoubtedly these two guys can change the course of any game on their own. Ronaldo did that. Won Real Madrid a lot of matches, but unfortunately he wasn’t available throughout the season due to suspensions and injuries. And Kaka too wasn’t fully fit. Moreover, the team was fresh. Lots of new guys. They didn’t gel properly and in addition to that ,they had a new manager too (who in my opinion did extremely well). When the whole setup is new, you need some luck too. Los Blancos were devoid of that luck (untimely injuries and suspensions). Hope they do well this time around.
Q2. That’s nice to hear from a Barcelona fan. So far, five new players have made their way to the Bernabeu. So let us know about your thoughts about Real Madrid’s transfers so far. Have they bought the right players at the right prices?
Anustup: Real’s transfers have been pragmatic this year. All of them really make sense. Sami Khedira, one of the best players of the recently concluded World Cup. Although Canales had been signed earlier, but I feel, he’s a star in the making. Angel Di Maria has been a fabulous player for Benfica. Despite having a relatively quiet World Cup, he is nonetheless one of the hottest talents in current world football. If properly groomed, he can be a fabulous investment. Pedro Leon has been a consistent performer at Getafe. His presence in the Real side says that this team and their manager aren’t after superstars. They are buying the right players and most imporatntly, at the right prices. The best signing in my opinion is Ricardo Carvalho, an intimidating figure in defence, who can unsettle many top strikers.
Q3. Real have assembled an expensive squad, albeit one which has a lot of quality. Do you think there’s need for more ammunition to the current squad? If so, who do you think might fit in?
Anustup: The present Real Madrid squad is almost complete. Attack is not really a concern. The only weak link in Real’s fortress is their left side. Marcelo is a decent fullback when it comes to attacking. His defensive ability is a concern. In my opinion a quality left back is what Real needs at this moment.
Q4. Do you think Di Maria or Sami Khedira or Canales or Pedro Leon can make their mark in their first seasons at the Bernabeu?
Anustup: Of the four mentioned, except Sami Khedira, I don’t think the others will get to start regularly until and unless they play exceptionally well whenever given a chance. But I am sure these players are here to stay. Maybe this is the beginning of a new Real Madrid era.
Q5. Last year, we all saw that Real were lacking a proper left sided winger. They’ve got Di Maria now, someone who can fill that gap. So what do you think will be the formation Jose Mourinho will use?
Anustup: Like I said earlier, attack has never been Real’s concern. They scored 102 goals last season which is more than the number of goals scored by FC Barcelona, the champions. Yes, addition of Angel Di Maria will definitely give them more alternatives, but can you really think of scoring more than 102 goals in one season? Mourinho as always will bolster the defence. A good attack helps you to win. A good defence prevents your loss. Jose is expected to do that. Signing Ricardo Carvalho bears clear indication that Jose Mourinho is all set to strengthen Real’s backline.
Q6. What is the factor that scares you the most about Real Madrid this season?
Anustup: (Smiles and winks) This is a tricky question. With all due respect, Real Madrid doesn’t scare us. Real Madrid is definitely a special team, but they have their weak areas too, like every team on this planet. We’ll play our best and try and win every game.
Q7. Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Ramos, Kaka, Xabi Alonso. There’s a plethora of Galacticos in the White House. But, who do you think might steal that player of the season title for Real this term?
Anustup: Iker has always been a very consistent servant. Apart from that Higuain should be at his best. Ronaldo should be able to provide the final punch. Other than these guys, I’d keenly watch Alonso, Khedira, Garay (whenever he gets a chance) & Carvalho.
Q8. Castilla has always been a great academy developing great young talents except that no one has been able to break into the first team off late. If there’s one Castilla player who can make it to the first team this season, who do you think it can be?
Anustup: Castilla has quite a few exceptional talents. I’d love to see Pablo Sarabia, Alex & Juan Fran in the near future. To the best of my knowledge, only one player from the youth academy is with the senior team this year, and that is goalkeeper Antonio Adan. I would like to see more players from Castilla promoted to the first team.
Q9. Real Madrid had an impressive pre-season. Did you follow Real Madrid’s pre-season games? What are your opinions on that?
Anustup: Unfortunately, I haven’t followed Real Madrid’s pre-season games.
Q10. Finally, what trophies does Real Madrid have a realistic chance of winning this season in your opinion?
Anustup: La Liga and Copa Del Rey. I feel Real Madrid needs at least one year under The Special One to conquer Europe. But again, football is such a game that anything can happen. Who knows, Mourinho might just win the treble in his first year at the Spanish capital !
Well, that’s all I have in store to ask you Anustup. I had a great time getting to know a Barcelona fan’s personal view on Real’s upcoming season. Thanks Anustup and all the very best for Barcelona’s upcoming season!
So there we go folks, Anustup on Real Madrid and their upcoming season. We can definitely agree on most of his views.
But, what do you think about Real’s transfer strategy and preview of the season? Can they conquer it all, or are we going to see the Special One failing to win trophies for the first time ever in his career? Do let us know your views in our comments section.