Showing posts with label Atlético. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atlético. Show all posts

19 April 2018

Atlético, Atleti, away!

Well, well, well. It appears as if the indomitable, invincible, insurmountable Atlético Madrid are not quite as in-_______ as reports would have you believe. Visiting Real Sociedad on Thursday, they suffered their heaviest defeat of the season, a 3-0 undressing that suggests, if nothing else, that our Europa League semifinal rivals are beatable. If we can do to them in this first leg what Real Sociedad has just done, maybe—just maybe—we can withstand whatever onslaught they'll mount in the second. There is no hubris here, no false optimism, only rational realism. Even as our own league form has dipped, we have to remind ourselves that we are marshaling resources (putting all of our eggs in one basket) and focusing on winning the Europa League. Real Sociedad has offered us an invitation, a dare, if you will, to at least get to the final.

14 October 2014

Thierry Henry, Mesut Özil, and the "La Liga" effect

The interlull is very nearly gone, and with it, any fears of fresh injuries to our precious, precious players. Germany face Ireland on Tuesday, but Özil came into the lull pre-injured as it were, and Per has retired from international duty. Oh, and Podolski. Well, maybe he'll get some time on the pitch. Poland face Scotland, but there's a bigger risk of Szcz seeing red than being felled, to be honest. From that, it seems like smooth sailing—almost too smooth if rumours around Welbeck not being injured, Giroud returning to fitness earlier than expected, and Walcott and Gnabry training with the first team are to be believed. Still, despite the bounty of good news, lingering in the back of my mind is Özil's apparent diffidence and ineffectual performance up until the interlull arrived. Set aside the 4-1-4-1, 'why's he playing wide?' whingeing. Don't blame Wenger or Özil; blame La Liga.

19 June 2014

Guess we should cross Casillas off the wish-list...

What is happening to Iker Casillas? A year ago, I might have merely chalked up the situation to him being Mourinhoed—that special process through which an otherwise stellar player runs afoul of the Specious One's whims and is all but put in the stocks for public humiliation and ridicule. More recently, though, it's been hard to watch Casillas without worrying that his best days have already slipped away from him [edit: insert simile here to equate one's best days slipping away with a ball dribbling through keeper's fingers]. His last few performances have seen him deliver some howlingly bad moments, enough of them to make me worry that, as we seek a back-up who can challenge and/or mentor Szczęsny, we might do better than the 33-year old Spaniard. That hurts to say, because I genuinely do admire Casillas.