[Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

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What is your take on Madrid's underwhelming transfer activities?

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by McLewis on Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:37 pm

Agreed RG. A great discussion indeed. I like the concept of a serious tag.

@Futbol_bill - I'm not going to derail this thread going back and forth with you. PM me if you have more to say.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by Freeza on Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:43 pm

Considering the whole opening post of the thread was loaded and biased and didn’t really want to offer a discussion I’m surprised it got this serious tag.

Luckily the other posters here can make good points and enhance the discussion that was needed.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:05 pm

@McLewis wrote:Reminder guys (looking at you @Futbol_Bill).....this is a serious thread so no trolling.

On topic - Madrid are entering a major transitional phase. I see nothing particularly special, strange or concerning about that. Every club enters one, especially after an era of such unprecedented success experienced under Zidane and with CR in their team.

When Totti retired, there was genuine uncertainty as to what and how we'd do without him. Despite his legendary and iconic status, we did just fine and made history in the CL. CR is arguably the greatest player to ever play for Madrid at this point, but he is still just 1 player and no player can be bigger than the club just as no coach is bigger than the club. Madrid are something Roma clearly aren't: Elite. Clubs at this level are far more used to these transitional phases than others.

I can't really say how I would view this if I was a Madrid fan as I have never supported an elite club before. These fans are used to winning anything and everything every season. I'm used to to merely Roma winning matches it's not expected to win. The expectations are far too different for answer to be accurate here. I do think those expectations need to be reset though with Lopetegui coming in. Honeymoon periods do not last long at teams like Madrid, but he should get one nonetheless.

Overall, I think Madrid will be fine, just as they've always been over the last 60 years or so.

Great input, but I disagree with you.

One of the reasons we were successful (or at least consistent) over the past 8 years is the fact that we went after great established players.

That policy has completely changed recently for reasons that are still unknown to me, and I think it's going to be pretty much downhill from here, unless we go back to it.

It's great to spend sensibly when you have a complete elite squad. But when you're lacking in certain areas, there's no need to shy away from getting out your checkbook and bringing adequate reinforcements.

Of course this is just my opinion. I truly believe Florentino is digging Madrid's grave with this approach. But we'll see at the end of the season whether or not I was right. I hope I'm wrong though.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by McLewis on Thu Aug 16, 2018 6:11 am

@The Demon of Carthage wrote:
@McLewis wrote:Reminder guys (looking at you @Futbol_Bill).....this is a serious thread so no trolling.

On topic - Madrid are entering a major transitional phase. I see nothing particularly special, strange or concerning about that. Every club enters one, especially after an era of such unprecedented success experienced under Zidane and with CR in their team.

When Totti retired, there was genuine uncertainty as to what and how we'd do without him. Despite his legendary and iconic status, we did just fine and made history in the CL. CR is arguably the greatest player to ever play for Madrid at this point, but he is still just 1 player and no player can be bigger than the club just as no coach is bigger than the club. Madrid are something Roma clearly aren't: Elite. Clubs at this level are far more used to these transitional phases than others.

I can't really say how I would view this if I was a Madrid fan as I have never supported an elite club before. These fans are used to winning anything and everything every season. I'm used to to merely Roma winning matches it's not expected to win. The expectations are far too different for answer to be accurate here. I do think those expectations need to be reset though with Lopetegui coming in. Honeymoon periods do not last long at teams like Madrid, but he should get one nonetheless.

Overall, I think Madrid will be fine, just as they've always been over the last 60 years or so.

Great input, but I disagree with you.

One of the reasons we were successful (or at least consistent) over the past 8 years is the fact that we went after great established players.

That policy has completely changed recently for reasons that are still unknown to me, and I think it's going to be pretty much downhill from here, unless we go back to it.

It's great to spend sensibly when you have a complete elite squad. But when you're lacking in certain areas, there's no need to shy away from getting out your checkbook and bringing adequate reinforcements.

Of course this is just my opinion. I truly believe Florentino is digging Madrid's grave with this approach. But we'll see at the end of the season whether or not I was right. I hope I'm wrong though.


Only time will tell unfortunately. It's a boring answer, of course, but I think it's accurate.

With the way player prices are being inflated upwards year over year, it's unsustainable to throw hundreds of millions at singular players continually. That model is unstable even for a club like Madrid. Prudence is not at all exciting, but it's very sensible.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by Nivash on Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:14 pm

This hullabaloo is entirely predicated on a player and manager leaving, which is to imply that the squad is terrible beyond those two. Sure, the goals need to replaced, but they don't need to be replaced by a single player. I think that it is a settled point that we all want the team to generally be able to contribute as a unit rather than being completely reliant on a single point of focus. In large parts, that appears to be addressed in appointing someone like Lopetegui.

Sure, in years gone by, we've spent big, but our last splurge only saw fruit 4 years later, so it's not like our history of spending was a guarantee of success. It's a combination of the right players, the right coach, and all parties getting to know each other to establish team chemistry.

Of our big spending, the core of the team are those players that have been here for years and gotten to know each other. None of the expensive players came in and immediately had an impact that bore any measurable success.  The whole point of investing in youth over the years has been to create a conveyor belt of talent so that players are ready to step up when those in front of them leave. Now we should just abandon that and buy players about to exit their peaks? The only glaring hole we have is up front, but to that point, there are no feasible additions to be made. Of the options, the principal candidates are:

Cavani (old, likely expensive, and likely also not properly available)
Lewandowski (old, expensive, and possibly unavailable)
Icardi (expensive and, by general accounts, unimpressive (I haven't watched him so can only go on comments I've seen))
Kane (unreasonably expensive and, likely, unavailable)
Neymar (unavailable)
Mbappe (unavailable)
Rodrigo (we're linked to him, but also, likely unavailable unless we pay the buyout which is way more than he's worth)
Mariano (a stop-gap gamble at best, nothing more than a backup at this level, and given that there is no buyout, likely unreasonably expensive considering he'd be offloaded in the short term again anyway)
Martial (the only reasonable gamble worth taking, but his price and likely unavailability don't make sense)
Hazard (unreasonably expensive, and doesn't address the goals issue in any event, also would make adding Mbappe/Neymar next year (on the assumption that one or both might become available) a bit more of a challenge (spending this much money now to effectively make him redundant next year) unless we offload Bale)
Salah (unavailable, expensive, and still needs to prove that he can perform outside of a Klopp system (the history of players under Klopp's system says that players generally can't replicate the same elsewhere)

Thereafter, you're just left with expensive gambles, in which case, why not gamble on the prospects we already have instead of dropping many millions on players that don't justify it.

Noone is trying to say that the likes of Mayoral and De Thomas are players we should be relying on. Arguably, Bale and Benzema should also be/have been replaced, but that hasn't been the case, whether for lack of interested buyers, or because the club is putting some faith in elite reputation players, so it's something we just have to live with (also, they're not exactly terrible in the general scheme of available players, irrespective of my personal opinions on them). However, in the market, there is nothing to be done, whether we throw 100m or 300m, it's not going to make a difference.

Before calling the current administration incompetent and accusing it of undermining the club, suggest what you see as an alternative that they could be doing. If it's going to be spending Ferrari money on a Toyota, or even an Audi, we're just going to have to agree to disagree.


Last edited by Nivash on Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added Salah)

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by Mr Nick09 on Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:25 pm

@The Demon of Carthage wrote:
Great input, but I disagree with you.

One of the reasons we were successful (or at least consistent) over the past 8 years is the fact that we went after great established players.

That policy has completely changed recently for reasons that are still unknown to me, and I think it's going to be pretty much downhill from here, unless we go back to it.

It's great to spend sensibly when you have a complete elite squad. But when you're lacking in certain areas, there's no need to shy away from getting out your checkbook and bringing adequate reinforcements.

Of course this is just my opinion. I truly believe Florentino is digging Madrid's grave with this approach. But we'll see at the end of the season whether or not I was right. I hope I'm wrong though.
The policy changed because it's not sustainable to sign stars every summers, and we started winning. We spent a lot and the result of that was winning 3 CLs, which is about as high as you can go. That's a benchmark.

Of course when you are winning your spending behavior is going to change, specially when you have a core group of players set in stone.

Remember we agreed a deal with Mbappe and then he was concerned about not playing enough because of BBC, so he preferred PSG when they guaranteed he will start? that's the type of problem we ran into.

James came to madrid and ended up on the bench, which superstar signing would have wanted that? Morata came back and wanted to leave right away because he could not play. So when you go meet a confirmed player as you call them, with their agents, and they see Kroos-Casemiro-Mdric in midfield, CL winners.. they ask you where do i play? how do you answer.

Turning to young players in this context was a solution because they have time and they can be patient. And even then it's not a perfect solution because look at Lautaro Martinez for example, we tried to sign him too, and he chose Inter because he knew he would play more.

This is a problem born from our success and the elite XI we have built over the past 5 years. And it's fine, our core group delivered way more than we could have expected

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:39 pm

@Mr Nick09 wrote:The policy changed because it's not sustainable to sign stars every summers, and we started winning.
I never said we should sign stars every summer. But you need to make sure to keep the overall quality intact, something that Madrid is failing miserably at now.

We spent a lot and the result of that was winning 3 CLs, which is about as high as you can go. That's a benchmark.
But what about now? Should we take a break from winning? Barcelona certainly hasn't, and they have been winning major titles almost every season since 2009. On the contrary, they're now spending more than ever before, because they understood that the model Madrid had followed 4 seasons ago (WC starting eleven and a strong bench) is the best approach to guarantee silverware and long-term stability and sustainability.

Of course when you are winning your spending behavior is going to change, specially when you have a core group of players set in stone.
I agree that you shouldn't make unnecessary buys when your team is complete and there's no need for it. But when you lose you best player and sell or loan a bench player every summer, it would be wise to replace them because otherwise you'll end up with an ageing squad and an average bench.

Remember we agreed a deal with Mbappe and then he was concerned about not playing enough because of BBC, so he preferred PSG when they guaranteed he will start? that's the type of problem we ran into.
A smart president should always plan ahead and not let a jewel like Mbappé slip through his fingers. He, of all people, should've known that Ronaldo was unhappy and would inevitably ask to be sold. Mbappé would've been an undisputed starter now with Ronaldo gone.

James came to madrid and ended up on the bench, which superstar signing would have wanted that? Morata came back and wanted to leave right away because he could not play. So when you go meet a confirmed player as you call them, with their agents, and they see Kroos-Casemiro-Mdric in midfield, CL winners.. they ask you where do i play? how do you answer.
Morata left because Zidane kept playing Benzema instead of him even though he was outscoring the Frenchman. Under a different, fairer and better management, he would've stayed. Zidane could've played him enough to keep him satisfied, but the poor guy was completely cut off from the outside world. Same for Kovacic and James. They're not stupid, they know they're not good enough to start over Modric and Kroos. They were simply asking for enough playing time to feel relevant.

But even if we were to assume that their fate was inevitable, you don't replace them with unproven players. Make sure to sign equally talented replacements and not lose the bench that won you so many games.

Turning to young players in this context was a solution because they have time and they can be patient. And even then it's not a perfect solution because look at Lautaro Martinez for example, we tried to sign him too, and he chose Inter because he knew he would play more.
It's not the solution for a team that seeks immediate success. Always keep in mind that your direct rival is relentless and, as opposed to us, they still have their best player. They win major trophies every year. We simply cannot take a break, we have to keep the squad as competitive as humanly possible to stand a chance. Right now, we aren't.

This is a problem born from our success and the elite XI we have built over the past 5 years. And it's fine, our core group delivered way more than we could have expected

I'm sorry Nick, but I can't stop asking for more. You can call me spoiled, you can call whatever you would like, but I like winning more than anything and there's no such thing as "enough trophies" for me.

Florentino raised the bar so high and I can't thank him enough for that. I respect everything he has done for Madrid, and god knows, how difficult it has been for him. That's why I won't stay quiet when I see him doing something I believe it's wrong.

The way he has been handling business the past two years is very questionable, and could've gone better. Way better.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by Mamad on Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:48 pm

So far we good :coffee:

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:51 pm

I'll tell you what, if they keep playing like this, I'll close this thread myself. And I'll also apologize for creating it.

I want to be proven wrong for the sake of Madrid, but remember it's still too early to go to conclusions.

I predicted in the OP a strong league run, and early CL exit and either a trophyless season or a CDR win. If our guys win a major trophy, this thread will be closed.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by Mamad on Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:55 pm

We win Liga and I'm happy. and that needs consistency, selflessness and team work in all games.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by Myesyats on Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:53 pm

You played Girona and Getafe so far, what are you talking about guys. I'm suprised you didn't beat the latter team 8-0 since they always bend over for you.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by Mamad on Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:57 pm

You played Girona and Getafe so far, what are you talking about guys

Guess what, we lost many points against this kind of teams last season.

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by futbol_bill on Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:03 pm

@Nivash wrote:This hullabaloo is entirely predicated on a player and manager leaving, which is to imply that the squad is terrible beyond those two. Sure, the goals need to replaced, but they don't need to be replaced by a single player. I think that it is a settled point that we all want the team to generally be able to contribute as a unit rather than being completely reliant on a single point of focus. In large parts, that appears to be addressed in appointing someone like Lopetegui.

Sure, in years gone by, we've spent big, but our last splurge only saw fruit 4 years later, so it's not like our history of spending was a guarantee of success. It's a combination of the right players, the right coach, and all parties getting to know each other to establish team chemistry.

Of our big spending, the core of the team are those players that have been here for years and gotten to know each other. None of the expensive players came in and immediately had an impact that bore any measurable success.  The whole point of investing in youth over the years has been to create a conveyor belt of talent so that players are ready to step up when those in front of them leave. Now we should just abandon that and buy players about to exit their peaks? The only glaring hole we have is up front, but to that point, there are no feasible additions to be made. Of the options, the principal candidates are:

Cavani (old, likely expensive, and likely also not properly available)
Lewandowski (old, expensive, and possibly unavailable)
Icardi (expensive and, by general accounts, unimpressive (I haven't watched him so can only go on comments I've seen))
Kane (unreasonably expensive and, likely, unavailable)
Neymar (unavailable)
Mbappe (unavailable)
Rodrigo (we're linked to him, but also, likely unavailable unless we pay the buyout which is way more than he's worth)
Mariano (a stop-gap gamble at best, nothing more than a backup at this level, and given that there is no buyout, likely unreasonably expensive considering he'd be offloaded in the short term again anyway)
Martial (the only reasonable gamble worth taking, but his price and likely unavailability don't make sense)
Hazard (unreasonably expensive, and doesn't address the goals issue in any event, also would make adding Mbappe/Neymar next year (on the assumption that one or both might become available) a bit more of a challenge (spending this much money now to effectively make him redundant next year) unless we offload Bale)
Salah (unavailable, expensive, and still needs to prove that he can perform outside of a Klopp system (the history of players under Klopp's system says that players generally can't replicate the same elsewhere)

Thereafter, you're just left with expensive gambles, in which case, why not gamble on the prospects we already have instead of dropping many millions on players that don't justify it.

Noone is trying to say that the likes of Mayoral and De Thomas are players we should be relying on. Arguably, Bale and Benzema should also be/have been replaced, but that hasn't been the case, whether for lack of interested buyers, or because the club is putting some faith in elite reputation players, so it's something we just have to live with (also, they're not exactly terrible in the general scheme of available players, irrespective of my personal opinions on them). However, in the market, there is nothing to be done, whether we throw 100m or 300m, it's not going to make a difference.

Before calling the current administration incompetent and accusing it of undermining the club, suggest what you see as an alternative that they could be doing. If it's going to be spending Ferrari money on a Toyota, or even an Audi, we're just going to have to agree to disagree.


What a great post! I just saw it now as I had been warned by McLewis that I wasn’t taking this thread as serious ( it’s marked as such) because I took a shot at Sports!

I couldn’t agree more and just look at last post of DoC to see whether or not initial intent of this thread should be considered serious or not!
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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:06 pm

What do you mean, Bill. When did I ever give the impression that I wasn't serious? And what's wrong with my last post?

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by The Demon of Carthage on Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:53 pm

First real test, we get our asses handed to us.

Renovate the stadium and neglect the squad. Perez you beauty Proud

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

Post by Hapless_Hans on Wed Sep 26, 2018 9:58 pm

A football stadium is a pretty important thing for a football club tbf

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Re: [Serious] GL's Roundtable - The Real Madrid Edition

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