14 days until the first leg of supercup

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Post by Guest on Mon 1 Aug - 11:45

The last two preseason games are pretty useless (Guangzhou and Tianjin)... so we've basically played all our games against semi-decent competition already. Really can't take anything from the next two. So what are our thoughts so far?

There's a lot of continuity this year and it's showing. When we put our regulars in there together, it flows well. We didn't see it until the last game because Khedira has been mostly out and Sahin has been hurt so far... thus, in the early games, our midfield was ragged.

No need to talk about the guys we already know. But i'll give my opinion on the new guys.

Varane - What a shocking and pleasant surprise this kid has been. I truly never thought that someone who is 18 and has only been playing professional football since November of 2010 could come in and just take over. He mas dominated from the CB spot. Tactical awareness? Outstanding. Physical ability? Outstanding. Demeanor? Outstanding. Passing and ability to get the transition going? Outstanding. Only area that is not the greatest is the aerial game against physical guys. He just needs to learn the dirty tricks of the trades here and he will be fine. I have yet to see him lose a duel all preseason. He logged the most minutes by far as CB for Madrid in the preseason. I think he starts from day 1 and remains the starter for the next 8 years.

Sahin - incomplete. Hasn't played yet. Doubt we see him play in the supercup.

Callejon - Very good signing. Works very hard, is fast, has a good finishing touch and makes good runs. Very capable player. If it wasn't Madrid, i think he would be an excellent starter for most teams. But with us, he will be the first player off the bench to cover for CR7 and Di Maria. Can play both wings well, although i think he looks better on the right side. Doesn't have the talent, the speed or quite the work rate of Di Maria. But who does.

Coentrao - Very puzzling here. I called him the joker because he's a "do everything" guy so far. Mou has basically put him the midfield and told him run back and forth as fast as he can... and he's done it for every minute he's been in the game. He'll have a positive impact just due to his crazy work rate and skill. But what is his position? He hasn't played a single minute at RB. I cannot see him overtaking Marcelo, Xabi, Khedira or Di Maria. Right now, he's a very expensive super-utility player. It will be interesting to see how he's used during the season.

My expected lineup against Barca:

Casillas
Ramos-Pepe-Varane-Marcelo
Coentrao-Khedira-Xabi
Ozil-Benzema-CR7

In the second half and depending on how the game is going, you'll have Di Maria in for Ozil, Higuain for Benzema and Kaka for Coentrao if we want to go offensive. If we have the lead, we won't bring Kaka in.


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Post by guest7 on Mon 1 Aug - 11:51

Do you still expect Coentrao to play? The midfield battle is the most important one against Barca and Coentrao will only make it worse, honestly I think Pepe will play in that position.

I expect a


Arbeloa - Ramos - Varane - Marcelo
Khedira - Pepe - Xabi
Di Maria - Ronaldo - Özil

I don't expect Benz to play, although he should, becouse even Adebayor could bench him then Özil should even bench him a million times as better

Pepe is expected, I don't think we will see a midfield without him
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Post by Guest on Mon 1 Aug - 12:06

I don't think Di Maria is going to have enough gametime or practice time in to start. Ceontrao takes care of his defensive role.

What Coentrao does is allow us to play Ozil. With Khedira out and very few options in the midfield last year, we were forced to play Di Maria there. He just doesn't have enough basic passing skills to be effective there. Di Maria is great once you send him forward and basically let him do whatever crazy thing he wants to. When he needs to be smart very high in the buildup, he becomes a liability.

With Khedira, Xabi and Ozil in the game, we can play a true CF and have a chance for the guy to be effective. With Pepe and Di Maria in the mid, you have too little creative passing in the midfield and the CF gets completely isolated... that's why i see Benz playing with this lineup.

Coentrao is very important in a 4-3-3 against Barca until Sahin gets up to speed. He can be the "pepe" and "Di Maria" as he combines enough of the qualities of these guys in one player.... the pest basically. We need Pepe to stay at CB because i don't trust Carvalho and Albiolol. Pepe just kills our offense when he plays in the mid. Coentrao is a lot more dangerous and will be a threat with his speed.


Last edited by sportsczy on Mon 1 Aug - 12:07; edited 1 time in total

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Post by the xcx on Mon 1 Aug - 12:07

Dosent really matter what players are in midfield because we will lose it no matter what, but what I expect them to do is make the most of it. Keeping just posession over 35% is a good sign for us to counterattack.

Arbeloa-Ramos-Varane-Marcelo
Khedira-Pepe-Xabi
Di Maria-Higgy/Benz-CR7

Should give them a run for a money.
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Post by guest7 on Mon 1 Aug - 12:17

@sportsczy wrote:I don't think Di Maria is going to have enough gametime or practice time in to start. Ceontrao takes care of his defensive role.

What Coentrao does is allow us to play Ozil. With Khedira out and very few options in the midfield last year, we were forced to play Di Maria there. He just doesn't have enough basic passing skills to be effective there. Di Maria is great once you send him forward and basically let him do whatever crazy thing he wants to. When he needs to be smart very high in the buildup, he becomes a liability.

With Khedira, Xabi and Ozil in the game, we can play a true CF and have a chance for the guy to be effective. With Pepe and Di Maria in the mid, you have too little creative passing in the midfield and the CF gets completely isolated... that's why i see Benz playing with this lineup.

Coentrao is very important in a 4-3-3 against Barca until Sahin gets up to speed. He can be the "pepe" and "Di Maria" as he combines enough of the qualities of these guys in one player.... the pest basically. We need Pepe to stay at CB because i don't trust Carvalho and Albiolol. Pepe just kills our offense when he plays in the mid. Coentrao is a lot more dangerous and will be a threat with his speed.

Pepe somwhat kills their midfield aswell, it equalises much more than you think. What people are not understanding are how good Pepe closed out Xavi, and that itself suffocated the space Barca usually has to operate in. If anyone remembers the 5-0 Xavi was running so free he went high and after that he totally demolished us.

Coentrao serves no real role so far IMO, you can put him there but he wont do anything. Atleast that's what I've gotten from him. Too big off a gamble, and honestly if we put him there instead of Pepe it will do more bad than good.

Khedira was easily one of our best players against Barca, not becouse of his defensive qualities, but he attacked. And defended. Without getting any cards. It would be stupid to bench Khedira. Plus, he is also a workhorse.

We will do best if we played like we did last time. They are all ready, have done it before. I see only harm in using the new players overall.
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Post by Guest on Mon 1 Aug - 12:35

Using Pepe in the midfield in barca is one thing... in Madrid, we actually need to score goals. Putting pepe in the midfield pretty much kills most of our hope of scoring lol. We need to be more aggressive in Madrid.

Why do you guys think we played Pepe in midfield last year? Lass was just too reckless to be counted on, that's why. But Lass did a fine job in the return leg of the CL semis when Pepe was out. All you need is a high work rate and good ball recovery guy... someone who doesn't lunge, but uses athleticism and speed to make plays. I don't know if you watched Portugal v Argentina in Feb, but Ceontrao did a very good job on Messi. Why use Pepe in the mid when we have someone that can do the same thing + add a lot to the offense? Besides, leaving Pepe at CB strengthens our backline too.

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Post by vanDEEZ on Mon 1 Aug - 12:44

spot on sportsczy.
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Post by Guest on Mon 1 Aug - 12:45

Sigh it's on the morning after my wedding at 4am-ish here

Going to be a struggle to watch, but I will make the effort lmao

I would like to see a midfield trio of Sahin Khedira and Alonso, with Ronaldo, Di Maria and Ozil in front.

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Post by guest7 on Mon 1 Aug - 12:46

Yes, Lass worked fine becouse he offers what Khedira and Xabi doesn't and that is physical play, which Pepe also did. But we don't have Lass this time either, it won't work with just a workhorse and a good recovery, Khedira is 70% of that but he isn't as brilliant defensively as Pepe was.

If we put him in the backline the our midfield will be weaker, which will make us defend in the backline which is just worse for attacking. That will just recreate the 5-0 (how they played, not the scoreline) - a highline, Xavi bosses the midfield and Messi creates the space they need to score.
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Post by hrealmadrid on Mon 1 Aug - 12:47

@sportsczy wrote:Using Pepe in the midfield in barca is one thing... in Madrid, we actually need to score goals. Putting pepe in the midfield pretty much kills most of our hope of scoring lol. We need to be more aggressive in Madrid.

Why do you guys think we played Pepe in midfield last year? Lass was just too reckless to be counted on, that's why. But Lass did a fine job in the return leg of the CL semis when Pepe was out. All you need is a high work rate and good ball recovery guy... someone who doesn't lunge, but uses athleticism and speed to make plays. I don't know if you watched Portugal v Argentina in Feb, but Ceontrao did a very good job on Messi. Why use Pepe in the mid when we have someone that can do the same thing + add a lot to the offense? Besides, leaving Pepe at CB strengthens our backline too.

This could not be any more accurate.
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Post by Guest on Mon 1 Aug - 12:50

@Crimson wrote:Sigh it's on the morning after my wedding at 4am-ish here

Going to be a struggle to watch, but I will make the effort lmao

I would like to see a midfield trio of Sahin Khedira and Alonso, with Ronaldo, Di Maria and Ozil in front.

Crimson my man... congrats and much happiness! You'll have to let me know if anything changes. I'm 8 months out from mine.

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Post by Babun on Mon 1 Aug - 13:04

@Crimson wrote:Sigh it's on the morning after my wedding at 4am-ish here

Going to be a struggle to watch, but I will make the effort lmao

I would like to see a midfield trio of Sahin Khedira and Alonso, with Ronaldo, Di Maria and Ozil in front.
I want that midfield with Pepe and Marcelo pressing high. It would be very fun Very Happy If we get somewhat 35% possession throw Ozil in to finish them off Very Happy

@crimson,you'll get the congrats after the wedding Very Happy


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Post by Turok_TTZ on Mon 1 Aug - 13:26

Well hot damn Sport, ur nailing it.

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Post by the xcx on Mon 1 Aug - 13:31

@sportsczy wrote:Using Pepe in the midfield in barca is one thing... in Madrid, we actually need to score goals. Putting pepe in the midfield pretty much kills most of our hope of scoring lol. We need to be more aggressive in Madrid.

Why do you guys think we played Pepe in midfield last year? Lass was just too reckless to be counted on, that's why. But Lass did a fine job in the return leg of the CL semis when Pepe was out. All you need is a high work rate and good ball recovery guy... someone who doesn't lunge, but uses athleticism and speed to make plays. I don't know if you watched Portugal v Argentina in Feb, but Ceontrao did a very good job on Messi. Why use Pepe in the mid when we have someone that can do the same thing + add a lot to the offense? Besides, leaving Pepe at CB strengthens our backline too.
+1
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Post by Turok_TTZ on Mon 1 Aug - 22:10

We need that picture of mou landing barca "normandy".
that pic anyone got. message was "here is where we die!!"

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Post by The Madrid One on Mon 1 Aug - 22:19

sportsczy bravo. even though u basically just stated the obvious Smile

coentrao can become that ultimate player against barca, and use him in more ways too...

ah the possibilites...
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Post by futbol_bill on Tue 2 Aug - 12:41

@sportsczy wrote:The last two preseason games are pretty useless (Guangzhou and Tianjin)... so we've basically played all our games against semi-decent competition already. Really can't take anything from the next two. So what are our thoughts so far?

There's a lot of continuity this year and it's showing. When we put our regulars in there together, it flows well. We didn't see it until the last game because Khedira has been mostly out and Sahin has been hurt so far... thus, in the early games, our midfield was ragged.

No need to talk about the guys we already know. But i'll give my opinion on the new guys.

Varane - What a shocking and pleasant surprise this kid has been. I truly never thought that someone who is 18 and has only been playing professional football since November of 2010 could come in and just take over. He mas dominated from the CB spot. Tactical awareness? Outstanding. Physical ability? Outstanding. Demeanor? Outstanding. Passing and ability to get the transition going? Outstanding. Only area that is not the greatest is the aerial game against physical guys. He just needs to learn the dirty tricks of the trades here and he will be fine. I have yet to see him lose a duel all preseason. He logged the most minutes by far as CB for Madrid in the preseason. I think he starts from day 1 and remains the starter for the next 8 years.

Sahin - incomplete. Hasn't played yet. Doubt we see him play in the supercup.

Callejon - Very good signing. Works very hard, is fast, has a good finishing touch and makes good runs. Very capable player. If it wasn't Madrid, i think he would be an excellent starter for most teams. But with us, he will be the first player off the bench to cover for CR7 and Di Maria. Can play both wings well, although i think he looks better on the right side. Doesn't have the talent, the speed or quite the work rate of Di Maria. But who does.

Coentrao - Very puzzling here. I called him the joker because he's a "do everything" guy so far. Mou has basically put him the midfield and told him run back and forth as fast as he can... and he's done it for every minute he's been in the game. He'll have a positive impact just due to his crazy work rate and skill. But what is his position? He hasn't played a single minute at RB. I cannot see him overtaking Marcelo, Xabi, Khedira or Di Maria. Right now, he's a very expensive super-utility player. It will be interesting to see how he's used during the season.

My expected lineup against Barca:

Casillas
Ramos-Pepe-Varane-Marcelo
Coentrao-Khedira-Xabi
Ozil-Benzema-CR7

In the second half and depending on how the game is going, you'll have Di Maria in for Ozil, Higuain for Benzema and Kaka for Coentrao if we want to go offensive. If we have the lead, we won't bring Kaka in.



Sportczy, good details. Marca (yeh, I know) this morning, had the same line-up as you except they had Higgy instead of Benz. I can't remember if they had Ozil or Di Maria.

Now let's go over Barcelona's team.

They have added Alexis Sanchez (he'll likely start over Pedro or Villa)
Kiko (from Hercules now playing with U20) - likely a reserve MF/ wing
Thiago (promoted full time) - will be back-up to Xavi
Fontas (promoted full time) - will be 2nd reserve for CB (Milito if he stays is 3rd, 1st is Abidal / Busquets / Mascherano)
Cesc - likely to come this week. Note plan is if he comes, they will play 4 man midfield and only 3 defense.

Gone are Boyan, Jefferen.

So for super cup games, expect same line-up as last year (except Puyol is in) - Cesc won't have enough time to start.

In my opinion we still need to improve to beat them. We need to see what our MF can do before we can say we can be competitive (to win). We should try to take advantage of their weaken CBs. I think we are closer and they will be good exciting games, but it's too early in year to make the jump to expect a win. I would probably have a different opinion if we had seen more of our new midfield. BUT (and this is important), we don't have to put in a crazy defensive line-up to play them.
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Post by Mr Nick09 on Tue 2 Aug - 12:42

marca just copied us again :coffee:

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Post by Guest on Tue 2 Aug - 13:31

Btw, i think this is the perfect time to test Varane in a serious game. Supercup is not really all that important... La Liga, CDR and CL are obviously much more prestigious. Mou can immediately see if he can hack it now. Same goes for Coentrao... he can see if Ceontrao can affect the midfield like he envisioned.

To me, these are truly experimentation games to see what we need to work on during the season.

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Post by Babun on Tue 2 Aug - 13:48

@sportsczy wrote:Btw, i think this is the perfect time to test Varane in a serious game. Supercup is not really all that important... La Liga, CDR and CL are obviously much more prestigious. Mou can immediately see if he can hack it now. Same goes for Coentrao... he can see if Ceontrao can affect the midfield like he envisioned.

To me, these are truly experimentation games to see what we need to work on during the season.
Good idea but I've got a problem with it. If Varane proves to be the real deal then our backline will be most probably:

Ramos----Varane---Pepe---Marcelo

Guess, what's my problem with it? Very Happy Nick knows for sure... :lol!:

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Post by Guest on Tue 2 Aug - 13:51

babun1024 wrote:
@sportsczy wrote:Btw, i think this is the perfect time to test Varane in a serious game. Supercup is not really all that important... La Liga, CDR and CL are obviously much more prestigious. Mou can immediately see if he can hack it now. Same goes for Coentrao... he can see if Ceontrao can affect the midfield like he envisioned.

To me, these are truly experimentation games to see what we need to work on during the season.
Good idea but I've got a problem with it. If Varane proves to be the real deal then our backline will be most probably:

Ramos----Varane---Pepe---Marcelo

Guess, what's my problem with it? Very Happy Nick knows for sure... :lol!:

You have a bet on a different lineup?

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Post by Zealous on Tue 2 Aug - 13:56

I think Callejon might be a surprise inclusion.

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Post by Babun on Tue 2 Aug - 14:06

@sportsczy wrote:
babun1024 wrote:
@sportsczy wrote:Btw, i think this is the perfect time to test Varane in a serious game. Supercup is not really all that important... La Liga, CDR and CL are obviously much more prestigious. Mou can immediately see if he can hack it now. Same goes for Coentrao... he can see if Ceontrao can affect the midfield like he envisioned.

To me, these are truly experimentation games to see what we need to work on during the season.
Good idea but I've got a problem with it. If Varane proves to be the real deal then our backline will be most probably:

Ramos----Varane---Pepe---Marcelo

Guess, what's my problem with it? Very Happy Nick knows for sure... :lol!:

You have a bet on a different lineup?
I don't want Ramos on the right against Farca Very Happy
@Zealous wrote:I think Callejon might be a surprise inclusion.
I wrote somewhere already, him and Higgy are most likely to score against Farca. They bypass their pressing with their runs, a rare quality Very Happy

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Post by Zealous on Tue 2 Aug - 16:23

I would play Arbeloa as well. So something like this:

----------------------Iker----------------
Arbeloa/Ramos---(Varane?)--Pepe--Marcelo
------Ozil----Alonso-----Coentrao----
Callejon-------Benzema------Ronaldo

Maybe Higuain or Di Maria to start or as super subs but pretty much this.

Like Sport said it'll be a nice chance to check out Rafa.

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Post by S32TABLANCA on Tue 2 Aug - 17:14

Marca and goal.com both read here to get ideas anyway, so I expect these to be on the front page soon. And Mou too, because that ridiculous strikerless formation ended up being actually used.
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