Will Real Madrid Bring the Flair?

August 30, 2010 — by Sean2

19 yr-old Sergio Canales started against Mallorca on Sunday.

La Liga started on Saturday, with Mourinho’s boys visiting last season’s fifth place side Real Mallorca. The result was a nil-nil draw with Los Bermellones from Majorca (situated on an archipelago in the western Mediterranean) holding firm and creating some good chances on the break.

But it’s Madrid that I, and everyone else, is focusing on today. A team full of superstars and the “special one” at the helm. What a spectacle in the making, but can they bring the flair to the field?

Mourinho is known as an amazing tactician and motivator, and he has an unique ability to handle the egos and insecurities of superstar squads, but his failing is in his rigid and often boring style of play. The big question for this season isn’t whether Real will win, it’s about how they’ll win. It won’t be enough to put up three points each week, or even to win the league over Barça, if they don’t do it with style.

Mourinho hasn’t had such a talented and creative team before, nor has he coached in a league that so values freedom of expression with the ball (the Portuguese Liga notwithstanding). His squad is full of thinking players with tactical abilities at the top of the game. He’ll need to implement a system that allows his players to move openly, enabling a flowing interchange of positions and cleverly crafted attacks.

We didn’t see a lot of that on Sunday. If anything the team looked very Mourinho-like (steady, disciplined, relentless), though there were moments of individual brilliance that suggest the foundation being laid might support the sort of samba style Real’s fans want to see.

It will surely take a half dozen games to see how Real are truly shaping up, let’s hope Mourinho doesn’t disappoint.


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