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Stewart Coggin

Madrid Fans Their Own Worst Enemy

By September 23, 2010

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Real Madrid may have won three of their first four matches in La Liga, but the manner of the victories has invited criticism.

Real fans are not the most patient bunch at the best of times, although I was surprised to hear whistling in their first home game against Osasuna a week and a half ago.

Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that the supporters are not helping the team by venting their frustrations, and he has a point. CR9 and Marcelo have been the subjects of much of the heckling for their individualist approach to the game.

Real supporters are among the quickest to turn on their players and their reaction seems hasty in the extreme. There is a sense that under new coach Jose Mourinho, the fans expected a struggle for entertainment, and when their fears were realized, they quickly made their displeasure felt.

Mourinho kicked off with a 0-0 draw away to Mallorca, and halfway into the Osasuna match, they had still not opened their account for the new season. It took a goal from new central defender Ricardo Carvalho to break the deadlock and ensure a 1-0 win.

After a Champions League victory over Ajax that Madrid completely dominated, they labored to a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad. A pulsating affair was decided by a fortuitous goal from Pepe after a Ronaldo free-kick deflected off his back. Sociedad had plenty of the game and were unlucky just to score once.

Tuesday's 3-0 defeat of nine-man Espanyol was hardly inspired. At least attackers Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema all got on the scoresheet, but Real fans have yet to be entertained in the way they expect this season.

Real knew what they were getting when they employed the pragmatic Mourinho. The club may have hired a coach capable of putting Barcelona to the sword - as we saw when Jose's Inter Milan defeated them over two legs in the Champions League last season - but there is always more emphasis on the dogged than the dynamic.

It will be fascinating to see whether Mourinho can provide the kind of soccer that fans demand without compromising the defensive-orientated pillars that he builds his teams on.

The Portuguese tactician could do with some breathing space for a few weeks while he fine-tunes his team. The result of supporters whistling their own is often a group of players frightened to make mistakes, leading to a lack of adventurousness.

Fans may just find their beloved Madrid play with a little more expression if they cease the heckling.

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Denis Doyle / Getty Images


April 11, 2011 at 9:16 am
(1) Lola says:

Walking in the presence of ginast here. Cool thinking all around!

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