Real’s European success can’t just rest on their attackers
After this summer is all said and done I expect we will sit back and look and the newly formed Los Galacticos and wonder how any side will stop what will surely be an attacking dream team. With Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo already on board and with potentially Franck Ribery, Karim Benzema and David Villa joining them Real Madrid will have the best attackers in the world with the exception of maybe Barcelona.
Clearly this Real side will not be the same one we have seen for the past few seasons, flattering to decisive in both the Spanish League and Europe. However, I can see Los Blancos still having the same frailty when it comes to the defending side on their game. Anyone who saw Real Madrid last season will know they were shocking at the back, just take the 6-2 defeat to Barcelona as the prime example of that.
So far Florentino Perez and Manuel Pellegrini have only added Raul Albiol to try and bolster their leaky backline. That won’t be enough though because Real will need a whole new defence if they want to challenge for the Champions League next season. Fabio Cannavaro is now gone, and with good reason following some dreadful displays, while Sergio Ramos is still to show me and anyone outside of the Spanish capital why he is so highly thought of. Gabriel Heinze is another one who has struggled, along with Christoph Metzelder and the frankly crazy Pepe.
In my eyes none of the aforementioned players deserve a place in the new Galaticos leaving Perez with a big problem. There is no way the spending can go on forever, despite what some may think, and if Perez keeps collecting attackers like they are stickers he could well run out of funds to strengthen the defence.
What I feel Perez will try and do is emulate Barcelona in creating a side that can keep the ball so well and score at will that the opposition are afraid to attack. But you can’t always rely on your attacking players to provide that. That is were Yaya Toure comes in for Barcelona, the defensive midfielder who I feel doesn’t get enough credit for his contribution to the side. The Ivory Coast international is immense at breaking up play and just calming things down when the going gets tough.
Where is Real’s Toure though? For that matter where is Real’s Carlos Puyol? A man who many predicted would be ripped apart in the Champions League final but instead put in one of his greatest performances to date. As everyone has figured out Real are trying to match their biggest rivals by flecking their financial muscles.
But those ‘muscles’ will need to be stretched to breaking point if Real want European success because without a spine Pellegrini’s side will collapse like a house of cards and be forced to watch Barcelona take home the silverware again.