The galvanising effect a new coach can have on a team is one of football’s unexplainable phenomenons. Time and again the arrival of a new manager has turned previous chumps into world beaters, if only for a couple of games. Juande Ramos’ unveiling as the new coach of Real Madrid has not yet had such a powerful effect, but then the white heat of El Gran Clasico is not the place to test the reliability of a theory. Ramos’ ability to guide Real Madrid will be judged in the coming months not on last weekend’s result.
Ramos’ appointment has however had a significant impact on the transfer rumours that surround Real Madrid in the Spanish media. In the brief time he has been at the club the Madrid inclined press have gone into overdrive, linking Real with an array of players. The journalists at Marca and AS are excitable at the best of times but some of the transfer links that have been thrown up in the past week have seemed a little bizarre and based largely on Ramos’ brief stint at Tottenham Hotspur.
Last week the names of Aaron Lennon and David Bentley were thrown out as potential targets for the Madrid giants. After the rather undignified end to Juande Ramos’ stay at the London club one would have thought these two players were not even on his Christmas card list, never mind his transfer wish list. Marca has also been linking the Spanish champions with a swoop for Aston Villa’s Ashley Young.
Another name that has popped up in the last few days is Adam Johnson of Premier League club Middlesbrough. In an interview today in AS, Johnson says that Ramos sent scouts to watch him and he had conversations about a possible transfer to Tottenham last summer. Perhaps not such a spurious link then? Although Johnson appears a talented player, it is difficult to reconcile Ramon Calderon’s thirst for the spectacular and the signing of a player with potential but little proven record.
A transfer that does seem more likely is that of Portsmouth’s Lassana Diarra, charmingly nicknamed the ‘other Diarra’, with the Spanish papers suggesting the transfer could be completed in the next few days.
One thing we can be sure of with the January transfer window approaching is that rumours of potential transfers will be flying around with abandon. Juande Ramos’ arrival at Real Madrid has already spawned some interesting reading and this should continue through the festive season.