Friday, 30 April 2010
Canales Scores, Prepares For Season On Bench
When he signed his contract with Real Madrid, Sergio Canales probably expected to be arriving at the club this summer to a dressing room of galacticos fresh from a glorious Champions League final victory in their own stadium. In light of that, he probably then expected to be loaned straight back to Racing. However, the reality has proved somewhat different and in actual fact, two players who went the other way through the Bernabau’s ever-revolving doors – Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder – will be the ones gracing Madrid's turf on May 22nd. Moreover, Marca has reported that Real won’t be sending Canales out on loan in 2010/11.
The thing about Canales is that his most recent wonder goal, against Villareal last Saturday, was his first since the middle of January – the first time most of us had heard of him. That’s 21 matches without a peep. The timing of Real’s latest outburst therefore is no doubt designed to remind everyone exactly who Canales is and where he’s going in July. It almost seemed that they’d forgotten about him in the interim, because he wasn’t in the news.
I get the impression that Real are like the mate in the pub who doesn’t really like football, but tries to join in with all the chat anyway. The kind of person that thought Nayim would be a good buy because he once scored from the halfway line. The kind of English person that buys a Brazil shirt every four years. The kind of person that spends £4m on a 19-year old because he scored a couple of goals and Sid Lowe consequently talked about him on Football Weekly.
Real are very keen on you if you’ve got a reputation, whether as a wonderkid or a 42-goal winger. They don’t tend to put in the hard yards, in general, when developing players. In fact, they basically go against the over-riding rule of football that EVERYONE knows: 11 amazing players do not an amazing team become. Doesn’t everyone know that? Throwing money at World Players of the Year season after season might enable you to open up a 25-point gap on the team below you, as it has this season, but it counts for very little when that team (Valencia) are third in the league rather than second. Barcelona, for obvious reasons, are the exception.
It’s all a bit sad, really. In the same way that your mate in the pub stuck to his guns in 2002 and maintained that signing El-Hadji Diouf was a great idea, so Madrid are equally unequivocal. Their desire for success will lead them to up their pursuit of Franck Ribery, Wayne Rooney and David Villa in the summer – players that everyone knows about already and will just join a long list of attacking options including – and then limiting – young Canales. This policy might be enough to suppress the domestic league, but it won’t deliver the trophy they crave. So far, all the galacticos have delivered Madrid in this iteration is an embarrassing exit from Spain’s domestic cup and a humbling at the hands of Lyon in the Champions’ League. Whether they win La Liga this season or not, they will still have to suffer the ignominy of watching their final – including their former players – while stuck in their seats. Rob MacDonald