Spyin' Kop - Real Madrid vs Liverpool - Tuesday 4th November 2014 - 19:45

Posted by Titi Camara on October 24, 2014, 07:08:44 PM

vs


1. In mid March this year you were leading in the league, heading into the final of your domestic cup and into the quarter finals on the champions league. You ended up winning two out of the three trophies. How do you look back on that season? Can a season so successful hold any regrets or disappointments?

Steamie - I look at it as an unforgettable treasure, a season where we finally accomplished our redemption/revival of a sort (both at a club and team level), i literally threw a chair up into the ceiling when ramos scored his cl final goal, joyous.
Benavente CB14 - The first 4 months of last season could be described as disappointing and frustrating. We only won 1 big game (Juventus) and lost to Atletico and Barca which dented the title hopes. By January Carlo started Di Maria and midfield and that solved many problems due to his workrate. Any regrets? Not really. We were close to winning the league so i guess.
Korut - We could have done a lot worse. can't complain considering how everything played out. A fantastic successful season that went beyond expectation.
Tototo19 - Aaah 2013/14, such an exciting season. It was a true awakening from the nightmare Mourinho left behind. Remember, we had a disjointed locker room, Ronaldo had his triste phase, the whole Iker charade, losing La Liga already in November. Disgusting season. And then came Carlo and fixed everything :wub: I didn't think we'd go as far as the final in the CL but we did and we won and to top it off we beat Barca in CDR. A truly magnificent season, no regrets, not even La Liga.
Sportsczy - Our problem last year was that we bought two Spanish supposed superstars in Illaramendi and Isco.  Since Carlo was a new coach and he wanted to build goodwill with the city, he started both in the first 1-2 months of the season.  Our midfield was disastrous.  By the time Carlo benched them both, we had fallen behind Barca and Atleti.  Never got our game fixed until after the winter break… and DI Maria being moved to the midfield.  Remember that Di Maria asked to be sold in Jan because of lack of playing time.  We had a 10 point deficit to make up in the league to start the 2nd half and that proved too much.  Great season as we won CL and cup.  Very happy overall.  Only regret is that, even when we realized that the kids weren’t ready, we didn’t buy for depth in the winter mercato.


2. Was the loss to Barca in March the turning point in the league?

Steamie - I think there wasn't a turning point, we just "gave up" too easily, the sevilla loss after wards was the turning point if anything.
Benavente CB14 - I'm not sure if it was a turning point because even if we lost we still had a chance to win the league. I think the draw at Bilbao, loss at Sevilla and draw against Valencia at home had much more effect.
Korut - We had overplayed the starting team with little to zero rotations prior to that match. It was only a matter of time before our team burned itself out and that we'd suffer the consequences for it. ofc, referee decided that game but ultimately, afterwards we were burned out and didn't recover till the CL final. Like I said, it could have been far worse.
Tototo19 - I think steamie is right, it was the Sevilla game that really sentenced our fight for the league to death.
Sportsczy - We overplayed our starting XI in the 2nd half of the season because we had a big deficit to make up and no reliable depth… in fact, after Jese’s injury, we had no depth at the forward position.  Ronaldo and Di Maria got injured and were out for a while after that Barca game and Benzema played injured to finish the season since we had no choice.  Our awful first 4 months cost us.

3. And so to the summer. Again after such a successful season, most fans or managers might struggle to identify where the opportunities to advance the playing staff might lie. Ancelotti et al decided to bring in two big world cup names in Kroos and James whilst also letting go of a number of players including Di Maria and former LFC favourite Alonso. How do you rate those you've brought in and do you rue the loss of Di Maria?

Steamie - I was against Di Maria leaving, the situation wasn't too clear and we were in the middle of the world cup too so in my case it was chaotic. When James was named as the replacement, i saw it as an insult to Di Maria and a possible knee jerk reaction to James' world cup performance, but thankfully he has shown his worth (as a player, not making reference to transfer fee). I was also a little against Kroos coming, preferred someone more athletic, with a clear ability to defend, but Kroos has also done a good job. If i could read the future, i wouldn't take back the buying of Kroos and James and the selling of Di Maria and Xabi. Problem is that i for example as a fan, don't know just how much of a premeditated success, the choosing of many great players we now have, has been. In any case i hope the club takes note of the kind of players and the kind of strategies that make a winning team click.
Benavente CB14 - I rated Toni Kroos very highly before the world cup and before we were interested. However, many users here pointed out how Toni would fit due to tactics and formation. For example, we use no AM, so he can't play there. We use fast and mobile CMs like Modric and Di Maria, Kroos isnt that mobile. So what was left was deeplying CM and to eventually replace Alonso (Illarra :bigcry:). Now i think he is finding his feet at that role. My opinion of James i think will remain the same. A great player, but was never a necessity for Real Madrid. Keeping Di Maria or at least replacing Di Maria with Pogba or Vidal wouldve, imo, been much better. James was your typical Flo signing, big name, cash cow to rival Barca signing of Suarez. He is doing very well now and im very happy with his performances, but he was never needed. Now, initially i was pissed at Di Maria leaving, but his comments after leaving pissed me off way too much for to me to feel sympathy for him. Alonso was so-so, we had Kroos and Illarra but those 2 could've learned much more with Alonso staying. He was a gentleman and brought a lot to Madrid.
Korut - I had some ideas of Kroos prior to the world cup but during the WC I was sold on Kroos. Miles ahead of Alonso. Has nearly all the skills and nearly zero the liabilities that alonso had. James impressed me, I wasn't sold on him during the world cup but since joining he has proven his worth. The loss of Di Maria is a great one but I reckon we've done a fantastic job since.
Tototo19 - Not gonna lie, didn't like Di Maria's departure. But I also understood the reasons. The guy just wanted more money and we ain't gonna pay him 10 mil, no way jose. So I came to terms with it. I liked James in the WC, wasn't sure how he'd fit in but was willing ti give him a shot (I preferred Isco though). He turned out better than expected. Alonso was a blow to be honest. No one saw that coming. I wasn't really someone who wanted him to stay necessarily but still, to see him go? That was a bit strange. Kroos is just amazing. The moment it was rumored we wanted to sign him I jumped on the bandwagon and I haven't regretted it since.
Sportsczy - I was very unhappy about Di Maria being sold.  BUT I didn’t expect Isco to have progressed this much.  Given Isco’s progress, it’s not a big deal.  We got a ton of money for Angel and haven’t lot much.  James is a phenom and played as an inside forward on the right side for Monaco.  So not only does he play midfield, he can cover for Bale who is often injured.  As far as Alonso…  it was time for him.  As you can see, we like to play very very fast and Alonso was showing signs of being too slow for it.  Pep’s system, that is much slower, is better for him.  Best of luck to Alonso.

4. On the transfer front, and given the two sides we're discussing, how do you rate the players who've made the switch from LFC to Real. The big three are surely El Macca (who you defo still owe us a few quid for), Alonso and Arbeloa (and if you can remember him ever getting a game for you, the ever mundane M Owen). How successful do you view these players at Real?

Steamie - Mcmanaman i never saw but he scored a CL final goal so i love him  :proud:.  Alonso was a joy to watch, but i've never been a fan of Arbeloa, at his best i'd say he was good enough to be RB and LB sub, but no the starter for a CL winning team. Didn't see michael owen either.
Benavente CB14 - I liked watching McManaman so i rate higly along with Alonso. Arbeloa, well...... i think he could be a decent back up for now. Owen was just :lol:
Korut - Owen was actually good given the opportunities that he had. He wasn't bad by any means. A shame injuries blighted him. I have a strong distaste for Xabi Alonso in that for one who is claimed to be intelligent, never has dealt competently with his flaws. can't tackle or rather knows not how to. too slow. Great passer of the ball but his passing skills is wasted on him in that he plays way too safe. Kroos who passes the ball be it a risky pass or safe as he pleases shows proper use of ball distribution. easily crumbles to pressure. Though Alonso is an excellent "organizer" of the midfield and the backline, he has too many liabilities for me to like him. a weak spot for real madrid. Tarnish notte that when we beat atletico madrid in the CL Final, Alonso was not playing. twas a good thing he didn't play. I have always respected Arbeloa. Genuine madrid man who is loyal to his club. I understand he was quite passionate for Liverpool as well. For him to have genuine love and respect for Anfield... He must have been very well appreciated at Liverpool during his time there. A no nonsense defending fullback. Can't speak for steve mcmanaman, I do not remember very well of his time here. memories too vague.
Tototo19 - Hmm I think Alonso did pretty well. He was our commander. Arbeloa was meh. Sorry, is meh. He had a good game against Liverpool, but he's not really super reliable.
Sportsczy - Owen was unnecessary and he was never going to play much over Ronaldo or Raul.  He was good when he played… but in the end, he made a poor decision.  Typical galactico move at the time without any logic for us.  Arbeloa did the job.  Nothing special.  Good defender but awful on the attack.  Because he’s so one-dimensional, he was never rated highly by most.  But I appreciated what he brought.  Alonso was the general of our midfield for years.  Stabilized and organized our team.  His role at Madrid was very different than Liverpool… he was a deep playing mid at Madrid.  He rarely go close enough to the box to take shots on goal and FKs were rarely handled by him.  Solid player.  Very appreciated.

5. Having followed Mourinho (albeit a few years after him) into the Chelsea job, Ancelotti did likewise at Real. What did you make of the previous incumbent and his departure? Is the current man in the metaphorical hotseat the man to take you forward?

Steamie - Mourinho is indeed not a good role model and i would never want him as a coach again. I prefer Carlo Ancelotti all the way, i saw a video of him chanting "Isco, isco, isco" in today's press conference with the oil kings from the middle east, the connection he has with the players is awesome, the way he talks in press conferences is very cool, he has a great track record, and he is showing good results with good football. Don Carlo forever has my respect, if Madrid ever build a hall of legendary statues, he should be one of them.
Benavente CB14 - Ancelotti all the way. At least Carlo has balls to play openly and try to win instead of parking the bus after scoring a goal or 2  :b:. Mourinho did make us a counter attacking monster but that only did so little (1 liga). I prefer Carlo every day all day, all year.
Korut - Mourinho's Philosophy is not that far off from Carlo. It is his interpretation of football, that separates the two. Mourinho takes an extreme negative approach. Too defensive. No different than that punk Guardiola. Mou and Pep are far more similar than peeps realize. Him leaving was for the best. He should have tried to unite the team, not divide it. especially not pissing off key players like Benzema. If you would have asked me about Carlo before he came here, I would have told you he is the worst option madrid could take as I felt Carlo lost the plot several years ago. Now? Carlo proven himself that he has not forgotten his philosophy. As long as Carlo maintains to strive for the balanced footy that I seek, he will always have my support.
Tototo19 - Carlo is just a class act. Everyone loves him because he treats people with respect. And to top it off, he actually knows his stuff unlike Mou, who can only park the bus. Mou is a sneaky lil bitch who should go back to Portugal and train some 3rd division team. 
Sportsczy - Mou transitioned us to modern football, which I appreciate.  But he’s an arse and was disrespectful to everyone at Madrid.  Hated by many of the players including Ronaldo…. Hated by the fans.  Played very ugly pragmatic footy which was never going to last at Madrid.   Glad the bitch is gone.  Carlo is just as good a manager (if not better) without the bs.  Very happy.

6. On the eve of this season, what were you hopes and aspirations? What competition/s do you see as the focus? Does Ancelotti have minimum requirements to stay in the job?

Steamie - My hopes were to see a team that was more complete in terms of attacking, possession, counter, and defending. I wanted to see a team that worked together in order to pack in as much talent as possible whilst showing good football and good results. With the exception of Ronaldo and Bale (in the lesser games), we have reached this to a degree, we can still improve and i think we are at a time and place where we should grab la liga by it's neck and never let go. I want us to win everything, if we don't win the CL, La Liga is the minimum. I'd rather someone with less than 3 cls win the cl if we dont. Ancelotti should be sitting comfy in his seat, he is earning it.
Benavente CB14 - Since no team retainted a UCL title, i believed winning La Liga would be enough for Carlo this year. Another CL is nice but if we don't i wont sweat it. Only winning the CDR would be a slight failure.
Korut - The man won the Decima, we could go trophyless this year and I wouldn't give a shit so as long as Carlo keeps having the team play the way I would like to see them play. Carlo shares the same views as I do in what is attractive football. Balanced footy is best footy. having said that, I would just like the retention of the CL title. I would wish nothing else.
Tototo19 - I said I'd be happy if we only won the CL again. I don't care about the rest but if we could retain it....man, that would be something. We could not win the CL but then I expect La Liga and CDR. The other mickey mouse trophies are there just for show.
Sportsczy - Carlo is safe this season if we win nothing.  That said, I think we can easily win the treble.  We’re that talented and deep.

7a. Since the advent of the super billionaire football club owner in the UK, I think it's fair to say that many people's opinions of Man City and Chelsea have vastly altered here in the last decade, and by extension, those clubs who do likewise overseas. Although your financial model is slightly different to those clubs mentions, how do you answer calls, both privately and publically, that your success has been bought?

Steamie - I say that the most successful clubs in the world are obviously up there because they have the money to fund everything they need to fund, other than that i excuse my self from any ethics seminar. All i care is that my club is king.  :coffee:
Benavente CB14 - Money equals success everywhere. Not just in football. Every club buys players to make them stronger. Do i think we spend ridiculous amounts? Sure with players like Bale :lol:
Korut - Sometimes you have to spend to win. Santiago Bernabeu did that in the 50's bringing in foreign talent like Di Stefano and look what has transired since then. Florentino has spent many millions to take our team back to the elite. Though ultimately, you can spend one billion euroes and still win nothing if you're not managed well by the manager/coach. Unlike the sugar daddy clubs of the EPL and PSG, Madrid earns their cash and spends it. I see no problem with it.
Tototo19 - I honestly don't care. We have the money and we're a well run club. You can hate Flo all you want but the man knows his finances.
Sportsczy - We’re not a private club.  We’re a public entity and are a non-profit in the sense that every euro we make must be invested into the Real Madrid institution.  It cannot be kept in the bank unless it’s required.  We can afford to spend 100s of million on players because we make that much money a year.  We are running at a slight profit even though we’re spending as much as we can :lol:  The model is very different than a privately-held club.

7b. Can paying £80 million for a single player ever be considered good business?

Steamie - If it makes sporting and economic sense, yes. Cristiano Ronaldo for example. Zidane, Bale (he has started very well). It's a deeper issue but i stick with what i've said, if the player is truly world class and if he's the type of super star who opens new frontiers, go for it.
Benavente CB14 - If you're going to buy a great player like Ronaldo, Messi etc then yes 80 million seems great. But for players like Bale, Pogba, Suarez? Please.
Korut - That's why you got to have the right peeps handling this stuff. the president needs to know what he is doing as well as the coach. Gareth Bale? he payed it off last year. Will james be the same? we'll see but so far, he has been working hard to prove skeptics he is worth the money. if spending 80+m wins you a title, isn't that the best business one could do?
Tototo19 - Do i think 80 mil for a player is too much? Hell yeah. But if you have it, spend it. That's btw my life motto. I will die alone and poor if I continue on this path :mellow:

8. It's always difficult to view your own side without bias but I do not agree with how our home tie against you was portrayed by the English media. I thought that for 20 minutes on the night we matched you and looked just as likely as scoring, it was only when Ronaldo scored a genuinely world class goal did our belief falter, our collective heads drop and the game become a no contest. How did you see the game?

Steamie - I'd have to watch the game again, sry.  :facepalm:
Benavente CB14 - LPool did compete for the first 20 mins but against teams like Real you need to make those chances count. Fortunately that did not happen, Real were able to regroup and find a rhythm, 3-0.
Korut - for the first 20 minutes, y'all legitimately had potential to do much harm in short amount of time. Madrid underestimated Liverpool and as a result, were caught off by surprise. However, We played that game using a 4-4-2. We normally play a 4-3-3. It has been a while since we played 4-4-2 and the rustiness showed. plus, the lack of the dynamic Di maria who made both formations work last year wasn't around anymore. I would say Carlo took a gamble that match, especially considering the new guys who haven't played such a formation. We ultimately sorted ourselves out but for the most part, Liverpool played a respectable game the whole 90mins. I don't know what trash the worthless english tabloids claim how Liverpool played but as far as I was concerned, Liverpool's efforts were worthy of respect. One can lose 3-0 with much shame but imo, Liverpool should be proud of their performance. It is true however, we didn't fully commit to the match mostly because of El Clasico being of greater importance. the 2nd half was smartly used to let the boys save themselves for the eventual slaying of the infidels, Farselona. Perhaps it is because of the 2nd half, that the english media used to bash liverpool. I think you will see a more committed madrid side come the rematch @ the bernabeu with Farsa out of the way.
Tototo19 - I remember thinking "What the fck is wrong with us, why are we playing like this?" during that period you described. And then Ronaldo scored and all was good in the world again :D.
Sportsczy - You guys came out fast in front of your home crowd and tried to press us.  I thought it was a dumb strategy because it was unsustainable.  As soon as your players started getting tired, it was game over and we dominated.  I think Rodgers was hoping that Liverpool would score a goal or two and then hold on for dear life…  we’re used to it.  This happens to us frequently on the road in La Liga and the results are similar.  The teams that give us the most trouble are those that sit low and crowd the middle… forcing us to play wide.  Rodgers didn’t do his homework.

9. Did any of our players impress you on the night?

Steamie - :hmm:
Benavente CB14 - Coutinho. Kid is a monster. Disappointed in Sterling. Played like Bale lol
Korut - Sterling, Coutinho, Gerrard come into mind.
Tototo19 - Lovren (my fellow Croatian) had some good interceptions. Not sure if he made some mistakes though that I can't remember now :hmm: Sterling was nice. But Arbeloa had him mostly under control. Balo was shit :lol:
Sportsczy - Sterling has potential.  I always like Moreno in La Liga and he looked good.  Henderson seems like he has guts.  Coutinho has skill.  Those are the 4 that I remember.

10. A lot has been made of the atmosphere at Anfield, especially on European nights. What did you think of it and were you there to experience it first hand?

Steamie - I think i remember telling my self how it would sound like if i was there live, alot of noise was made specially in the beginning, near a part where sterling fell or got brought down.
Benavente CB14 - Awesome atmosphere that night. If i was there live it would've been better.
Korut - I wasn't there personally but I imagine the atmosphere of Anfield reflected perfectly to the world even by just the TV or an online stream of how Liverpool's support was. Passionate and endearing. Very impressed by the crowd.
Tototo19 - I honestly didn't hear a lot because our commentator just kept talking some bs. But I read the atmosphere was awesome. I think Jesse was there, our member.
Sportsczy - I’ve been to most of the top stadiums in the UK and Anfield is definitely one of the best in terms of atmosphere.  No doubt there.  Granted, the last time I went to a Liverpool game was in 1994 :lol:

11. From a Liverpool perspective there have been a couple of meetings with Real that have led to ecstasy for our support. The final in '81 and the 4-0 at home in '09 will hold special memories for me and most of the LFC family. Do you hold any fond or poignant memories of meetings between the two sides?

Steamie - My history doesn't go as far as even the heinze days im afraid.
Benavente CB14 - The 4-0 loss which i promised would never mention again, but that seems gone now after last week.
Korut - nay. I do not look kindly to the 4-0 loss. the 3-0 victory will be well remembered as a match of vengeance.
Tototo19 - Same as Steamie. But I will keep this last one in fond memory :D
Sportsczy - Just remember the 4-0 loss.  We were mostly rubbish from 2004 until Mou arrived in CL so it wasn’t anything surprising.  Our defense was pathetic in that period.

12. For those LFC supporters travelling, is Madrid a friendly place for opposition supporters, foreign or domestic? Are there any places in particular you're recommend for pre and post match beers. Or slightly more cultured; restaurants or sights?

Steamie - idk
Benavente CB14 - I think the case is the same in every club. You'll find humble and genuine fans respecting the other team, then you have the knuckleheads who want to start a fight. City and United visited the Bernabeu recently and i havent heard of any incidents.
Korut - can't answer this, I'm american.
Tototo19 - Dunno. Meant to go to Madrid this summer but it didn't really work out as planned.
Sportsczy - Bernabeu is mostly a wine and cheese crowd :lol:  Very friendly.  There’s only a few ultra idiots (called Ultra Sur)… but I don’t think they’re even 1000.  So you shouldn’t be affected.  It’s a great time.  There are tours organized where you get to go on the pitch, visit the locker room and go to the Real Madrid museum if you’re interested.

13. And so to the "return leg". How do you expect your team to set up on the night? Which personnel/formation will be preferred?

Steamie - I expect varane, isco, illarramendi, chicharito, nacho, and the kind to start.  Since we've earned 9 points in the matches, we don't really have to go all out.
Benavente CB14 - Start Balo please  :lol: :lol: :facepalm:
Korut - maybe a repeat of the 4-4-2. I am not sure. as to the players, Benzema will be key as usual. the rest? will be decided by Carlo. I think we've a squad with massive depth.
Tototo19 - Some players will be rested obviously. I think we could see Navas in goal. Ronaldo will def play. Bale too methinks. Varane, Dani. Dunno. But definitely some rotation.
Sportsczy - We always go for the throat at the Bernabeu in CL even if the game means little… We play very differently than on the road in the sense that we literally try to put the game away in the first 30 mins.  Play very fast and very hard.  So for Liverpool….  It will come down to surviving the early onslaught and then going from there.  For your sake, I hope that Rodgers makes adjustments as opposed to just playing his normal tactics.  Liverpool MUST bother us in the middle of the pitch or it will be very difficult.

14. Prediction for the score on the night?

Steamie - 3-1
Benavente CB14 - 4-0
Korut - <5 goals for madrid if we're unlucky. >5 if we play our game correctly. Sorry. I would have said a 3-1 victory for madrid but I believe Liverpool's #1 weakness is Brendan Rodgers. It all starts with the coach. I think Rodgers will screw Liverpool over come the return tie, hence my 5+ goal prediction in favor of madrid.
Tototo19 - 4-0. Sorry :D
Sportsczy - I think it will be at least 3-0… sorry mate.

15. And finally, how far do you think each respective team will go in the CL this year?

Steamie - Winners  :proud:, finalists  :proud:
Benavente CB14 - I think pool will reach the Ro16 at most, if they manage to beat Basel. For real i say Semis
Korut - Liverpool? Not far so as long as you keep Brendan Rodgers. Y'all would do well to find someone better. Y'all should give Borini more faith and chances than signing that punk Balotelli. Strikers need confidence, time, and chances to do well. some strike from the get-go, others take time. Borini is of the latter. Same with Lambert. I think the creation of chances is the issue for liverpool, never criticize your forward if your creation is suspect. Madrid will be up there hopefully competing with Chelsea and Dortmund. Madrid, Chelsea, Dortmund, PSG. The CL contenders. Everyone else is either a pretender or simply not good enough.
Tototo19 - We'll win it again :afro:
Sportsczy - A lot depends on the draw.  But regardless, I think that Madrid will get to the semis.  After that, it depends on form and luck.  For Liverpool, the Ludogretz away fixture will decide it.  Liverpool needs a draw there… if you get the result, you will get through imo.  After that, it’s going to be difficult for you unfortunately imo.

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