Thursday, February 09, 2006

The fall of the old guard

Its happening. And in Italy, Spain and England. Milan, Real Madrid, Man Utd. A couple of years back and all these teams would be challenging for the league's top spot all the way to May.

What's happened this year? Lets see.
In Spain, Real Madrid languish 10 points behind Barcelona.
In Italy, Milan are 12 points behind Juventus.
In England, Man Utd are a sorry 15 points behind Chelsea.

So is it just a case of a cycle of ups and downs or is there something more serious in it? While Milan has played decently well so far in the season and has lost a few close encounters, both Real and Man Utd have been taken to the cleaners in a few matches. Heavy defeats. The last one being a 6-1 thrashing of Real by Zaragoza. Real's got an aging midfield and a frequently chopped and changed team. They sold Solari who is doing pretty well at Inter. Gravesen isn't playing. Owen got sold. Ronaldo was out due to injury. Zidane can't make up his mind whether he wants to retire or not. Man Utd just doesn't have a midfield due to various reasons. Ferdinand and Rooney are the current choices. But even with Fletch and Smith back, its not something to write home about. They need a holding midfielder and a left winger. The defence in both teams leaks goals. Woodgate has cost Real a lot but he isnt in double digits in 2 years! Hmmm. Silvestre is atrocious. Neville is getting old. Evra needs to work hard if he wants to hold on to his spot when Heinze is fit.

Such disparity between top teams isn't great for the game. You need games close to the final weekend to decide the league, not in March/April!!!


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