Football

Mourinho halts manic Madrid carousel

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Mourinho has kept things steady. (©GettyImages)
Mourinho has kept things steady. (©GettyImages).

Attempting to foresee Real Madrid's transfer policy is the rubix cube of the football prediction game.

Following the election of Florentino Perez the club adopted a policy which saw them sign who they regarded as the world's best players and promote their finest talent from their youth side. The initiative known as Zidanes y Pavones subsequently fell flat on its face.

While Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham came in year after year, Iker Casillas is the only home grown player who still applies his trade at Madrid.

The monumental failure of this policy was followed by a series of high profile signings, and obscure exits, whose subsequent success emphasises the scatter gun approach on and off the field.

Mourinho has already managed more Madrid games than each of the last nine bosses since the departure from Vicente del Bosque, during which time the club added just two La Liga titles and firmly stood in the shadow of their great rivals Barcelona.

Many will look at the substantial funds available to Mourinho, not least his appointment, as for the reason behind Madrid's credible challenge to Barcelona's domestic and European success.

However, the Portuguese boss, who like many of his predecessors inherited a very capable side upon joining Los Blancos, made a shrewd assessment of his squad, restricting the need for wholesale changes.

The likes of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Esteban Cambiasso and Samuel Eto'o have all departed the club in recent years, and then gone on to great success while Madrid have frozen.

The majority of the blame falls at the feet of Manuel Pellegrini, who after recruiting Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, sold Dutch duo Sneijder and Robben, who have both since appeared in a World Cup and Champions League Final.

Granted, replacements, including that of Xabi Alonso have been exceptional, but letting players such as these slip through their fingers has contributed to their steady decline.

What Mourinho must be praised for, is not exchanging star player for star player, rather riding of his dead wood, the likes of Guti, Raul and Mahamadou Diarra, and refusing to bring in marque signings, opting for low key recruits as he tinkered with his squad.

The results have this season shown that his policy has been justified, and while his side might not need to beat Barcelona in either of their league games, perhaps devaluing a potential title win, he is delivering the championship that was expected.

It might be very un-Madrid, but sticking with what they have has proven to be the route to success. Another change, with the replacing of Mourinho, could set the wheel of turmoil in motion again.

Topics:
European News
Football
UEFA Champions League
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