It will take more than Huntelaar to save Real’s season

December 3, 2008

Real Madrid appear to need more than the couple of ‘youngsters with a future’ their president Ramon Calderon has promised for January if their season is not going to drift away from them.

Ajax striker Klaas Jan Huntelaar will be the first new arrival after Real came to an agreement to sign him, but he will not have been impressed with Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Getafe.

Real, already out of the King’s Cup, put on probably their worst display of the campaign and coach Bernd Schuster hit the nail on the head when he said the scoreline flattered them. They are now six points off leaders Barcelona.

A lengthy injury list is one of their problems.

Ruud van Nistelrooy has been ruled out for the season and fellow forward Gonzalo Higuain was missing against Getafe. Midfielders Ruben de la Red, Arjen Robben and Mahamadou Diarra, and defenders Gabriel Heinze and Fabio Cannavaro were also laid low.

Wesley Sneijder, Miguel Torres and Pepe picked up new injuries on Saturday while the fit players showed a worrying lack of fight.

Two of Spain’s Euro 2008 heroes, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas, were at fault in Getafe’s first and second goals, and the talented Guti had another of his all-too-familiar away days.

Fernando Gago gave the ball away too easily, Royston Drenthe tried hard but failed to open up the flanks, and new signing Rafael van der Vaart has yet to impress –Schuster seems unsure as to which position to play him in.

It will be a tough situation for a youngster to walk into.

Fans will expect an immediate impact from a new arrival as the Bernabeu faithful are annoyed with the club for continually overlooking the youth team. Young striker Alberto Bueno has been used sparingly, but has the backing of the supporters.

A winger is reported to be club’s next target, though the lack of options in defence also needs addressing.

Media have linked the club with Lazio’s Argentine striker Mauro Zarate and Brazilian Keirrison of Coritiba. Benfica’s Argentine winger Angel Di Maria and Zenit St Petersburg’s Andrei Arshavin are listed as other objectives.

Will Huntelaar or any of these names help Real catch an effervescent Barcelona in the Primera Liga and buck up in Europe? Or do their problems run deeper?

Klaas Jan Huntelaar (L) of the Netherlands scores past Vitaliy Mandzyuk of Ukraine during a friendly match in Rotterdam May 24, 2008. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen

5 comments

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Zarate is very decent, as he also showed at Birmingham last year. However his loan deal at Lazio is complex and if Real have already got Huntelaar, it seems a winger is the next target.I cant help wondering that Real of late have been buying good players, not great players (re Drenthe, Higuain, Gago etc)

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Absolutely true. Real did need a replacement for Rud, but it is not the most pressing of their problems.There is no width in attack – nearly everything goes through the middle, all the more so since Robben got injured. Drenthe tries hard, bless him, but he makes one decent cross in ten.It’s worse at the back, with the whole back four and keeper out of sorts, and especially at left back, where Marcelo really has not come on as far as the other two youngsters signed at the same time: Higuaín and Gagohttp://allinwhite.blogspot.com

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I personally think that Barca will not be caught now!! They seem unstoppable!!

Barcelona will not be caught but I believe Madrid has a chance at the champions league but it depends on who they bring in. They need a central midfielder which they should have brought in Diego from Werder Bremen cause guiti is not good enough he can stay on the bench as a back up, secondly we need a winger Di maria is a good winger, Thirdly we need to get our defender from Racing Santtander and get another left back. Thats all we need for now. But since we have two clowns at the head of madrid i doubt we will get much

Posted by Rory | Report as abusive

The basic problem for Real is the lousy defense which should be as soon as possible reconstructed. Heinze is a joke, Cannavaro has his heydays far behind, Pepe has not been worth of the investment at all. All we need is Maicon, Zambrotta and Cordoba.