World Soccer views and news
Real fans glad to see back of Schuster, welcome Ramos
Chatting with Real Madrid fans outside the Bernabeu ahead of their Champions League match against Zenit St Petersburg on Wednesday, the overwhelming attitude expressed was one of relief that the club was rid of Bernd Schuster.
Tuesday’s surprise appointment of Juande Ramos to replace the moody German has raised hopes that a change in management will give the team a boost and help them get their faltering season back on track.
Jose-Maria, an architectural engineer and lifelong Real supporter from Albacete, said Schuster’s claim at the weekend that it was impossible to win at Barcelona was unacceptable and he had to go.
“You just can’t say things like that and expect to get away with it, it was very damaging,” he said, beating his gloved hands together against the cold.
With an eye on Saturday’s Primera Liga match against leaders and arch rivals Barcelona, he said there was not much former Sevilla and Tottenham Hotspur coach Ramos could do in less than a week but his arrival would help change the mentality of the players for the better.
“Schuster was too serious. He was not relaxed with the players or the press and he had no empathy with the fans,” he said. “The players did not defend him and they accepted that it was time for a change.”
Pedro, 26, who works for an environmental agency near Granada, said it had been a good decision to bring in Ramos, although he conceded sacking Schuster mid-season may have been a bit hasty.
“Schuster had lost his confidence and had little interest and enthusiasm so in principle it was the right thing to do,” he said, adding that limiting Ramos to a six-month contract was sensible.
Esther Martin, an unemployed 28-year-old from Madrid, agreed that Schuster had lost his drive and predicted Ramos would make tactical changes that would help turn things around.
“I don’t know much about him (Ramos) but I think football in Spain is very different from England and he has more than proved himself here.”
PHOTO: Real Madrid’s new coach Juande Ramos (L) and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic shake hands during a news conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Dec. 9, 2008. REUTERS/Sergio Perez