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Discussion Starter #1
It seems like our discussion in regards to our midfield is scattered throughout a bunch of different threads, so I figured this thread could solely be dedicated to discussing that.

When healthy, our most recent squad has featured this midfield:

--------------------------------Raul--------------
---------Zidane---------------------------Figo----
------------Guti------------Beckham--------------

I will consider Raul a midfielder since I rarely, rarely see him involved up front in the play with Ronaldo, but rather around Zidane, Guti and Beckham trying to win back balls.

Looking at our midfield, the most obvious glaring weakness is Beckham in the center midfield. He simply cannot adapt to the center of the pitch where alot of the action involves quick thinking, slick ball control, precise tackling and closing of gaps. Guti has been excelling at this so far in the past few weeks, and I'd continue with him there.

In my opinion, of all our midfielders, the most chemistry lies between Zidane and Figo. They play fantasy football when paired together with their slick one-two's and through balls. In order for Real Madrid to bring back their heavily relied upon possession game, these two need to be closer on the pitch, not on opposite wings.

So:

--------------------------------------------------
-----Figo-----------------------------------------
------------------Zidane--------------------------

I'd have Zizou off to the left of the center pitch, where he could solely focus on running the offense and distributing balls to our offensive stars. Figo and Zidane together on the left would be perfect.

Secondly, I do in fact think it's time to bench Raul for a bit and at least use him as our secondary striker behind Ronaldo. Raul is a goal scorer, not a midfielder, and it's time to stop trying to use him there. So, that opens up a midfield position and since I can't see Beckham in the center, Raul's new spot could go to a DM... ala Mark van Bommel. Pair him with Guti in the center midfield and we suddenly have a very capable DM presence, with good passing ability.

Beckham on the right with the option to cruise into the middle a little, but mostly on the right flank.

So, this is what I'd have as my new midfield with Ronaldo up front:

------Figo------------------------------------
--------------Zidane---------------Beckham--
----------Guti-----------van Bommel----------

Thoughts and suggestions on my plan, and what you think our midfield should be like?
 

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Seem's logical enough. But if you do get van Bommel, where is Raul's place in the team? Up front? Or around the space between Zidane and Beckham?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Marc said:
Seem's logical enough. But if you do get van Bommel, where is Raul's place in the team? Up front? Or around the space between Zidane and Beckham?
Well, as I said, I think it is about time that Raul Gonzalez does not start every match. He is really struggling out there, and I'd be in favor of putting him on a rotation with Ronaldo and Owen, because I know at times we'll be using two strikers anyhow. I've resigned myself to the fact that Morientes' spot with this club is completely gone now, as he doesn't even get a minute of action every two weeks.

Raul would ideally take Ronaldo's spot up front when Ronnie's not fit, off-form or gets substituted.

Solari would be the ideal direct substitute for Zidane.

My only issue is that with Beckham on the right hand side, none of our strikers are really 'markers' or 'hit men' for him. Ronaldo, Raul and Owen are all good goal scorers, but none of them are particularly good with their head aside from Raul. Morientes is fantastic in the air, but alas, 'tis not to be.
 

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this is all nice, but we do know that we will not get van Bommel in the winter break, that when zidan comes back, he'll play on the left with figo on the right, making sure beckham is playing again as a DM.
if we do get van Bommel and GR will actualy use him, the formation will stay the same with guti getting benched for van Bommel.

i realy like the idea of pairing zidan and figo on the left, it can be a nightmare to the opposition, but you have to ask your self, figo is realy playing well this year, he looks very lively, while zidan looks "dead", no energy. why would pairing them change that?

i think in all fairnes, with what we have, guti and celades should be our midfield (or guti and helguera if that guy woodglass will ever play again).
figo should go back to the right where he loves to play and solari should start ahead of zidan on the left.
i also agree that we need to replace/bench raul for a few games, he is not himself, again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
sagyv said:
i realy like the idea of pairing zidan and figo on the left, it can be a nightmare to the opposition, but you have to ask your self, figo is realy playing well this year, he looks very lively, while zidan looks "dead", no energy. why would pairing them change that?
Well, even this year with an older Zidane, they have still looked incredible together. Against AS Roma, the two combined were absolute dynamite... same thing against Albacete, Dynamo Kiev and Valencia. They just have great chemistry and in my opinion, chemistry is something that CANNOT be screwed with.

sagyv said:
i also agree that we need to replace/bench raul for a few games, he is not himself, again.
As long as we're in agreement that it's only a benching or replacement.

Raul Blanco _cannot_ be sold... ever.
 

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I agree with you FigoIsGod.... Great post, nothing to correct but add a few things...

I think Beckham is useless in the right flank as there is no one to head the ball into the net as we all know Mori will not be used. Owen and Raul are pretty decent with their heading abilities. But nothing good. So i think Beckham should be used more the the centre of the pitch providing balls for Ronaldo and connecting with the DMs...... I think it would work... As we know Figo and Zizou are never stable in one position, they will switch around all the time anyway...

----------Ronaldo----------

Zidane----Beckham-----Figo

-----Guti----VB/Mascherano
 

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FigoIsGod said:
As long as we're in agreement that it's only a benching or replacement.

Raul Blanco _cannot_ be sold... ever.
it did play much better after he was benched for one full game.
about selling him, never said that, though i'm sure it keep poping up in someone's
mind... (hint, begins with P...)
 

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Agree with you guys. Benching raul for some time, will do him good. But still raul is raul. Almost impossible o bench him, especially in big matches. He showed some leading in the roma game, bringing real back in the game. It Would be great to see V. Bommel in team, the tackler real needs really hard. No fancy things just get the ball back to zizou and figo. Plus he got a nice crossing and his passings always get to their target (something celades lacks). Any ways I would go with this:

...............Ronaldo
Figo.........Zizou..........Beckham\Solari
.........Guti........v. Bommel......

Pretty decent. With zizou having less to run. He can't do that as he used to. He has a good shot and nice passes. I think this lineup would dominate europe. Solari would do much better than backham, in that case figo would move back to the right and solari to the left, but it's something you woul'd never see, untill solari starts selling more shirts then beckham.
 

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Elmoro said:
Agree with you guys. Benching raul for some time, will do him good. But still raul is raul. Almost impossible o bench him, especially in big matches. He showed some leading in the roma game, bringing real back in the game.
Its really a hard call when it comes to raul. Though his performace is under par this season (so far) but when it comes to big games he really steps up, he doesn't just play good but uplifts the team's spirit.
 

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I agree on pairing Figo and Zidane. Also with him having less defending to do, we should the Zizou we used to to have back. If you noticed, this year , he has been running alot and actually come back to get the ball from the back.
 

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kjose said:
I agree on pairing Figo and Zidane. Also with him having less defending to do, we should the Zizou we used to to have back. If you noticed, this year , he has been running alot and actually come back to get the ball from the back.
I couldn't agree with you more, I personally think The Magical Monk (Zidane) and the Portuguese Tornado (Figo) are players whose shrewd understanding of the game, indispensable flamboyance and intuitive playmaking skills will help advance our game only when the two work together and eventually slow the pace and attacking tempo of the opposition trying to attack or counterattack by keeping the opposition defence extremely busy, but then again their game will be praised and complimented only if we obtain two defensive midfielders who will symmetrically achieve a sense of sturdiness, steel and grit to support them. The sheer thought of Javier Mascherano and Mark Van Bommel together in the central DM position is unbelievable yet unimaginable. I hope I am wrong, because Mark Van Bommel was and still is linked with Madrid heavily since, and River Plate has a robust affiliation with Real Madrid, so I don’t know what the outcome will be, although there are names circling around that I find interesting for the 'renovation plan' Butragueno talked about, some of them from Lyon, Stuttgart FC, Seville to name a few, who I think will do the job perfectly.

P.S. FigoIsGod that was a pretty plausible post, I wonder how this team would turn up to be if you were the coach ;) .

El Mariachi says: “Hala Madrid!
 

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Like I said earlier, most of our problems would be eliminated if we play the players in their rightfull positions. Figo would have to swallow his pride and move to the left.

--------------Ronaldo/owen-----------------
-----Figo---------Zidane----------Beckham---
----------Guti---------Ivan/(New DM Here)---

:thmbup:
 

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FigoIsGod said:
Well, as I said, I think it is about time that Raul Gonzalez does not start every match. He is really struggling out there, and I'd be in favor of putting him on a rotation with Ronaldo and Owen, because I know at times we'll be using two strikers anyhow. I've resigned myself to the fact that Morientes' spot with this club is completely gone now, as he doesn't even get a minute of action every two weeks.

Raul would ideally take Ronaldo's spot up front when Ronnie's not fit, off-form or gets substituted.

Solari would be the ideal direct substitute for Zidane.

My only issue is that with Beckham on the right hand side, none of our strikers are really 'markers' or 'hit men' for him. Ronaldo, Raul and Owen are all good goal scorers, but none of them are particularly good with their head aside from Raul. Morientes is fantastic in the air, but alas, 'tis not to be.
The problem with that is he is the captain, I think he should be rested from time to time just because of his workrate which is clear he suffers by the end of the game. But still, you need a leader... Guti has been given the armband when he went off a couple times now I think. For me he isn't a leader. A lot of captains in the side but very few leaders, Iker for me is the only other leader. If he was made vice-captain then I could see it.

I gotta say, I am a big fan of Solari and find it very strange that when he comes on the pitch and performs as he does everytime that he is left out. Ok as we all know he isn't a big name but he can play. Offers a lot more balance I feel. Question is who you drop to fit him in, its tough.

I dunno, Owen has really come on leaps and bounds with his head... he used to be quite useless as a header. But he has got a lot of goals with England in recent times with his head, Beckham involved of course. In the Nou camp he came on and almost got a headed goal. Plus his ability to peel off always makes him a target to chip to. Which he has showed with Ronaldo, he can provide. Depends on the positions of the forwards though, if Owen is on the right then that pretty much nullifies his ability to do that. The other thing of course is the overhead ball which with Owen and Ronaldo's speed is certainly an option. Usually better from the right than center as the angle allows you to put a spin on the ball to curl it into their path.
 

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FigoIsGod, great post amigo. :thmbup:

I agree, Beckham simply is not as effective in the middle. The solution is simple- stick him out wide on the right or bench him.

My ideal midfield would look like:

Figo-Zidane-Guti-Solari.

However, since leaving Beckham out of the side is unrealistic because of Perez, we should play:

Beckham-Guti-Zidane-Figo.

Figo is amazing on the left and has excelled in that position in his last two games (Leverkusen, Levante) so we should allow him to continue there, with Zidane playing next to him and Guti controlling the tempo in the middle. Beckham out on the right, where he could benefit from Morientes' threat in the air (but noooooooo, Perez won't play Moro either :googly: ).

I think we should rest Raul for a few games, he looks tired and burnt out. Give Morientes a good run with Ronaldo looking dangerous.
 

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Actually, I think Figo has always looked good on the left. I'm guessing though that he doesn't want to switch to the left permanently, which is why I suppose he'll play left for his NT but not Real.

Zidane hasn't looked sharp. I know that the view from TV lacks perspective but really, I believe there are some through passes that he should have made but he simply didn't and the ball got intercepted, sometimes to disastrous effect.

The last game showed what Beckham is useful for. He's fair enough defending on the right. His workrate helps him contain most left midfielders. But he's a nice wide option who will bomb quality balls into the danger area. I also think that his forays into the middle are better when he first establishes on the right. He gets outplayed when he tries to set up shop in the middle of the field. Without doubt, he is the least versatile of our players.

Guti has been playing well in, correct me if I'm wrong, his original position. I always thought he was a DM for the B team (and a Redondo sub when he first appeared in the senior squad) when he started his career so it shouldn't be too surprising that he can play defense.

Overall, I think this midfield will be fine so long as they can figure out that intangible quality that is teamwork. I really don't think it's a question of ability, I think it's a matter of playing together as a unit so that the midfield is even greater than the sum of the individual talents put together.

Right now they play and it doesn't look like they know what they're doing. They don't move forward correctly, they don't cover correctly, they don't help out correctly. I always thought that that sort of thing was Football 101, but maybe it isn't as basic as i thought.
 

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my ideal midfield

Zizu------ -------Guti---------------Figo

--------Van Bommel------Helguera(i'd like to see gerrard here!)-------

And please.. dont kill figo,, hes a natural right winger. .stop changing his position so tht pretty boy becks can fit into the team.. disgusting. Strikers, Ronnie and Owen/Raul(rotation) el moro has to goto a different club.. if he doesent i'll be angry cuz tht wud be jus stupid. he shud never have come back to real.
 

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so you are suggesting a 3-5-2 in La Liga...what have you eaten today?
 

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How about this?

Bench Raul , Bench Zidane ( the king is dead )

............Ronnie.............Owen


.......Solari.........Guti..........Helguera/New DM.......... Figo



or if your manager keeps ignoring Solari

...........Ronnie...........Owen

Figo.........Guti..........Helguera........Becks


Let spiceboy play his own game instead of acting like he is Davids/Keane/Viera
and he will be very usefull to Madrid... More than alot of ppl think
 

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With the form and state of our current squad, my ideal midfield would be figo on the left, Beckham on the right, Helguera and Guti in midfield, with Zidane in front of them.

that's 5 midfielders, and the lone striker would of-course be Ronaldo. I love Raul as much as anyone else, but not more than Real Madrid. Bench him, let him sort himself out (its clear he is not the same Raul of yesteryears, not only in terms of his football but also in terms of his character), and he can rotate with Zidane for that spot behind the center forward till he is ready for first-team football again.

Of-course, this is never going to heaven. The club has gone to pot, and there is no structural thinking in terms of football at the club anymore.
 
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