This letter was written from Managing Madrid's Editor-in-Chief's newly internet-connected laptop situated in a café in Sevilla, Spain, only a few hours after Real Madrid's uninspiring 0-0 draw at Racing Santander. (I'm glad to be back).
Dear Real Madrid directors (looking right at you Florentino Pérez), and madridistas of all stripes:
I've returned to you in our time of "need," stopped a moment from my slavish search for an apartment, from my orientation for my new job in my old country, from my limited time in the beautiful city of Sevilla, Spain, to bring you this very, very important announcement.
Real Madrid drew 0-0 today at Racing Santander. No, Racing isn't a good team. No, they're not as good a team as Valencia, who FC Barcelona drew 2-2. Yes, the team looked punchless, imprecise, almost lackadaisical. I know you've heard the whining voices of a thousand anonymous internet-faux-madridistas calling for our coache's resignation.
It's all true. It's also all a load of crap.Real Madrid is a very, very good team. I know you don't feel like hearing this right now--you're probably very much into the "OMG we lost and drew in a row OMG" narrative right now, which is understandable. But seriously, snap out of it. This team is going to be FINE. Yes, we have some issues. Yes, these issues won't go away without thought, without us hashing them out (which we'll do). But they will go away.
This period is absolutely, by far, 100% the best time in the year to rip off a losing/not-winning streak. We're not really totally fit yet, the team is still working out some kinks. Honestly, if Madrid were killing it right now, then I'd be nervous about the inevitable fall. Because all teams inevitably fall off; our fall just happened to happen at the beginning of the season.
Xabi Alonso will be fine. Seriously. So will Mesut Özil. I know, our Champions League hopes ride on their shoulders (and knees, really), but they're going to be FINE. Sure, maybe Mou can rotate Mesut a little, because he's famous for not having his full conditioning at the beginning of the season, and for rounding into form around November.
I watched the game in an outdoor bar in Sevilla, surrounded by Real Madrid fans. People were unhappy, but no one seemed particularly worried about the team--they all pretty much know that we'll be there at the end. This is the same attitude I remember in Madrid in 2001-2003, when the team would drop points periodically, but everyone knew they'd make them up. I know this feeling. We have a great team. And I think when you look down, in your heart, you must think so too.
VAMOS! HALA MADRID!