It seems that a lot of Madridistas have tempered their expectations for the season following what was once inconceivable (certainly in my lifetime, at least): a deserved loss at the hands of los colchoneros. The Bernabéu is no longer a fortress in these derbies either; Atleti has had no problem dismantling Real in its home stadium in these past two encounters.
Even I, having picked Real Madrid to only win one competition this season (the league), have come to terms with that selection being one based heavily on optimism. To me, the truth is that new football projects in this day and age do not flourish in year one. This "we are Real Madrid" attitude that demands a haul of trophies regardless of circumstance will not help, of course. I get that it's part of what makes us who we are, but the players lace up their boots just like everyone else in the world. The growing pains, based on what I've seen so far, aren't going away just yet. So dig in. Rant over.
- Rob Train of ESPN says it's too early to start throwing the word "crisis" around. That's true in both the sporting and literal sense. As Jose has said, what's happening in Syria is a crisis. This is not a crisis.
- Gareth Bale's debut in the Bernabéu would have been better had los blancos won. Well that's obvious. The Welshman says it's time to look forward, though. Good advice for all of us, I'd say. Let's not dwell on this too long. We still have to worry about, you know, becoming a cohesive team again. Still no word on when Bale will be charged for the apparent assault he dealt out on Thibaut Courtois at the end of last night's match. Where's that sarcasm font?
- In the post-match comments, Cristiano says there's a need for a change in player attitude. Ancelotti remained positive, but admitted that the mentality of the players has taken a hit with these past two results. The manager said that he has the right players for the system, however, and he is confident the team will improve.
<h4>More from Managing Madrid:</h4>
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