Those who follow me on Twitter may be familiar with the Castilla fantasy league that I started up mid-way through the season. Myself and the other participants are finding out the hard way that this side are perhaps the most unpredictable Castilla side of all time. Recently, they have beaten the best, and have walked away from some poor sides with nothing. That’s why the visit of fifth placed Navalcarnero this week had been playing on everyone’s mind. They had won four games out of their last five, and were a side pushing for the play-offs. Castilla however, were playing for nothing but the development of their players — how many reckon it should be.
The line-up was similar to that of the last few weeks, with the only change from the prior game being the return of Reguilón at left back, pushing Quezada out wide and benching Mancebo. It would end up being Jaime Sánchez starting on the bench instead of Alex Martín.
Castilla XI: Belman, Tejero, Hernando, León(C), Reguilón, Grau, Seoane, Rodríguez, Feuillassier, Quezada & González pic.twitter.com/VsRUESvFr1— Real Madrid Castilla Stats (@CastillaStats) February 11, 2018
I’m sorry to report that the first half started dull. Really dull. Navalcarnero did not look a good side, and Castilla were doing little to create chances. Just as I was typing in ‘bored’ on the gif keyboard, Navalcarnero took the lead. The ball was played into the box, almost by the byline, and the attacker finished really well despite the angular challenge. This event would ensure no boredom gifs were shared today. The game opened up after this, and both sides were creating some good chances. It wasn’t until right towards the end of the half, that Castilla managed to find an equalizer. The vital Jaime Seoane picked the ball up before playing Sergio Reguilón through inside the area. He chose to square it and allow Cristo González to tap the ball into an empty net. Moments later, Castilla could’ve been ahead. Óscar Rodríguez received the ball to feet from a corner, before curling a great effort towards goal. It took an excellent save from the keeper to deny Madrid the lead going into the break. Half time had arrived, with the score at 1-1!
It is the most difficult thing in football world (to predict a game for Castilla)— Carlo ™ | (@3dnan_RMA) February 11, 2018
I needed a 1-1 draw to claim two points in the fantasy league, but with 45 minutes left to play -- was that ever really going to happen? The first 10 or so minutes looked good for me, but that faded away quickly as both teams began searching for a winner. Seoane burst forward with the ball before playing in Franchu effortlessly. Franchu crossed low for Óscar, but the keeper was on hand to take away what seemed a certain goal. This move would come good yet again for Castilla minutes later. Seoane collecting the ball once more, and playing in Franchu after some really good work, who crossed low for Cristo to tap in for his second. It was all looking up for Castilla, until minute 77. Manu Hernando (who had already picked up a yellow card earlier in the game) put in a reckless challenge and was given his marching orders by the referee. Seconds later, Navalcarnero scored. The free-kick was directed at goal, and Belman made a meal out of it. After a big scramble in the box, the ball was hit powerfully into the net. The tables had turned. Jaime Sánchez was brought on to try and salvage the point, but not before Navalcarnero missed a huge chance metres out from goal. The addition of a new defender would have no effect on what happened next. A Navalcarnero player picked the ball up miles away from goal, but let go a powerful shot which gave Belman no chance. 3-2, and it looked like Castilla was all out of luck. Navalcarnero made sure to see the game out, and the 2 minutes that Dani Gómez was given to save us all clearly was not enough time. The match finished 3-2 to Navalcarnero.
This was Castilla’s third loss in their last four games, and has yet again prompted me to ask the question: what on earth is Santiago Solari still doing here? A small unbeaten run riddled with boring draws and lucky wins seems to have been enough to spare the Argentinian from the media, but the damage he is constantly doing remains strong. Without that run, and a bit of luck during the Celta Vigo B clash way back when, Castilla could genuinely have been staring relegation in the face right now. As it happens, Castilla are exactly mid-table, 10 points from the play-offs, and 11 from relegation. Despite their ever unpredictable results, this seems a realistic placement for them. It appears that as the first team struggle, then their talent pool needs to take a big hit, too. That hugely successful philosophy of mixing of excellent youth with world class imports that has seen so many trophies collected is drifting slightly further away for the next generation... It may just be me, but I can’t recall many other times when Real Madrid happily settled for mediocrity...
CRÓNICA | La clave estuvo en creer y en la efectividad. Nos llevamos tres puntos muy importantes ante un buen Real Madrid Castilla.#VaPorTiManu #VamosNaval— CDA Navalcarnero (@CDANavalcarnero) February 11, 2018
El barquito ⛵️ va viento en popa
➡️ https://t.co/aH8NnLBdG5 pic.twitter.com/Oxb0HrnG80
The man of the match was Jaime Seoane, who further cemented his place as the teams most important player with this superb performance. If he keeps improving, and finds a beneficial loan move next season, then this lad could be a dark horse for a first team sport once day. Don’t forget his name. On the other end of the performance scale, Javier Belman had a stinker tonight. Javier is a player who up until this fixture, I had never seen have a bad game, or even make a mistake. It just goes to prove - everybody is human! Javier Sánchez is also being visibly missed in defence. He has been the best centre-back so far this season, and his return from injury is eagerly awaited. Next week, Castilla travel to Guijuelo, whom they are level on points with. Your guess is as good as mine for that one...
Goals: González x2
Assists: Reguilón & Feuillassier
Just a quick update - apologies for the lack of content all round from myself on here! I have been incredibly busy with University and my job, and have been flapping around trying to balance it all. The good news is - some new stuff is on it’s way! The next talent tracker is in the waters, as well as a report on some of the players that are out on loan from Castilla. Match day reports are going to be coming in swiftly from now on as well. Many thanks for sticking with me, guys! Catch you next week.