Castilla’s season is now well underway, and as it stands there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Having missed the past two fixtures, I feel you guys are very deserving of a brief update! So here’s some of the most important goings on over the last week or so:
Castilla remain unbeaten in the league!
Four games have been played now, and Castilla have not lost any of them. I was able to update fully on the first two games, in which Castilla beat Las Palmas B 2-0, then went on to draw against Atlético Madrid B 2-2! Since I’ve been gone they fought hard for a 0-0 draw against Unión Adarve, and then took apart Unionistas 3-0 just yesterday. This early season form puts them up to 4th in the league table, currently occupying that final play-off spot. Vinícius Júnior has taken an early lead in the scoring charts (3 goals), with Cristo González breathing down his neck just behind him (2 goals). Castilla have gained far greater viewing figures since Vinícius arrived, and this along with his sheer presence has been a blessing in disguise for the Argentinian sir Alex Ferguson! The question is, how long will this good form last?
Kick-off time is fixed
The sole reason why I have been absent for the last two games has been directly down to the kick-off time. Of course, Real Madrid were not looking to purposely push me out (hopefully!), but they do seem to have struck a deal with the league that ensures all of their fixtures will take place on Sunday at 12pm CET. The final handful of fixtures from last season were all played at the time, and every game so far this campaign has been in line with this proposal. This deal prevents any clashes with the first team game played on the same weekend, and also provides a family friendly environment for supporters, as the consumption of alcohol etc, is far lower. For my British-self, an 11am kick-off time on a Sunday is rarely plausible. Other commitments often get in the way and I am finding myself unable to watch most of the matches at this point in time. I’m just praying that this deal expires as soon as possible!
The youth internationals are back!
Castilla finally have a youth international again! Augusto Galván featured for the Brazil under-20 national team on three occasions in Mexico. They beat Mexico twice, with Augusto getting the match winning assist in the first game. They also drew against Japan, 1-1. A talented player recently promoted to the reserve side, Augusto is yet to make his Castilla bow yet. That needs to change in good time.
The controversial man himself. I’m going to fuel that fire even further and say that I actually like him playing for Castilla, and think that if his first team involvement is significant enough that this can be an excellent season for him. Contrary to what a lot of people are saying, Vinícius is not and is no way near the finished article. He certainly is not the best player to have played for Castilla, even in recent seasons. He’s incredibly talented, and is currently showing that - but he is still very raw and his decision making alone is not at the required level for La Liga let alone the Real Madrid first team. Castilla provides him and many others the platform to work on this and really grind it out, preparing him for a career at the top of the game. Never forget that it is one of the best talent factories in the world. For me it comes down to the money problem rather than the standard problem. He is and always be a massive moral dilemma in Segunda División B.
I think it's important to clear up some Vinicius stuff, because every-time I post his goals, I get a flurry of replies saying "He should be playing with us", "We could've used him last night", etc.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) September 16, 2018
A goal doesn't really paint an entire picture of how he's done as a footballer
The away game problem
This is only currently speculation, but does have a sniff of truth to it already. Many do not like the idea of Vinícius playing for Castilla already, and I’m sure they’ll be most pleased to hear reports that Real Madrid are now cutting 50% of his potential Castilla game time this season. Earlier this week ‘AS’ reported after the Atlético Madrid game that saw Vinícius get kicked around all game, and even bitten on the head - that Real Madrid have taken steps to block his involvement in any Castilla away games in the future. If this is true, then this is tragic. He would now lose half of his Castilla game time, and if he is not called up by the first team during these weeks, he literally would just be sat at home doing nothing. Of course, this is not confirmed as of yet and only one away game has passed since he was bitten. He wasn’t in the squad for the Unión Adarve trip, so all eyes should be glued on the squad for this Sundays game against CD Leonesa.
It has to be said that even though he was given so much physical attention in the ‘mini-derby’, he still rose above it all and put in an excellent performance, scoring both of Castilla’s goals and raising the teams standard significantly. For me it’s games like this that can have the most developmental impact. You can either shy away as a player under this attention or take a stand, and Vinícius never backed down. Yes the behaviour shown by the opposition was disgusting, and he is a multi, multi, multi million Euro asset, but if he can play as well as he did against sides like that, using poor facilities, then it will surely have a positive impact on his consistency in the future. There is an iconic image of Martin Ødegaard standing up to his ankles in mud when he was 16 during an away game against Amorebieta. He received the same kind of attention that day, and throughout his Castilla career. He got man of the match in that game. If you can play on that whilst receiving that kind of attention, you can play anywhere.
That just about brings us up to date! It’s been a pretty positive start to the season if anything, and if Castilla can keep the run going then they could be a dark horse for a mid-table finish come the end of the seaosn. As previously mentioned, Castilla play CD Leonesa away next week. It will certainly be interesting to see who is involved. Be sure to let me know any thoughts in the comments!