The season was looking promising for Castilla. The results weren’t amazing, but the progress was decent throughout pre-season, and it looked like an improved version of last years overachieving squad, A very short trip to newly promoted Madrid-based side Las Rozas seemed like the perfect opportunity to start the campaign off with an emphatic win. Yet that is not what happened. Juvenil A winger Jordi managed to salvage a point on his debut as the game finished 1-1. A very disappointing star for Castilla. As the game was blocked from viewing after the ten minute mark, there is nothing else to do but venture through the positives and negatives of Raúl’s first game in charge, and ponder on what may happen in the future.
2’ Also, perhaps for the first time ever: Castilla have set names and numbers on the back of the jerseys. That’s pretty cool— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) August 25, 2019
We are only one game in, and when considering the humongous amount of time a season takes up - this game ultimately has very little meaning or importance.
The New Numbers
The new number system is cool. Each player will have a set number, allowing them to have their names on the back of the jersey. Not every assigned number is clear yet but now the majority are known. This has nothing to do with the performance but was one of the only memorable positives to take from today.
The team selection today was atrocious. Raúl may have been missing key players such as Rodrigo, Pedro, Blanco, Franchu and possibly Rodrygo - but his choices today only further hampered the team and their chances. Leaving the impressive Marvin Park out in favour of trying left-back Fran García out-wide depleted the attack even more, whilst it also forced Javier Hernández to fill in at left-back. This is something that should only really be done when absolutely necessary. Mario Gila did impress in midfield during his one showing there in pre-season, but the decision to start him today above Martín Calderón was also highly questionable. It would have been nice and relevant to see summer star Pablo get the start in place of Latasa. I also found it interesting that Javier Belman was benched for Diego Altube. Despite signing a new contract and being handed the new set number one shirt, it still appears obvious that he is at the bottom of the pecking order at the club even though he is the second best young keeper at Real Madrid.
Álvaro Fidalgo will be staying this season, and it looks like he will captain the side. This is not good. Holding him back not only hampers his progress, but acts as a domino effect for every other player waiting in line. Instead of playing as high as La Liga this season if Raúl had let him; Fidalgo will now take up many of the minutes that Martín Calderón, Ayoub Abou, Álvaro Bravo and Antonio Blanco were due in Segunda B. He also is keeping the very talented youth European champion Moha out of the squad completely. This decision again raises questions over Raúl. It isn’t just in midfield that problems are going to arise. Anomalies with the goalkeepers, an open left-back space and the wings could cause problems this season. In all fairness, it seemed he was planning to have both Takefusa Kubo and Rodrygo Goes at his disposal out-wide, but now he may well have neither thanks to decisions out of his control. Promoting the more than capable Jordi softens this blow, but loaning out his remaining wingers could prove to be very costly soon enough.
FULL TIME!— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) August 25, 2019
Las Rozas 1-1 Real Madrid Castilla!
Raúl’s managerial career gets off to a very disappointing start. Jordi’s goal managed to salvage a point for Castilla.
This is @CastillaStats signing off. Hopefully the updates will be back in full next time...#MMCastillaLive
Although there are there are small signs that things could turn sour in the future, there isn’t really much to worry about after one game. I have serious reservations about the appointment of Raúl and maintain the assessment that he is the least exciting thing to happen with Castilla this summer. It has to be said however that it hasn’t been all bad, and he has shown early signs of promise during the summer. The team host another newly promoted side in Club Marino De Luanco, and I am fully expecting Raúl to take a different approach after what he has seen this week. If things go wrong in that game, then the recently removed nightmares of Santiago Solari and his era of catastrophe may start to claw their way back in a brand new form.