One friendly, two postponed games, extreme weather, a COVID hit coach and more than a month of waiting. Real Madrid Castilla finally played a game in Segunda B, losing 1-0 to Getafe B. After David Bettoni watched over a 4-1 trashing of Alaves for the senior side, Alberto Garrido was on the sidelines of this game though he couldn’t see his side record a similar result. Here are three takeaways from the game
Credit where credit is due
One thing that doesn’t get talked about alot with Castilla is how difficult this season has been. Forgetting how they performed at Under-19s level, this team has really struggled to find their feet in Segunda B and the new league format has meant there was little time for them to get comfortable in the third division without falling behind. As well as this transition, the Castilla squad has faced constant interruptions from COVID-19 or, as has been the case recently, the weather and some minor interest from the first team.
Given both Blanco and Chust travelled to Vitoria yesterday and Castilla haven't played a game in over a month, this isn't a bad performance.— Castilla Corner (@CastillaCorner) January 24, 2021
Both Chust and Blanco travelled to Vitoria with the senior team and had very little time for recovery before rejoining the Castilla team and playing out 90 minutes on Sunday. The rest of the team hasn’t played competitive football in over a month and granted, Getafe also haven’t played in a month and won the match, however, luck played a big role in that and Castilla had several chances to at least draw.
When all is said and done, the guys on the pitch deserve alot of credit for the performance they put in, despite the result. It’s been a really difficult few weeks for Castilla and hopefully the squad can build off an encouraging display to start finding results in the coming weeks.
Signs of life from Arribas.
Sergio stole the headlines in December by winning the mini-derby in dramatic fashion and making his Champions League debut against Shaktar in the space of a week. However, his season has been kinda a let down compared to what we saw at U-19 level. Arribas was used to having his own way between the lines, constantly finding space outside an opponents six yard box to play a decisive pass or find the back of the net from range.
Segunda B has been a rude awakening for the slight midfielder as he’s been muscled off the ball in an area he once excelled in. Finding his place in this new world has been difficult and long, however, Arribas is finally showing signs of life. Against Atleti, he enjoyed a more advanced role where he supported Duro centrally with a license to drift out wide.
Against Getafe, he once again had license to roam with his main role to connect dots high up the pitch. It cuts into the insane productivity he was registering with Juvenil A a little, however it provides Castilla with a creative force in midfield, something the team has been lacking.
On the subject of players on the rise, Sergio Santos blew me away with his offensive effort today. His crosses were consistently pitch perfect and its a shame he didn’t get a deserved assist.
Results fell Castilla’s way at the end of December and they continued to do so while Madrid was under snow. Castilla remain four points clear of relegation and, for now, don’t seem to be in any danger of slipping into the drop zone. Even more crucially is the form of third place Real Navalcarnero, who haven’t won a game since Castilla beat them in November. With a game in hand, Castilla are just two points off third place.
The side note to all these dominos lining up is that Castilla haven’t been able to win two games in a row, that will have to change if the team is going to have any realistic ambition of getting back into the promotion spots.