The Daily Merengue is a place where you can feel free to discuss all things football. Do not be alarmed by the overt RMCF bias. It’s in the name!
Shoutout to the mods who do a fantastic job, Valyrian Steel, Kung_Fu_Zizou, Juninho, NeRObutBlanco and yours truly, Felipejack
Benzema presents his Ballon d’Or to Lyon fans.
Karim Benzema presenting his Ballon d’Or to the Lyon fans. Goosebumps.pic.twitter.com/BRIqWphRWH— TC (@totalcristiano) November 11, 2022
Madridistas in World Cup
Carvajal and Asensio have been called by Spain for the World Cup. From past Luis Henrique squad selections, I wasn’t expecting to see former El Capitain in his list and, sadly, Ramos wasn’t called.
OFFICIAL: 13 Real Madrid's players will travel to Qatar for the World Cup.— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) November 11, 2022
Luka Modrić ✔️
Vinicius Jr. ✔️
Of those in the list above, is very likely that Courtois, Carvajal, Rudiger, Tchouaméni, Modric, Valverde, Benzema, Asensio and Hazard will be starters during WC. Regarding Asensio, Luis Henrique confirmed Asensio will play as false 9. Vinicius Jr also has good chances to be a starter.
Militão, Rodrygo and Camavinga, in contrast, are likely to sit in the bench.
The weird thing about that Lucho squad is that there isn’t really a clear definition of what he values. It’s not about playing time, current form, past form, style, talent — it’s just who he seems to vibe with. And the starting XI always feels like names drawn from a hat.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) November 11, 2022
And none of it is surprising. I think you’ll see a team that competes and will surprise, impress, and even have a hint of “see, Lucho knows more than us” — but then come up short with a moral victory and questions of what could’ve been better.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) November 11, 2022
Ending the tactics conversation
Two remaining questions and answers from my conversation with Om Arvind (MM managing editor and host of Las Blancas pod) about tactics.
I’d like to express my gratitude to Om for this amazing conversation!
Felipe: How do you see Carlo now?
Om Arvind: There is no rush to move away from Carlo at the moment unless some disaster happens. The better the team gets the better Carlo is. Carlo isn’t a coach that lifts mediocre players with passing patterns and special defensive structure. We saw that at Everton and with the declining squad at Napoli. Carlo’s magic still remains the better the players are, because that’s when man and ego management and his ability to connect with players become more important. It’s also when trying these weird schemes and understanding player profiles become more impactful. For instance, Carlo doing something like playing Andre Gomes as a wide midfielder isn’t going to be nearly as impactful as doing it with Fede Valverde. This is the best Real Madrid squad since the three-peat era and Carlo is better for these types of squads.
Felipe: What do you expect from the UCL campaign this season?
Om Arvind: Certain things with Carlo don’t change. He won’t master pressing overnight. I think our defense will always look a little funky and we always will be living on the edge. But, if Carlo presses in a 4-4-2 more often and chooses more physical midfielders, we will be in better shape than before. It’s going to be a classic Real Madrid Champions League campaign: chaos; we’ll be on the edge of our seats; and we’ll probably come from behind and score. Or maybe we won’t. You can’t do that every time and end up winning it.