Bits & Bobs On A Monday Night

3 Sep

Mesut posted a picture of him and Sami heading off to Hannover for international duty. They must be excited to get the hell out of Madrid with Sadgate going on. So a few of you are asking what I think about all this and as I said before, it’s all put me in an extremely foul mood.

Basically, it’s bollocks. Cristiano said he was sad and the club knew why. Okay, fair enough. The media predictably went apeshit, there’s about a bazillion conspiracy theories out there about what’s really going on. We don’t know. We may never know. However, I don’t see the point in feeding into the nonsense. A few of the players (Arbeloa, Kaka, Callejon) expressed their support for Cris which is lovely and their right. They actually know what’s going on, unlike us. However, what is really pissing me off is the attacks on Iker. Many people have been on the Twitter, Facebook, etc. condemning Iker for not making a statement. One even went as far as to say that Iker should resign because he wasn’t doing his “job” – SERIOUSLY? WTF? First, Iker’s job is to represent the club & the team, not to feed into a bullshit media frenzy and make things a million times worse than it is. Second, I’m sure that Real Madrid like any large organization probably has very tight rules on statements made in such cases by those deemed as representing the team. That could very much be why none of the four captains (Iker, Sergio, Marcelo, Pipita) have said anything. They probably can’t. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t pick up the phone and call Cris to say “Hey man, we’re behind you” I mean, a personal talk probably does more to show support than sticking a picture up on Facebook, but that doesn’t seem to placate the bloodthirsty hordes. And why are they only going after Iker? Listen, I’m willing to give Iker, a canterano, a great leader, a wonderful player and someone who is a true Madridista the benefit of the doubt although others apparently won’t. I do think he cares. I just think he’s in a position where he can’t always say what he wants to the public because of his position in the club, for legal reasons at the very least.  Be realistic, Real Madrid is a gazillion dollar a year corporate entity. There are rules, people. I work for a very large international non-profit, we raise billions (yes, billions) per year. We have a crazy strict rules about how we are allowed to address the media and on particularly sensitive issues, everything has to go through Legal first or we’re not allowed to open our mouths. Period. I can imagine something as huge as Real Madrid has similar strictures in place. Acting like Iker is a freaking monster is absolutely ridiculous. Whereas the players may have some leeway in what they can say, a captain isn’t going to have the same luxury. And if somewhere down the line we find out that Cris was sad because he didn’t like his parking space, how many of these Iker haters are going to apologize for their shitty comments towards our capi? Zero, I’m sure. Demonizing Iker does absolutely nothing to help a situation that is just out of control rampant media speculation. I hope whatever Cris is sad about is nothing serious and is resolved quickly. He said himself tonight that there is a solution for every problem, so there you have it. Thankfully, Dirty Tackle brought some levity to the situation with his musings upon Cristiano’s possible reasons for sadness.

Iker ain’t got time for your dramz. He’s with his friends & hopefully not getting agita.

In news we should absolutely be more concerned about than vague ‘sadness’ Pepe has a sprained left ankle and Cristiano has a injured right thigh. The two will undergo specialized treatment today and tomorrow and are slated to return to training on Wednesday says the Portugal football association. Priorities, people.

Another thing that is pissing me off? Gutigate. Guti had a rant after Pirata was sold to QPR. He was pissed (as a canterano himself) that once again, a homegrown player was sent away and foreign players were signed. This is not an unusual refrain and it’s one I hear fans complain about over and over again each season. However, Guti has been branded a racist because Essien was mentioned (as was Modric, in fairness). I’ve been over these tweets several times and I don’t see anything like that. He just states his preference homegrown Spanish players and canteranos. If anything, he comes off a little heavy handed but this is man who grew up in the cantera system and watched so many promising players end up getting sold off. He’s angry and disappointed, along with many other people who like Pirata. Native Spanish speakers, can you please tell me what I’m missing? Did he make a racial slur? I can’t find one anywhere. Obviously, my Spanish skills are not great, so I’d appreciate any clarification you can give. Ugh. These last couple of days have done my head in.

Let’s go on to some pictures. Sergio brings the orange, Nando goes for the gold, Messi has more Bimbo action, Gooch joins Malaga and a Gooner lets RVP know how he really feels. Oh by the way, new watishista maria sangria shared a link for the Man City tunnel cam. You can see El Pirata in a suit before the match the other day. Very nice, indeed.

Okay, I’m in an even worse mood now. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I’m going to end the evening with three posts of bebes that I’ve already prepared earlier to cheer myself up. What a shite day.

– Lozil

28 Responses to “Bits & Bobs On A Monday Night”

  1. dreamsequence September 4, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    Hey, thanks for putting this up here. I’ve read a bit about Sadgate, but nowhere did I see the vitriolic Iker criticisms that you pointed out, so I appreciate knowing what is going on. I hope that this blows over quickly. I had just put it down to media sensationalism and taking shit out of context and quit reading about it, so apparently I miss a lot. I hadn’t even heard about Gutigate. Jesus. This drama is like high school all over again :/

    Thanks, too, for posting the shot of the Gooner there at the end. It made me laugh.

  2. drea September 4, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    I really don’t understand why people are going after Iker. Totally agree that he and the other 3 captains are most probably bound by a lot of legal paperwork to not say anything in these situations. It’s nice that the others are showing support, but that’s because they can. They don’t really represent anyone’s views but their own. Can you imagine if Sergio or Iker had posted something about oppression that was quoted from a militant human rights activist? Now that would be the major escandalo! The papers would be headlining a players’ mutiny and god knows what else.

    As for Guti, I actually did feel a little something off there though. Not racist, but something… Mind you, my Spanish is not great either so there’s that. But it felt to me like a bit of patriotism gone awry, I guess? Like, a Spaniard is preferred since it’s a Spanish club. See, not racist but not quite in line with the international nature of club football these days. Then again, Spain still has a team like Bilbao that only takes players with Basque heritage so yeah, that kind of thinking seems to be a cultural thing about which I have no clue.

  3. Anne September 4, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    I totally agree with everything you’ve said, but you know I think everyone is missing the bigger picture here. In Chris’s sad interview he appeared to be wearing pearls. Pearls. on. a. man. I’m praying its a rosary. My friend (a Man Utd fan) says that he was always wearing ‘flamboyant rosaries’. Hmmm, 2 words that seem somehow incongruous. Anyway, I’m genuinely concerned about the unrest this has brought but feel the need for a little levity..Maybe he was sad cos he couldn’t find matching earrings.!

  4. MissLadya September 4, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Whew. Good to know Bambi and Sami are on safer grounds 🙂

    As for Gutigate (<- pretty catchy), am already over that and am surprised that others apparently are not. Never thought it to be racist in the first place, and that in one sense he did kinda have a point (in that signing foreign players does indeed cost more than recruiting homegrown players). People are just overly sensitive. They see the word "foreigners" and automatically shriek racism.

    Oh wow … Why are people attacking Iker?? I wrote in an earlier post asking what you thought about Sadgate (<- lol), but I had no idea there's so much misdirected outrage. I mean … IKER?!? The hell?? I'm waiting on an elaboration from Cris, or an official statement from Real Madrid honchos, but I have no reason to expect Iker to get involved, especially since so much remains unknown. Pipita seemed surprised by Cris' comment, so maybe it's something the team doesn't know much about to begin with, so how can Iker be expected to comment? I think it is wise for him (and the other captains) to wait and see where this is going first before going public with their opinions.

    (Personally, I think Cris is just fishing for a better contract.)

  5. Sasha Twen September 4, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    Nice one. It’s good to blow off steam. The number of nincompoops on the internet is – again – mindblowingly large. I hope Iker had a good laugh about the twitter comments. That’s the good thing about twitter, really. It blows over so quickly and people think of themselves as much more important than they really are. The best thing to do is to go out to dinner with good friends and just ignore the lot of them. Oh, he DID. Good boy.

  6. Manie September 4, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Don’t let the Iker insults get to you. I myself was beyond surprised to see them but prefer to think of those people as “pseudo-Madridista.” There really is no way anyone on the planet can say Iker Casillas has not been an excellent captain and reference point for Madrid and indeed football.

    The guti stuff I am two minds about but nowhere did I see racism.

    • Manie September 4, 2012 at 7:40 am #

      Though in fairness it reminded me of english press clamping for an English only manager (the whole Capello thing etc) and may have been like not xenophobic but a lesser degree? Ha I am not helping myself.

    • headbandsandheartbreak September 4, 2012 at 11:02 am #

      It’s particularly funny because two of the most aggressive “Iker must do something/he’s a bad captain” people were BNFs (Big Name Fans) – you know, the people with tons of followers who fancy themselves as uber-Madridistas/authorities on the team. The one who said Iker must resign said that he was a good goalkeeper and captain for the Spanish National Team, but that’s it. I mean the dude said that Iker was not a good leader for RM. I can’t even wrap my head around that. Iker is Madridista to the core. When I see people who claim to be mega-Madridistas say shit like that it seriously makes me doubt their commitment to SparkleMotion, if you know what I mean. None of these people seem to be taking into account the responsibilities that come with the captaincy of an organization as big as RM. When you’re in that position, it’s no longer just about you (as a private person), it’s about the team, the entity, the brand. And seriously, if it’s a pressure tactic for contract negotiations as some people are speculating, why the fuck SHOULD Iker get in the middle of that?! It would be even more inappropriate for him to get involved even if he agrees that Cris deserves a bump in salary.

      As for the Guti thing, I almost used the word ‘xenophobia’ but I thought it was much too harsh.

      Ah! I have an appointment – more later on this.

      • headbandsandheartbreak September 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

        Sorry, I was late for a meeting and realized it at the last possible minute! Anyhow, re: Guti, what he said has been said every season by fans, in the media and by current and former players who are frustrated with Real’s policy of bringing in players from abroad while our canteranos have to go elsewhere. People feel that the canteranos aren’t valued in the same way that Barca favors La Masia players. This is a never ending criticism from almost every corner. So why is Guti all of a sudden being branded a racist?!

        • Liya September 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

          Because he targeted two players in particular (Lass and Essien) who are black. I don’t know if he’s racist but what he said was a bit xenophobic.

          • headbandsandheartbreak September 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

            He also mentioned other non-black players in the tweets – not just those two.

            • Jenny September 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

              He mentioned those other two players positively by saying “would they [Essien and Lass] play if Xabi, Khedira or Modric were available?

              Some people are wondering what makes Essien and Lass distinct from Khedira and Modric – what makes two non-Spaniards okay but two others not okay.

              I should add: a Spanish speaker I spoke to thought he had crossed a line with that tweet (he also misspelled Xabi – but that’s an aside).

              As far as I’m concerned: he’s in my doghouse. You can be upset that a player is leaving, but you have no right to attack the player coming in for not being the right nationality. Madrid is an international club. The two sentiments do not have to go hand in hand.

              If an American did it, we’d be all over it, I think. If an American said – why is this home-grown American player leaving for some Mexican? – well, I’d pitch a fit.

              It’s a matter of perspective.

              • headbandsandheartbreak September 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

                Considering that Lass has played when Khedira is available, I’m not seeing the point of that statement.

                As for the rest: Again though, why now? This sentiment has been expressed numerous times by players, media, bloggers, etc. I’ve never seen anyone questioning that before or screaming racism, xenophobia, etc. People are always big upping the cantera and getting pissed when players have to leave and are replaced by “name players” from elsewhere. It’s seen as a club issue, not as part of the larger perspective. I personally think he was heavy handed in his approach, but I’m truly flummoxed why no one has called him and every other person who has expressed this same sentiment on it before.

                • Jenny September 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

                  I want to be clear: I don’t think he’s racist, I just think he seriously needs to think about how he and some of the club’s supporters in Spain are coming across.

                  And I suppose he’s being called out because we’ve reached a sort of tipping point on this – and in several different ways.

                  The Granero transfer, for example, was traumatizing and unexpected – even for someone like me who doesn’t rate him. I was crying at work.

                  And then we have the anti-foreigner (mainly: anti-Portuguese) thing in the Spanish media, which is at an all-time high now -with Coentrao, for example, being blamed for CR7’s comments in the press. “I blame Coentrao,” says a journalist – giving no reason. “He’s a bad influence”. Really? He’s a kid, and that journalist stepped over a serious line there. I know this “evil Portuguese influence on Spanish football” thing in the media has been going on for some time (2 years now), but that’s just outrageous. That’s hate, that’s unreasoning polemic on a shit-show (Punto Pelota) and for a player who has done nothing. Oh yeah – he once smoked a cigarette at a party.

                  One last thing on Guti: he attacked a player (Essien) who was not responsible for anything. This is widely known. Granero had left. Essien is Lass’s replacement. So why the outrage? I think people were wondering why the backlash would occur when a black player is signed for a loan. Again, I don’t think Guti’s a racist, but I think that is why there was a backlash – and again it’s possibly because of that second tipping point. There’s so much anti-foreigner stuff in Spanish football. There are chants against Marcelo every week in Atleti’s stadium. Race + football + heart-breaking transfers – it all sort of hit at once.

                  And one important thing to remember about Essien – you had a lot of outraged Chelsea fans now. Chelsea is a popular club. England’s second most popular outside England. And Essien is personally outrageously popular with his ex-fans. Let’s just say that Lass hatred was always blinked at by the Twitterati because he was never considered lovable.

                  To put it crudely: Guti picked his victim badly. Lots of Chelsea/Madrid fans are now upset because a deeply loved player was picked on.

                  And Guti knew he’d overstepped a line or had come across in an unfortunate way – because he apologized (clarified his tweets, I should say) the next day.

                  I’m pulling together threads that may not fit, and I know that, but I think in some way all of them were involved.

                • Jenny September 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

                  One other thing: I have always been of the opinion that it should have been called out before now.

                  I have always consistently supported Madrid as an international club. I’ve said so many times. A player like Pepe selling fish in Rio for bread for his mum has as much right to be at Madrid, if he’s good enough, as anyone else.

                  So in a way, I’m sorry Guti was involved, but it had to happen.

                  Because “pro-cantera” is too often “pro-Spanish” – and that’s where an unpleasant nationalism hits.

                  For example: I despise Athletic Bilbao – I have always been open about this. Their “basque only” policy is illegal (which is why it is “unofficial”) because they know a human rights tribunal would be on their asses inside two minutes if it was official.

                  And yet, this is something their fans are proud of. And I can see why – they want their local boys doing well – but if a newly arrived immigrant can’t join the club then that is discrimination.

                  Anyway – I think, as usual, we agree on like 90% of this. And I am as puzzled as you – why wasn’t it an issue before now?

                  I think Twitter is a very cosmopolitan, International forum, and that’s why Guti got his backlash.

                  • manie September 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

                    I agree with you. Part of why I liked Madrid so much was frankly because of the fact that it had international figures at the club. Madrid’s policy has for a very long time now been getting the world’s best players – regardless of where they are from – to play on the same team. For another team, it may be to train the players in a certain style or philosophy and use them in the first team, be it Barcelona or Ajax or whatever.

                    This has been happening for a long time now, but I think it is largely restricted to Spanish media and fans who wish to see more “Spanish” in one of Spain’s most recognizable exports. There are ways to say it properly, but in some instances some journalists have taken it too far and that’s why I feel it’s a bit xenophobic. Not saying that Guti was though.

                    For me personally, I would really like to see more cantera in the first team, Spanish or not. I just think they are really good. However, Mou made the valid point of saying they were playing in the third division last season and moving to the first consistently is impossible. Hopefully they stay up this year, and they can be transitioned into the team. The only problem with this is that Madrid never has continuity – imagine what the team would have looked like with Pellegrini, right? Or if VDB had gotten a chance to stay. Hopefully we will see with Mou.

                    • Jenny September 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

                      I’m like you – I want a mix. I want Madrid to have the best home-grown talent + the best International talent.

                      A lot to ask! But I believe in this club, I really do. And I’m excited about the kids in the Bundesliga now doing so well (Carvajal making the team of the week, for example!)

                      And until then – I just love Essien. I would love him, after suffering, to regain his former unspeakably good form.

      • manie September 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

        Yea – I totally disagree with any of the big Madridistas saying Iker is in the wrong. He is absolutely not, IMO, and should have nothing to do with this.

        Unless Iker and Cris got into a fight over whose dog(s) is/are cuter, and then honestly, I don’t even know what to say.

  7. CinematiqueChic September 4, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Thanks for this post. It is so much more sensible than just about anything else I’ve seen regarding any of this.

    I can’t even with the “supporters” attacks on Iker, who is just about the classiest act in all of football. With Guti, I’ve been saying the same thing myself about getting rid of a canterano in favor of foreign players and I know my own feelings aren’t racially motivated, so it seems unfair to assume ill intent from Guti.

    So much of this seems like media stirring up their usual trouble. I just want to hunker down til it’s over.

  8. Lola September 4, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    This news totally put a damper on my Labor Day! Drama, drama, drama…

    This is a stupid question: I know we make fun of Sergio (questionable fashion choices, dropping trophies, more questionable fashion choices), but why does the media make fun of him I.e the article written about Cris? I wish I knew how he is portrayed in the Spanish media. Any insights?

    • headbandsandheartbreak September 4, 2012 at 10:42 am #

      Hi Other Lola! (I’m a Lola too! Well, when I’m not being a Lozil) – The media rep of Sergio is that he’s kinda goofy and a bit dim. Okay, they think he’s seriously thick. Brooks is just rolling with that to hilarious affect. Sergio may not be the brightest bulb (I can’t say for sure whether he is or isn’t) but he seems like a sweet and caring man. I adore him, hence, I tease him all the time here. 😉

      • Lola September 4, 2012 at 10:59 am #

        The only thing that will brighten this situation is… Sernando!! Juna Mata won’t be there so it is the original duo. At least we can look forward to that 🙂

        Btw did you see the tshirt Nando is wearing in the Chelsea article? It looked normal and then POW! Gross silk screening. What were they thinking allowing him to wear that?

  9. jellyace September 4, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Whoa! I go off twitter and FB for a day and all hell broke loose! Thanks, Lozil for the warning tweet as I really didn’t need to see all that hate and anger. “In crisis, there is opportunity” and maybe Guti and others can’t see the opportunity for Granero to shine in another environment, and that the change may be good for Granero to shake up his game. AS to what the opportunity is with Cristiano, well, we don’t know much yet, and maybe we never will. But dragging Iker into the crisis is so counter-productive. If Iker shuts down his facebook account, it will be the fault of the haters.

  10. Lizzie September 4, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    While I don’t know why Cristiano is sad…I like to think that it’s because pipita hasn’t really tried to bromance him…..I also didn’t know about the people blaming Iker…some fans those people are……

    • headbandsandheartbreak September 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      I like your theory! You’re right – Pipa doesn’t give him enough love and it’s not like there’s not enough of that ass to go around. 😉

  11. randomthoughts57 September 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    i’ve read many articles and comments from fans, i didn’t really see anything about Iker so its surprising. I actually saw more about Cristiano’s supposed rift from marcelo and the money issue. Most articles just criticized Cristiano for being whiny and greedy. i moved on from this because i don’t think there’s any chance of ronaldo moving from madrid and any other team that can afford him where he would actually want to go to (i think manU is the only team he consider going to).

    anywho, the bigger question on my mind is mesut ozil’s antics. i was annoyed that Modric got the start against granada even though it makes sense in resting mesut. i’m ashamed to say i was a bit happy when modric got fazed out after 20 minutes. Mesut has also been flip-flopping between adidas and nike even though he has a contract with nike. he’s such a badass. and i swear if real madrid allowed him to wear the Yankee hat on to the pitch, he would do it in a heartbeat. Buy a new hat Mesut!

    • GourcuffLover September 6, 2012 at 12:24 am #

      I totally second your “randomsthoughts” on Ozil! Eh you liked what I did there! What is going on this boy!

  12. Ellie September 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    On a happier note, I cant express how much this article amused me, Torres with his medals looking proud, and Messi with a loaf of bread, it just made me chuckle a few times

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