It is not often you find a Coach and player in modern day football with a mutual admiration for each other as conscientiousness as Real Madrid’s Portuguese leader Jose Mourinho and his new signing stolen from English Premier League Champions Chelsea, Ricardo Carvalho.
The 32 year-old veteran defender, once a mainstay in Porto’s and latterly the Stamford Bridge side’s backline under the stewardship of Mourinho from 2002-2007, where they enjoyed sweeping domestic and European success, did not need to be asked twice to reunite with the Coach he conducts such a close, personal relationship with again.
Seemingly at first, hopeful press calls stating Carvalho’s desire to move to Spain originally fell on deaf ears following the Portuguese’s ambition to put pen to paper at Los Blancos being rather optimistic in spite of the charismatic player’s only average, to solid form in recent years.
In Mourinho, however, expect far from the inevitable. The Coach’s flamboyant decision making yesterday helped Carvalho to ritualize a career dream when he was officially presented as a Real Madrid player, underlining Mourinho’s resolve and brother ship with Carvalho, almost, only with a select band of footballers he has worked with. At 32 years of age, the traditional image of a new Santiago Bernabeu acquisition lying awkwardly on a medical bed at Sanitas La Moraleja Hospital where Real Madrid Medical Services Chief Dr. Carlos Diez checks meticulously the components of a players medical make-up deemed Carvalho to be ‘in perfect health’.
Trust, is an incomparable friend in football. This undoubtedly is what Mourinho sees in Carvalho, someone whom he knows to the rulebook, has had much coveted accomplishment alongside and a player he sees as a reputable building block in the rejuvenation of Real Madrid over the next two years of the former Amarante born player’s contract. But Carvalho’s move to the Spanish Capital could be seen as a contradiction of what so far has gone on during Mourinho’s Bernabeu helm.
The exodus of two Real Madrid favourites in Raul Gonzalez and Guti, made an early statement of intent the new Coach was looking to plant the seeds for a younger generation of players coming through. Carvalho’s capture, nonetheless, dispels the favouritism Mourinho quickly deleted from the Real Madrid set-up when the Bernabeu old guard had a firsthand tasting of the Portuguese’s ruthless wisdom soon after his arrival. There is a more fruitful point to make here, nevertheless.
In a squad which boasts a fine selection of international talent, what does the signing of Carvalho suggest to Real Madrid’s current defenders? It has been mentioned, with abundance in the past as to how lacklustre Los Blancos’s defensive frailties have been but last season with only 35 goals conceded it was The Whites consistent home and away day shut-outs that helped them to amass 96 points, only to lose out in the last breath to eternal rivals Barcelona.
Real Madrid’s current defensive roster may feel a disservice as to how one or two squad members may lose their place to someone approaching the twilight of an illustrious career, and a signing not necessary purchased to improve the team but one to bolster Mourinho’s grip on a club whether he cares to admit it or not, where he wants his stamp of approval over Real Madrid. Carvalho’s Portuguese compatriot Pepe, former Valencia stalwart Raul Albiol and defensive free-kick specialist Ezequiel Garay have all impressed in Real Madrid jerseys during their respective careers at the club, but with Carvalho looking likely he will start off his Bernabeu career as a regular fixture in the side, a defence which developed a few extra ounces of reliability last term is due for a shake-up. In addition, World Cup winner and now Real Madrid Vice Captain Sergio Ramos may be looking to step up into the mould of a central defender from right back, creating another initiation left to be answered. It is not even an afterthought now, to facilitate the toil of modern day football a squad boasting strength and depth is required, though in general Mourinho has to be careful and find a balance as to how he creates the genetic look of his new team Real Madrid suiting his needs, without employing an element of favouritism and selfishness it will be done only by Mourinho’s way.
A definite disturbance was needed at Real Madrid to change the way Los Blancos were heading, and with Mourinho’s unquestionable record, if a Coach was to secure a recipe for success it would be him. But Madrista’s may just air on the side of caution this term yet as to how Mourinho’s relationship lends itself to his playing staff. For now, the experience of Carvalho could be seen as a masterstroke but there might, just might be one or two problems with Mourinho’s tinkering of a blast from the past come late August when La Liga kicks off.