Finally, the long awaited sequel to 2009's "Zizou's Mellon". Today's recipient of footballs most inglorious cranium is presented the rare opportunity to alter his fate and control his destiny.
There is little arguing that Sr. Florentino Perez has given Madridistas plenty of reason for excitement in the last 8 months. And although as sports fans, we all tend to be advocates of change, Flor, like the guy who is working on his 5th Gray Goose and tonic of the night needs to "know when to say when".
Despite the scrutiny and unreasonable expectations, few OBJECTIVE fans of the game can argue that Madrid's summer signings have played well and the team is beginning to look dangerous. Ronaldo is a game changer from the moment he steps on the pitch. Kaka, though perhaps still missing a step is a beautiful orchestrator of the game. Xabi pairs well with Lass to provide a rock solid central midfield. Albiol has quietly transformed Real's backline to a stingy group (just ask Xavi who was quoted as having deemed Real's defense possibly the best in the league). Arguably the only reason Granero doesn't start each game is his lack of star power, and Arbeloa has been a nice addition. Only Benzema has had his rough patches, although this weekend's brace seems to indicate that he's getting a feel for the different approach and philosophy of La Liga.
Even the staunchest of Barca fans who are proclaiming their team league champs and the favorites to repeat as CL kings wake in a cold sweat over the prospect of a rapidly improving Madrid side.
And now as we approach "the silly season", we face the possibility of more change. Rumor has it that Flor has his eye on everyone from Rooney to de Rossi and Ribery. To this point, Jorge Valdano has managed to balance out Flor's apparent mission to buy up every established offensive star on the planet. Instead opting to pursue young talent like Canales and Hazard, while brining departed members of the Castilla back in to the fold.
To Barca's credit, much of their success is founded in their reluctance to impulsively buy like a depressed Orange County housewife whose husband just took on a third mistress. The core of their squad-Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and even the coach Guardiola have been together for the better part of 5 years. They have grown together and share a common vision and understanding. What Madrid has accomplished and become, just in just under 6 months together is frankly surprising and pleasant. There is no lack of talent or professionalism on this squad, and Pelligrini has them starting to play as a unit. To inject more change in a talent rich squad would not only be the purest demonstration of hubris, but just plain destructive to a team who is just starting to find its identity.
So on behalf of Madridistas everywhere, I implore Sr. Perez, to push away from the bar this summer and just say no. A little restraint makes Los Blancos the favorites to not only win in 2010-11 but possibly begin a new dynasty that could dominate for several years. And more importantly, it avoids me having to unleash the greatest weapon known to mankind. A threat so destructive that when wielded some 4 years ago has yet to be forgotten across the globe. Zizou's Mellon.