As we mentioned in last week’s podcast, the days were probably numbered for now former Real Madrid manager Bernd Schuster, once he got the always dreaded “vote of confidence” from those above him. The end came this morning, as Schuster was sacked and replaced by none other than Juande Ramos – he of that glorious spell at Spurs, of course.
I don’t think you can blame Madrid for the move, and it certainly was in the cards after a 4-3 loss to Sevilla on the weekend. It also comes during the week leading up to the club’s match at Barcelona on Saturday. A loss there would leave Real 12 points adrift in La Liga, and it would be safe to extinguish the last of the club’s title hopes right then and there.
But does that make this the right timing for a firing? Should it have been done earlier? A team that is already somewhat in disarray and seems not to be cohesive now has another major shakeup to contend with just days before playing its arch-rival in a match that will bury their league season should their lose. It’s probably wise to oust Schuster, and I guess form their perspective, they’d rather go into Barcelona with a new voice shouting the instructions rather than risk suffering another loss under the old leadership.
While it’s not exactly late in the season yet, my hunch is that this move probably comes a bit late, if all else is equal. What we don’t know yet is who Madrid will sign when the transfer window opens next month, and certainly I would think Ramos is going to have some input in that and it will be interesting to see how his way of playing and the type of players he covets will affect Madrid’s spending in a few weeks.