Real Madrid have no answers to Barcelona’s inevitability

in·ev·i·ta·ble

adjective

1. unable to be avoided, evaded, or escaped; certain; necessary: an inevitable conclusion.

2. sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable:.

noun

3. that which is unavoidable.

José Mourinho will wake up today knowing he has to do it all again. He has to face Barcelona not once, but twice more, for certain. There could even be the possibility of facing them on another two occasions – so help all our sanity. For all the usual tactical posturing and media malaise leading up to the latest El Clásico from Mourinho, the conclusion was the same. Though that was the case, the Portuguese transpired to carve up his system once again with the intention to negate Barça’s threat, as the primary objective. Herein lies the problem; for Mourinho, for Real Madrid as a club, and the supporters. The system used was effectively seven defenders carrying shields, and three attackers carrying guns. Mesut Özil was thrown out of the system, the one unique quantity in Mourinho’s squad, a footballer who can breach enemy lines undetected with subtle ingenuity. Maybe the fact he is a ‘footballer’ went against him in this instance? Marcelo too, for many at this current juncture the best left-back in the world, was corked in favour of Fábio Coentrão’s industry. Hamit Altıntop was the joker in the pack, but only those in Blaugrana laughed.

All these facets equate to one deeply concerning issue – that Mourinho is more obsessed with the idea of stopping Barca play, than allowing his own team to function in the manner they have away from facing the Catalans. Granada may be swept aside, and some may proclaim Real Madrid to be ‘the best counter attacking team on the planet’  but that is, essentially, a different team. That Mourinho can’t react to Barça’s own reaction is almost irrelevant, because the initial plan is so deeply flawed. The philosophy that Mourinho sketches over the summer months is rendered useless. With 15 minutes remaining Real Madrid were trapped by their own devices; Xabi Alonso rubbed his beard after another arrowed pass was intercepted, Cristiano Ronaldo did his customary  fling of the arms into the air, José Callejón chased shadows and Pepe was still making every attempt to decapitate someone. Then in the distance, a familiar, and saddening sight. Iker Casillas, gazing into the night air, disconsolate in his stance. That his look so vacant is no coincidence, after all, he has the best seat in the house for when Barça begin to swagger.

From the second Barça restarted the game after falling behind, the tension filtered through the Bernabéu. They didn’t know how it would come, but they knew it would. Real Madrid are sometimes declared ‘arrogant’. When Guardiola comes to town, they are simply impotent. Facing Barça is a task within itself, but not only do they possess technique, confidence, power, pace and all of the above – but also, inevitability.

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