Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Manuel and the African touch

Real Madrid are in the shadows of their Catalan rivals and they are making quick moves to rectify what they would be seeing as an anomaly.

Enter Manuel Pellegrini. After his appointment, quite a lot is expected from him. He has to deliver fine transfers that the Madridista like, win the La Liga and the UCL too.

Where, if I may ask, does Barca stand in these analysis? It's not as if the Catalan outfit would standing idle while the Chilean bags trophy after trophy.

However what interests me is the African touch he would bring to the team.

Mahamadou Diarra was sparingly used in last season and it was a big blow. In October of 2008, while playing for Mali against Chad, Diarra was stretched off the field after receiving a blow to his knee.

The 28-year old was rested for a month and made another appearance in late November, but was forced to go under the knife after he aggrevated his knee once more. He's been out of the season since then and he was de-registered from Real Madrid's first team. His number 6 was given to new signing Lassana Diarra.

But should he come back, the former Crete, Vitesse and Lyon man may be a key cog in the Los Blancos wheel. He doesn't score many goals but - for a defensive midfielder - his impact should not be underestimated at all.

Or maybe, just maybe, Pellegrini may buy some good African players.