Real Madrid – Opinion The opinion of Amalio Moratalla
I didn’t like the spectacle put on at El Sadar and I didn’t like it for a number of reasons, reasons that aren’t to do with the result. Obviously, it was partly the state of the pitch as it was hard and snowy, green in some parts and frozen in others. The chances of their being a good footballing show were zero. It was all going to be about little mistakes or imprecisions, or else it would definitely be a 0-0.
This week of cold weather has affected everyone, but not everyone played with the pitch like it was at El Sadar. The first thing that worries me when I see something like that is the safety of the 22 players and the substitutes. Then, it’s that you know the game won’t be good. Lastly, in this state it’s easier to be destructive than constructive in the play and the game moves away from being a good footballing head to head.
Several matches were postponed and with good reason, but I can’t understand why they didn’t postpone this one in Pamplona or at least change the time. With the weather like this, it could have been brought forward. I know there are TV commitments, but the best league in the world – as we like to say – should protect its athletes and the show. Just like they came up with the good idea of hydration breaks in the summer, there were other circumstances that could come up in winter that should also be treated as extraordinary. The cold temperature and hard pitches can make football another sport. So, I couldn’t agree more with Zinedine Zidane.
I say if the same for everyone, for the Osasuna and the Real Madrid players. The Navarre club worked hard to have the pitch ready and it was quite good given the circumstances, but the match was another thing. The professionals did well, but I think it was unnecessary to press on with this game given the weather conditions at play.
Since I’m not new to this, I know that football has been played for years and years on pitches with cold and ice, but modern football isn’t that. The pitches are usually a perfect carpet. The situation at El Sadar wasn’t able to create a good show, which is an objective opinion. I’m not talking about adulteration of the competition or of bad planning. It’s just that in these circumstances the game shouldn’t be played. It’s that simple.
Does anyone think otherwise? If so, can you explain it to me? Thanks.
The players are people and require some minimum standards to show their talent and play. The first is the pitch, then the ball and then the weather. With the rest, almost anything goes.
An artificial pitch is even fine with me, so long as it has regulated standards for professional players and that there aren’t different coloured lines crossing the pitch. It would have to be a modern artificial pitch. Otherwise, the players who aren’t used to it will stand out. This is where risk comes in. I want to make myself clear. I like the new format of the Copa del Rey, but things like this need to be looked after. Just like with VAR, for example. Things like this should be at all levels or not at all, not even in the final. You could have a finalist who progressed because of an offside goal when there was no VAR then plays a final with VAR.
In conclusion, I know this isn’t easy. But, there are some obvious things. When snow like this hasn’t fallen in over half a century in certain areas of Spain, it seems reasonable to me to postpone or suspend or delay a game. It’s about finding the right moment to play. It’s that simple.