photo credit: Arturo J. Paniagua
Here comes Johnny…
Real Madrid swept their way to a comeback win over Sevilla AND tied themselves atop the La Liga table with Barca all in one fell swoop. Personally, I’m impressed. I didn’t think they had it in them, but with 62 points apiece these two teams are 16 points up on their next closest contender. That’s pretty good considering how close they let it get earlier in the season.
Now come the questions:
1. Can these two teams run with each other through May?
2. Can these two teams hold themselves together through May? (Yes, those are different things.)
3. Will the grind of trying to keep this up kill one or both of them?
I figure it’s like this:
Yes, the two best teams in the league can run with each other for the rest of the season. They don’t have any competition otherwise so they can just keep their eyes on each other. They’re at the eye of the storm and no one is bringing them out.
Yes, they can probably hold up for the remainder of the season. Because they are only competing with each other then it shouldn’t be a huge deal. Imagine how much time they can give other guys on their squads just because of the 16 point spread on the table and the fact that they only see each other one more time this season.
Can they survive this grind without killing themselves? I don’t know.
Leo Messi–for me–is the best player AND leader in the game today, but with the World Cup coming up and this pinch at the top of the table…he might have the worst confluence of events possible. Perhaps it will be too much? It might be, but you never know.
For Madrid it’s a simple equation: Too much pressure + too many overpaid superstars = not enough leadership. You can say that I’ve been wrong up to this point and. “Why should we believe you now?”. Because at some point this is going to become a problem. It may have to wait until the Final…but it is bound to happen.
I’d be shocked if it happened any other way.