Madrid gods launch comeback campaign for glories of the past

It's crunch time for two Madrid clubs with very different ambitions at stake, explains Tim Stannard...

It’s time now for the true ‘Kings of Capital City’ to step up to the plate, take responsibility for past failings, march forward with heads held high, mount the mother of all comebacks and get back to the nostalgia-tinged nights of the past when the team bullied the likes of Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Failure isn’t an option for this storied club’s legions of fans around the world.

Yes, it’s time now for Getafe, the Colossus of the Coliseum, to steal back the limelight from the attention-hoggers of Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and even Rayo Vallecano - a club that doesn’t even have four sides to its ground - by launching a mission impossible to get out of the relegation zone and arrest a slide of 12 matches without a Primera win.

Fran Escriba

Escriba was shown the door by Getafe after defeat to Villarreal

Getafe took what it feels to be a closer step to that goal by firing manager Fran Escribá on Monday, having had a day to reflect on Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Villarreal.

I’m really sorry about this as Fran Escribá is a good coach, just not the right one for these circumstances

- Angel Torres, Getafe president

The former Elche manager (and Getafe number two a decade ago under Quique Sánchez Flores) had only picked up two points from the past 36 available, breaking the patience of what had been a previously calm Getafe management.

“I’m really sorry about this as Fran Escribá is a good coach, just not the right one for these circumstances,” explained Angel Torres, who said that he was working on a replacement who was Spanish, had not coached at Getafe before, but had plenty of experience. 

The situation is not completely dire for Getafe, with the club second-from-bottom of the table but just two points from safety, leaving six games to secure their status and three wins probably being required.

The problem is that the squad has shown a huge lack of fight of the kind shown by Las Palmas. The Canary Islanders looked set for a swift return to La Segunda at the end of February, but a run of six wins from seven, topped off by Monday night’s 3-1 win at Deportivo, makes Lazarus look lazy.

Las Palmas

Las Palmas have mounted an impressive recovery since February

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Same old story at Real

Of course, one of the by-line stories in Spain’s capital city press this week is another match for Real Madrid who, like a trouble-seeking gherkin, are in yet another pickle.

The storyline is a familiar one to Madrid watchers over the past decade or so

The storyline is a familiar one to Madrid watchers over the past decade or so. Stuff up away leg in the Champions League. Call up campaign to get crowd on side in the return leg. Ring up old players to talk about comebacks of the past in the press. Players promise to give 150%. The aforementioned players concede in about 17 minutes to blow the tie.

At least one of those tasks - in this case ‘reminisce with oldies about past comebacks’ - was easy enough, with Zinedine Zidane himself involved in turning around a deficit against Bayern Munich in 2002.

Zinedine Zidane

Zidane helped Real turn around a 2-1 deficit to beat Bayern in 2002

Sadly, the Frenchman wasn’t much use for a trip down memory lane. Asked about the Bayern turnaround - the last time Madrid managed to overhaul a reverse in Europe - “I don’t recall that much, although we won,” said Zizou, without even bothering to check Wikipedia.

LLL has a sneaky feeling that Madrid might pull this one out of the bag against Wolfsburg. Unless they don’t. Could go either way. Rather like Getafe’s survival chances.

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