Big Bernado Schuster is back in business
Having disappeared from the Bernabeu faster than the bullfight-barmy Sergio Ramos, blog ÃÂ¼ber-hero Bernado Schuster has made a very welcome return to the Spanish spotlight after a four month absence.
With the moustache having transformed itself into a full-on Careless Whisper beard and looking a little like an out-of shape Jack Bauer, the former Madrid man has been in the pages of Marca this week talking about his past, present and, of course, Florentino PÃÂ©rez.
As is the norm with Marca, these days the main aim of the out-of-the-closet confession-fest was to hurl yet more insults at RÃÂ¡mon CalderÃÂ³n, with the paper claiming that Schuster was cursed by Ã¢ÂÂthe opportunity of his life coming under the leadership of the worst president in 107 yearsÃ¢ÂÂ at Real Madrid.
"He's stood right behind me, isn't he..."
CalderÃÂ³n has responded to the slur by branding Eduardo Inda, the paperÃ¢ÂÂs director, as Ã¢ÂÂa man with a complex and a bad journalist without any prestige amongst his colleagues.Ã¢ÂÂ La Liga Loca knows the feeling.
MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs revisionist take on SchusterÃ¢ÂÂs stylings is that he is a top, top manager after all and has afforded the former Bernabeu boss all the rope required to defend his 17-month tenure at Madrid.
SchusterÃ¢ÂÂs gut-rumbling gripe about his spell in Castle Greyskull concerns his inability to dictate - or even have the slightest say - in the sideÃ¢ÂÂs transfer policy.
Ã¢ÂÂThere was money for Cristiano... but none for Cesc and Alves,Ã¢ÂÂ complained Schuster who also grumbled that, Ã¢ÂÂCalderÃÂ³n didnÃ¢ÂÂt bring me any of the signings I asked for,Ã¢ÂÂ leaving the coachÃ¢ÂÂs cupboard barer than ManicheÃ¢ÂÂs with the munchies.
Bernado is equally dismissive of the Sporting Director model much favoured in Spain. Or perhaps more accurately, he is equally dismissive of Pedja Mijatovic playing this particular role.
Ã¢ÂÂHe was against me from the beginning because I was not his favourite,Ã¢ÂÂ complained Schuster on the man who was always a strong supporter of Fabio Capello and someone who he feels was equally to blame for the transfer failure of the summer.
Ã¢ÂÂWhy didnÃ¢ÂÂt Villa come? I donÃ¢ÂÂt know, youÃ¢ÂÂd have to ask the greaseball that one.Ã¢ÂÂ (For the record, La Liga Loca has gone creative in his translation of SchusterÃ¢ÂÂs excellent use of Ã¢ÂÂel gominaÃ¢ÂÂ or Ã¢ÂÂthe hair-gelled oneÃ¢ÂÂ)
It is this insistence of treating managers like expendable serfs that will prevent Madrid from bringing in the big cheeses of the global game, claims Schuster.
Ã¢ÂÂIn the whole of WengerÃ¢ÂÂs life at Arsenal, he has been more than just a coach. ItÃ¢ÂÂs the same with Ferguson and Benitez. These guys are more than just trainers. I imagine they would say, Ã¢ÂÂIÃ¢ÂÂm in charge of the teamÃ¢ÂÂ.Ã¢ÂÂ
Inevitably, Schuster has been dragged into MarcaÃ¢ÂÂs Florentino PÃÂ©rez for President campaign and says that he had a very enjoyable meeting with the Anointed One once but soon discovered that he knew absolutely nothing about football - an unfortunate condition for someone who eventually wanted to pick the team.
Ã¢ÂÂYou are not going to learn anything more about football after 30 games sitting in your presidential box,Ã¢ÂÂ noted Schuster.
Perez: "You'll become the best left-back in the world playing for us"
As well as giving Marca yet another opportunity to kick CalderÃÂ³n in his cockles, the Schuster exclusive was a chance for Bernd to put himself back on the managerial market.
There are stories circulating that the German coach fancies the soon-to-be vacated seat at the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n in an AtlÃÂ©tico move that already has the blogÃ¢ÂÂs bones aÃ¢ÂÂtingling.
Ã¢ÂÂI had a chance in Spain, but I needed more time,Ã¢ÂÂ revealed Schuster. Ã¢ÂÂBut IÃ¢ÂÂm going to wait and see how things are at the end of the season.Ã¢ÂÂ
Welcome back, Bernado.