Spanish media sceptical about Ramos appointment

MADRID - Real Madrid's move to sack coach Bernd Schuster and bring in Juande Ramos sparked harsh criticism on Tuesday from Spanish media, which also raised doubts about the former Tottenham Hotspur manager's credentials.

While some praised what they called Ramos's profound knowledge of the game and his modesty and patience, others said his disastrous stint in London was a bad omen.

Marca slammed Real president Ramon Calderon and sporting director Predrag Mijatovic, calling the club a "comedy" and "shameless".

"The Kafkaesque sacking of Schuster is nothing more than another blunder which joins a long list committed by the club managers, unable to come up with an action plan that is either cheap or effective or even halfway serious," it said.

"The president talks a lot and acts little, the sporting director cries a lot and signs few players, the players earn a lot but don't play much and the medical staff treat many but cure few."


El Mundo noted that Ramos lost the support of the English players at Tottenham because of his patchy command of the language, a handicap that may colour his relationship with Real's large Dutch contingent.

"As soon as he left, the team mysteriously started working," said the newspaper. "Juande now has his bum on the Real bench and only the gods know whether his resounding failure at Tottenham or his virtuous circle at Sevilla will be repeated."

Spurs suffered their worst start to a league season under Ramos, who arrived in London after winning five trophies in two years at Sevilla, including the UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007.

Sport was scathing about Ramos' abilities and said he owed the success he enjoyed at Sevilla mostly to his technical staff.

It said he was inheriting a team that was "unbalanced, had a full sick ward and contained various players in the twilight of their careers including Raul, Guti and Fabio Cannavaro".


"Taking over a team in mid-season and signing for only six months is not something a top coach would do," the paper said.

"But Juande has recognised that it's the only way he can get on to the Real bench, opportunistically diving into the pool without knowing whether the water is hot or cold."

However, Gus Poyet, Ramos's assistant at Spurs and a former Real Zaragoza player, was upbeat about the Spaniard's prospects and said he would focus on plugging the holes in defence.

"Real Madrid will never have a problem attacking," he wrote in El Mundo. "Juande knows very well how to identify issues that need resolving, always putting the team before individuals."

The As newspaper also had warm praise for Ramos.

"We have here a coach who is modest, speaks with a quiet voice and avoids egotism and the cameras," wrote columnist Enrico Ortega. "He feels proud to have triumphed as a coach without ever having been an elite player."