Thursday, February 28, 2008

Aragonés Sues For Peace

Talking of people who have what we might call “issues” with people from other countries or with a different skin colour, it’s been a while since Luis Aragonés has featured in this blog. Aragonés is almost always having a problem with somebody, but recently he made a very public peace with Real Madrid striker Raúl. Now Raúl used to be an untouchable as far as selection for the national squad was concerned, and the decision by Aragonés to drop him has been controversial. “How many European Championships has Raúl won?” was how he reacted when some fans criticised him for leaving the Madrid player out. It didn’t seem to occur to him at the time that he doesn’t have a particularly splendid record in that competition himself.

His decision to drop Raúl was actually one of the few reasonable things “el abuelo” has done, the player had not been performing well for either club or country. However, Aragonés never stops digging when he is in a hole, so reversing any of his decisions becomes virtually impossible; and Raúl has again been looking more like the player of old. Recently Luis has felt increasingly threatened as open speculation began about who would be his successor after the European Championship this summer. Rumours that the name of this successor would be announced before the championship started then provoked him into making a stand. Feeling under attack from all sides, he obviously decided it was time to remove some of the ammunition that his critics have; hence the public peace making with Raúl. Apart from anything else, if Raúl returns to the team and Spain get knocked out in the early rounds at least no one will be able to say it happened because the player wasn’t selected.

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