The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with Roma whatsoever, and is all just an opportunity for me express my glee. So if you like long build-ups that struggle to get to the point, you'll love this.

Do you remember 2006? It was a year that turned elite European football on its head, or so it seemed. Within a matter of a few months, calciopoli shifted the hegemony of Italian football, and the fate of the famed triad of Juventus followed that of Real Madrid's supremo Florentino Perez as they were all being shown the door, heading out of the world they seemed to rule, in their own separate dominions. The world had gone mad; it had become a post-apocalyptic sports scene.

When Perez stepped down as Real Madrid president in March of that year, it was said he finally accepted responsibility for an equally hyped and berated strategy that had finally failed, and gone down due to its own lopsided ballast. I never bought it. Perez was not resigning for the better of the club, he resigned when he was getting more criticism than he felt he deserved. He bailed before the team and club could hit rock bottom. When he came back after this summer's election coronation, it was evident little had changed since then. Not once did he express insight or analysis as to what may have gone awry last time around. Not once did he offer a proper explanation for his sudden resignation three years prior. He got on right where he left off, and before his name was back on the door, completed three transfer moves that by now has been written about so much on the Internet that yet another character on the absurdity of the sums being thrown around might very well break the Internet.

Now to the real reason for this post: when those whose transfers shall not be mentioned were presented to the fans, they were introduced to the world with all the ceremony of the world condensed into one stadium in Madrid. I thought the attendance figures - upwards of 55000 - for Kak√° were insane in and of themselves. But that was of course still in a pre-Ronaldo hearts Real Madrid world; never one to be outdone, Ronaldo took it upon himself to be both dog and pony as 80,000 people crammed into a stadium. Just to see him smile and walk around; it was jam packed.

Fast forward a not very long while, less than two weeks in fact. That brings us to tonight's happenings, and the first chance for the home fans to see the most lopsided squad since 2006 year's Real Madrid actually play football. What it's all about. Days before, there was speculation ranging from a 50,000 crowd to a sold out house. Again. Real Madrid will destroy us all! Know how many actually came? 20,000. I realize that to Perez, it fades in importance next to the over reaching goal of peddling as many shirts as possible, but the game itself finished 1-1. All of us not named Perez probably noticed an over abundance of offensive midfielder-second forward hybrids and an empty, cold vacuum where the regular midfield should have been.

To all the Perez apologists, to all the people who said he'd changed; that he's different now, that he learned his lesson. 'Why else would he have resigned last time?'. To all of you, let me express my glee as you too will learn that the more things chance, the more they stay the same. Embrace status quo.