Real Moves: Juande Ramos In, Schuster Out

Let's never forget that there are few positions in sports as tenuous as that of a big-time soccer coach at a world famous club. Today Bernd Schuster was fired as coach of Real Madrid, only a couple months after leading Los Merengues to the 2007-08 La Liga crown. Madrid had slumped to fifth place -- nine points behind eternal rival Barcelona this campaign.

Replacing him is Juande Ramos, who was fired by Tottenham at the end of October. Ramos returns to his native land with a pair of UEFA Cup titles with Sevilla in the last couple years.

On the plus side for Real Madrid fans, the club already owns arguably the world's best keeper in Iker Casillas, so fans shouldn't have to worry about a calamity like Heurhelo Gomes at the Bernabeau any time soon. What's questionable is that Schuster & Co. have essentially assembled the Dutch National Team in the Spanish capital and it's a wonder if Ramos will mesh with the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, etc. or if he'll want to bring in his own troops.

Real Madrid is in a striking crisis with Ruud van Nistelrooy out for the season. Could Ramos' connection to Sevilla allow him to lure one of his former strikers like Luis Fabiano or Freddy Kanouté? We also know that Ramos is a great Cup coach, so perhaps he can coax a nice run in the Champions League out of Real Madrid.

An amazing fact about Real Madrid is that after Vincent Del Bosque coach from November 1999 to June 2003, the club have had eight managers up to and including Ramos. Facts like that only make it all the more extraordinary that Sir Alex Ferguson has lasted at Old Trafford since 1986 and to a lesser extent Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal since 1996. They're like Jerry Sloan compared to all other NBA coaches.

At these big clubs if you win, you're the best thing ever...until you start losing, when you're run out of town with an angry mob fielding torches and pitchforks. There's little in between. Apparently they don't like the word 'rebuilding' in Europe.

Real Moves: Juande Ramos In, Schuster Out originally appeared on Soccer FanHouse on Tue, 09 Dec 2008 11:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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