Soccer / casemiro

Why criticize Caseimiro?
source Some people have recently been criticizing us for jumping on the Casemiro "bandwagon" after criticizing him so much last season. Well, just go and watch Casemiro under Zidane and then go and watch yesterday's match. The player who has most improved, if not ability wise then atleast in respect to what he offers to the team, is Casemiro in my opinion. From going around running like a headless chicken and acting like a number 9 often, Casemiro has been given a definite role in the team by JLo and he has adapted to it perfectly. He sits in front of the defence waiting for the opposition counter attack so that he can break it off, and has learnt how to cover the void that Marcelo leaves, when he goes on on his wild runs, with great positioning. He has toned down the number of his harsh tackles he makes even though he still makes some unnecessary ruthless ones, such as the one that earned him a yellow yesterday, and acts as a great complement to Kroos' role who sits deeper and orchestrates attacks with his pinpoint passing. However, what impressed me the most, is Casemiro of yesterday. In Marcelo and Toni's absence, I was curious to see how Casemiro would perform since he would have a slightly different role. Moreover, Espanyol yesterday played a low block and relied on counter attacks, which meant Casemiro's role was very important for two reasons. One, the low block meant that we would find no space centrally and thus we tried to attack from the wings (we had 33 crosses yesterday), which meant that Ceballos, Isco and Asensio stretched out the mid, and with Nacho much more defensive minded than Marcelo, Casemiro often found himself with the ball with opportunities to play long balls and help start attacks, a role he is not very good at as we all know. Two, counter attacks meant Casemiro had to be alert and at his best to stop the lethal surges forward, and had a crucial role in breaking off attacks. And boy did he deliver. Casemiro yesterday had his best game of the season, with amazing statistics. He had blocks, interceptions, 3/4 succesful tackles and won 6/8 duels. But what were most impressive, were his offensive stats. He had 71 passes with 94% accuracy and completed 9/11 of his long balls. For someone who is generally categorised as a player not good with the ball, those are some pretty good stats. Moreover, the increased confidence is very much visible. I remember an incident in which he kept one feet on top of the ball and even when two players surged towards him, he remained calm and kept barking out instructions before playing a pass at the very last moment. But at least we won and although it was a slight win and some fans including me was even nervous for the opponent not to equalise in the dying minute of the game but thank God luck is on our side. CASEMIRO STATS AGAINST ESPANYOL source 14 - Casemiro made 14 recoveries against Espanyol, his highest ever total in a La Liga game. Very essential to our team. He's here to stay! Espanyol really had a good game yesterday and this man was key in earning us those 3 points. I would be the first to admit, I had thought he would be outcast from the team for he would not fit into JLo's team, but the way he has come of age has really surprised me and I couldn't be happier. Even though he is not fit enough to help in the build up much and is still kept out of that part of our game, against teams like these he is absolutely crucial, and I wish he keeps performing at this level throughout the season. HALA MADRID!

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