Mistake after mistake with Cheryshev

Benítez made a mistake, convincing him in the summer to stay, before condemning him to the stands and the sofa in his house (it was rare to see him called up to the bench). Madrid made a mistake, by not being clear with the lad and by not treating him as a fully-formed player of some renown (they still love him at Villarreal for the great season he had there last year). Cheryshev himself made a mistake, because given the structural disaster that affects Madrid, with no oversight of the sporting set-up, he should have made it his own duty to remember he was suspended for a Copa del Rey match. And Madrid have made another mistake now, sending him out on loan to a rival team. Although they’re going through a bad patch, Valencia is still Valencia…

I could fill this column with messages from Madrid fans annoyed at the Bernabéu bosses for letting Cheryshev go to Valencia on loan. “When we wanted Mendieta, Ayala, Villa and Gayà they were all huffy and told us to do one. Why do we turn the other cheek?” When, some years ago, Madrid lent Canales to Valencia, I told a top Madrid executive about this feeling among the fans. His answer chilled me to the bone: “Tomás, what the fans think isn’t our problem. We’re driven by professional factors, not feelings”. Good luck Denis my friend.