Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho made the surprising decision to bench goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas for Saturday's match against Malaga, starting Antonio Adan in his place. As Real Madrid went on to lose 3-2 -- driving what was likely the final nail in their already destroyed title hopes -- Casillas showed his frustration and disappointment through his body language on the bench (while wearing ridiculous socks).
After the match, Mourinho defended his decision while Casillas' teammates expressed their surprise. From the AP:
"It surprised us, Iker is our captain," Madrid defender Sergio Ramos said.
Mourinho justified the move to bench Casillas by saying that the inexperienced Adan was in better form.
"We hadn't been playing well in different aspects of the game, among which was our defense," said Mourinho. "It was a technical decision.
"My opinion is the one that matters. I analyzed the players I had available and picked the team to play. You can invent the story you want, but it is a purely technical decision and nothing more."
In third place and 16 points behind first-place Barcelona going into the winter break, a switch in personnel by Mourinho is easy to justify. But to pin the club's poor form -- which has resulted in four losses in nine away matches -- on Casillas seems more than a bit misguided. After this latest loss, Mourinho defended Adan by saying that he had "no influence on the result."
For almost as long as Mourinho has been in Madrid, there have been reports of clashes between him and Casillas. This probably won't help. On the bright side, at least no one will blame Sara Carbonero for this.