Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has been having quite a public spat with Real Madrid Castilla (the “B” team) coach Alberto Toril over the last few days. Here’s the scenario: when left-sided defenders Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao both went down with long-term injuries, Mourinho decided he would rather play either Michael Essien or Alvaro Arbeloa out of position than call upon one of Castilla’s homegrown youngsters.
The decision was widely criticized in the Spanish media. Mourinho responded by pointing out that Castilla plays a completely different system and that the players he might have called up weren’t being deployed by Toril in a way that would prepare them for playing in the first team. Toril hasn’t taken kindly to his comments.
ESPN’s Graham Hunter takes Mourinho’s side, but points out that his criticism is less about Toril than it is about Real Madrid’s entire youth development structure. Unlike FC Barcelona, which develops players with a view toward assimilating them into the first team, Real develops players so it can sell them. As such, Mourinho and Toril play different systems, and have very little interaction at all, whereas Barcelona makes sure each of its teams play the same system and that coaches of every level are in close contact with one another.