The Monday Profile: Alberto Bueno

Posted by on May 9, 2011 in The Monday Profile | One Comment

If Derby County have stuttered to another unconvincing season, prolonging Nigel Clough’s honeymoon period to the lengthiest in history this side of Alex Ferguson (remember his poor start from the late eighties?), Saturday’s defeat against Reading caught my attention for the performances of two galacticos.

Daniel Ayala was imperious at centre half and the Rams will do well to keep him – he exuded calm and, having already spent a spell on loan at Hull City, will be on the radar of many a club from today – in all likelihood those of the Premier League variety.

But it’s another on loan Hispanic whom I had at first been most keen to see. Alberto Bueno received rave reviews before Christmas and, operating skilfully behind an energetic front two of Jamie Ward and Callum Ball, has a touch that recalls another playmaker dear to Derbyshire hearts, Iñigo Idiakez.

It had been a productive few months. The Rams welled up with belief in August and September and the Spaniard was prominent indeed in a run that saw 14 points garnered from 18 games. This led to talk of a transfer to Wigan – unsurprising given that club’s stewardship and the Madrid born man’s playing philosophy – but Derby managed to retain their grip.

But a few months on and Clough recently hinted that the extension of the temporary agreement with Real Valladolid was unlikely to stretch into a second season. Surely a club that will be shorn of the midfield promptings of Robbie Savage needs all the players it can get?

The Reading match in many way represented a microcosm of Bueno’s season – initially bright but fading as proceedings drew on. Above all, the presence of a player “in the hole”, unrequired to carry out any defending is a luxury in modern football that needs to be compensated by a scoring total better than five for the campaign. It can work with one up front as part of a 4-2-3-1 formation and this has often been the manager’s preferred approach; but with two out and out men, the one behind becomes an advanced attacking midfielder sans tackling, and with the likes of Alejandro Faurlin, Andy King mixing guile with grit this year, Bueno’s attributes lend him the air of a soft touch.

So, despite 22 goals at an equivalent level for Real Madrid’s B Team between 2006 and 2009, it seems Bueno will be striking out for meadows new in 2011-12.

Rob Langham
Rob Langham (pen name: Lanterne Rouge) is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 47 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Football Attic, The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.

1 Comment

  1. Ollie
    June 16, 2011

    Not far wrong on Bueno – lots of skill and promise, but ultimately couldn't quite stamp his authority on the Championship. One terrific goal against Crystal Palace in a 5-0 romp remains one of my favourite ever Rams strikes, however.

    A second season would not have been justified given his undistinguished 2010/11 campaign, but he certainly leaves with our thanks and best wishes.

    One point of order – a run of 14 points in 18 games isn't terribly impressive (although we did actually 'achieve' something similar later in the campaign). I think you meant 14 out of 18 points!

    Cheers, good post.

    Ollie
    http://www.derbycountyblog.com

    Reply

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