“Real” is again dragging a player who was bought under Mourinho. This is also Zidane’s fault.


A couple of weeks ago, Real were eliminated from the Spanish Cup, losing to a team from the third division. Then at the “Championship” my material was published about why this is normal.

Real Madrid lost the majority to a club from the third division? It’s ok

Nothing new happened. This is already a classic of Zidane.

And now, Real have won a strong-willed victory over the underdog of the Spanish Championship, but there is no reason to be happy. I agree, it looks illogical. But I’ll explain everything.

Why talking about Zidane’s resignation is nonsense

Before the match with Huesca, in response to another question about the resignation, Zinedine Zidane flared up. “I didn’t deserve this attitude. Real is the reigning champion of Spain. We won the championship not 10 years ago, but last year. Show respect. Every day when something goes wrong, you fire me. If you want me to leave, say so. Perhaps next season will have to change something, but now the team deserves to continue to fight. ”

Zidane is understandable. Indeed, losing a key player around whom you intended to build a team and winning the championship is an achievement that cannot be overestimated. And now he is asked about the future after each match, ignoring, for example, the fact that the team clearly supports him. And each time he reacts to failure with a clear manifestation of character, winning even in a difficult situation.

To inflate rumors about Zidane’s dismissal is foolish, if only because Real is the most difficult team for any coach. Assess the situation: there is an overwhelming number of age stars and legends in the locker room, and young players do not live up to expectations, and the result is needed now. And besides, the leaders support Zidane, so if someone else suddenly comes in the middle of the season, it will be difficult for him. Just as it was difficult for Rafa Benitez after the beloved Carlo Ancelotti. Or how difficult it was for Julen Lopetegui after the same Zidane. By the way, Lopetegui’s results at Sevilla prove that he is a good coach. Well, for Benitez, Real is the only club in Europe in which he has not won at least one trophy since 2000. He won something with everyone else.

In general, Zidane remains (let’s trust the common sense of Florentino Perez for at least a few months). Simply because a change of coach in the middle of the season will not work without a huge restructuring of the roster at the same time. But this does not mean that Zidane does everything perfectly.

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What’s wrong

Since the start of the season, Real have scored 37 league goals. 18 of them are on the account of players over 30 years old. Two more were scored by Lucas Vasquez, who will turn 30 in a few months. Two more – Rafa Varane, who appeared in the team under Jose Mourinho.

Rodrigo, Mariano Diaz, Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio – all the young guys who in theory should have replaced the old legends – have scored five goals for four. Although Mariano is only a stretch can be recorded in the “young”. So, all four of them were only one goal ahead of the good old Casemiro. An old-timer whose duties do not seem to include goals. This is a problem that Zidane cannot solve.

Real Madrid is outdated. They are dragged by the same ones who in the first six months of Zidane were in the team: Casemiro, Modric, Ramos, Benzema – but then there were others besides them. Cristiano Ronaldo, prime Marcelo, for example. And Modric was not 35 either.

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He returned – and Real Madrid have three victories in a row over difficult opponents.

We can say that young people do not pull and are to blame. But there is an example of Luka Jovic: after leaving Real Madrid, he came on as a substitute four times and scored three times. Not everything is so simple: after all, this guy clearly knows how to hit the ball into the goal, although in Madrid it was unnoticed.

With Vinicius and Rodrigo Zidane, it’s harder to blame. A particularly telling example is with Vinicius. By the age of 20, he scored under 100 matches for Real Madrid (including those in which he appeared as a substitute) and under 5,000 minutes. He, of course, can still learn to play in front of the goal, stop being nervous and fussing at crucial moments and add in decision-making, but his problems are certainly not related to the fact that Zidane does not trust him.

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And nevertheless, the question remains: is it possible to make this youth, for whom Peres spent colossal money, play better? Militao brings, Mendy is useless in attack, Rodrigo is useless in principle, Jovic has caused only ridicule, Vinicius is stupid, Asensio after an injury shows the level only sporadically, Odegor chose to go to the crisis Arsenal, Regilon was not useful … If that I have just listed eight players – it is too many unjustified expectations. And, by the way, unjustified investments. In total – 250 million euros, which does not pay off in any way. But is Zidane really getting the most out of them?

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The fact is, youth is not, in principle, a barrier when working with Zidane. Casemiro immediately became the most important player in the first team, as soon as the Frenchman took over the team in early 2016. Casemiro was then 23 years old. Fede Valverde burst into Real Madrid’s core at the age of 20. Asensio started playing consistently (and scoring important goals) at the age of 20 and was consistently useful before the injury, due to which he missed the season. Lucas Vazquez became a model all-rounder at 24 – not the youngest age, but he certainly does not make it to the list of honored veterans that Zidane is betting on.

Age is not the problem. But nevertheless it is. It seems that Zidane is not too fond of messing with young players. Therefore, he reveals only those who are not mature for their years. Who is ready to wait for months for a chance to show themselves, and then go out and play the best match. This is a rare quality among experienced players, not to mention young ones. Perhaps this is the problem.

Could it be better

It’s easy to imagine how Regilon joins the attacks on the left flank and makes great passes into the box. It’s easy to imagine Jovic closing them. It is easy to imagine how Edegor combines with Hazard. Okay, I won’t exaggerate. It is difficult to imagine, but in principle, a healthy and fit Hazard is possible in theory. It is easy to imagine how Valverde will form a bond with Casemiro in the holding zone, making it possible to play in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and this in turn will give an opportunity to place an extra creative player on the field, of which there is an excess in the team. At the same time, it will be possible to relieve Modric a little: in the position of the right winger, he will run less in defense than in the position of eight.

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You can imagine a lot. Zidane does nothing of the kind – perhaps because he relies too much on proven veterans, or because he doesn’t know how. For restructuring, a systemic coach is needed, definitely. But at the same time, something else is definitely needed for restructuring. A little bit to remove the degree of pathos in the dressing room. Reduce the number of legends per square meter.

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It seems to me that this is a priority task. Real Madrid newcomers are under pressure not only by the results, not only by expectations, not only by the money paid for them. But also the awareness of whose places they should take. But these people did not even leave. They sit next door in the dressing room and watch the newcomers try to show something. Given Zidane’s trust in those who have already brought him every possible trophy, the pressure is too much.

Now is a turning point for the club. It is already clear that the old guard does not pull the whole year at a high level, even for the sake of Zidane. This means that it will not be better: these players gave everything. Then you need to build anew, with the young. I am sure that Zidane himself understands this. He also said that “next year something will have to be done.” He could mean himself, or the composition – it doesn’t matter. In summer, changes are necessary, and great. And – importantly – prepared, not panicky. And now the honored veterans of Real Madrid, holding them together with medals, will try to surprise everyone again. Are there any other options?

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