Real Madrid’s poor form is threatening to make for a disastrous campaign. Madrid are now Spanish champions and back-to-back Champions League winners. However, in this season, their poor form is threatening to make for a disastrous campaign.
The Bernabeu side have fallen sixteen points off the top of La Liga after 18 league games played so far. They failed to win any of their opening three home games for the first time since 1995.
They lost at Girona, their first defeat to a top-tier debutant since 1990. They also lost to their bitter rivals Barcelona on 23 December 2017 in their first Clasico of the season. This so disgraceful.
In August, Zidane’s side outplayed Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu to win the Spanish Super Cup 5-1 on aggregate. But, what has changed since then?
Now let’s think about it. We’re now going to take a look at four reasons why they currently struggling.
4. Cashing in on plan B
Last summer, Madrid offloaded Alvaro Morata (to Chelsea), James Rodriguez (loaned to Bayern Munich), Pepe (on a free to Besiktas), Mariano (to Lyon) and Danilo (to Manchester City).
Most of these were not only capable deputies but experienced heads who could change games from the bench. Morata and Rodriguez alone scored 23 league goals. This season Ronaldo and the misfiring Benzema have only 6 league goals between them. Meanwhile, Morata and Mariano have struck a combined total of 23 league goals elsewhere.
The ‘B team’ replacements have been coveted youngsters with less experience, such as left-back Theo Hernandez and playmaker Dani Ceballos. Meanwhile, some pressing needs have gone unaddressed. There’s no senior back-up for Benzema.
Zidane wanted to keep Morata and expected Kylian Mbappe to arrive, but must now rely on 20-year-old Borja Mayoral, who has started just once in the league this season.
Elsewhere, right-back Carvajal is out indefinitely with a heart condition. Last year the role would have gone to Danilo; now Zidane has had to call on Achraf Hakimi, 18, from the academy.
3. A busy treatment room which caused a huge crisis
The Girona defeat was the first game this season that Madrid did not deserve to win. They played badly and created little, lacked guts and attitude. The whole team merited blame.
Now we are talking about the list of injuries. All teams miss sidelined players, particularly when several are out at once. Absentees this season include Marcelo, Casemiro, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Raphael Varane, Mateo Kovacic, Keylor Navas and Dani Carvajal.
Madrid did seem equipped to deal with such a crisis before. Then, remember they sold off half their bench players.
SEE MORE NEXT PAGE…