Another Pre-Season Game, Another Loss For Zidane4 min read
Zinedine Zidane’s promise that everything will turn out alright at Real Madrid is beginning to sound hollower by the week.
A 2-2 draw against Roma (lost on penalties) in their final warm-up game of 2019/20 means that Los Blancos have conceded 18 goals in seven pre-season matches.
That simply isn’t good enough, but if truth be told, Roma could’ve had another two or three before half-time.
Despite having signed Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and others, and having spent in excess of €300m, the Frenchman still seems intent on using his tried and tested XI most of the time. An XI who’ve been awful domestically for the last two seasons.
Champions League wins masked just how tired and predictable this side were becoming, and that was exposed further when Cristiano Ronaldo decided to move to Juventus.
Without the Portuguese’s goals to get them out of trouble, Real have looked ordinary for the most part, and in this pre-season, apart from the odd flash of good play from Hazard, nothing has changed.
To that end, president Florentino Perez is understood to want to shake things up by bringing in Neymar, however, his coach still wants Paul Pogba, his No.1 target for this entire window.
Frankly, even if either of them found their way to the Santiago Bernabeu over the next few weeks, it’s unlikely to change the status quo.
In simple terms, Real aren’t a team at the moment, they are a collection of individuals. Some of whom are well past their best.
The offer from #FCB is so far Coutinho and €100m. Not accepted by PSG
Real Madrid has made an offer too. Money and players (James, Bale). PSG want different players.
Both clubs in the equation. PSG would prefer to sell to Real. Neymar doesn't want to go back to PSG pic.twitter.com/QhYGcvUINE
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) August 14, 2019
One who isn’t is Gareth Bale, but his ongoing feud with the coach means that he’s only getting cursory minutes at best.
Given how poorly Real have been since Zidane took the reins again during the back end of last season, surely utilising your best players is a prerequisite, whether you get on or not.
Is the Frenchman putting his ego before the club’s needs? Is he on borrowed time already, before a ball has even been kicked in La Liga?
Spanish media would have you believe so, saying he has six days to ‘sort out the mess’ that he’s created by having no idea who his best XI truly is or his best formation.
Real’s first five league games are Celta (A), Valladolid (H), Villarreal (A), Levante (H) and Sevilla (A). All are winnable, but if Los Blancos are already playing catch-up to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid by then, don’t be surprised to see Perez’s trigger finger at work again.