La Decima. The tenth Champions League trophy. That has been the goal of Real Madrid for the past 12 years. The past three seasons the Spanish Giants got closer to the trophy but the cup with the big ears never got in touching distance. Yesterday they played against the Italian champions Juventus and the same old story repeated itself. I will explain that story and I will immediately answer the question why Real Madrid won’t win La Decima.
Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, bought Ronaldo, Benzema, Özil, Modric, Varane, Kakà and Bale in order to win the tenth Champions League title. Real Madrid always got through to the semifinals where Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund stopped them. Spending over 400 million pounds the question how that can happen, is an easy one to ask but not an easy one to answer.
One of the major problems is the balance in the side of Carlo Ancelotti. We have 2 world class goalkeepers, 3 central defenders, 1 right back, 1 left back and Arbeloa who can play on both back positions. On the central midfield we’ve got: Khedira, Modric, Alonso and Illarramendi. On the ‘number 10’ spot we have Isco with Ronaldo on the left and Bale on the right. Benzema is our striker. Let’s take a closer look to our selection. The problem there is the lack of a second striker. We’ve got only one striker. If he gets injured Ancelotti will have to play with Morata in the centre or take Ronaldo out of his comfort zone. Both solutions aren’t ideal if you have to face the best teams in Europe. We also got only one number 10 who isn’t playing any more. Isco got benched after being the best player at the start of the season. A weird choice of the Italian master Carlo Ancelotti.
Unmotivated and not concentrated
Who has seen the game against Juventus will agree with me on the fact that our squad wasn’t playing concentrated and even lacked motivation and enthusiasm. Strange… they were playing against Juve, the Italian champions and they could place themselves for the next round of the Champions League. Still, Carlo Ancelotti couldn’t motivate his side to give their best. The worst player was Varane, who made 2 big mistakes. The sliding resulting in a penalty was foolish and not something he normally does. His second mistake was his defending on a high ball which Llorente headed behind Casillas. Slow and naïve defending from the young star. Not only against Juventus the defence was a problem. In the 7-3 victory against Sevilla goalkeeper Lopez got beaten 3 times. The game after against Rayo Vallecano Lopez got beaten twice from the penaltyspot while Real was leading 3-0. Ancelotti already stated that the concentration of his defenders is below any level and the performance of the midfield was for the defending part horrible too. Only the german defensive midfielder Khedira, who gets criticised all the time by the Spanish public plays at his normal level.
Ancelotti rotates too much with his selection. He’s trying to find a place for Gareth Bale who he didn’t want, resulting in benching Isco in order to keep the balance in the squad. This is where Carlo is wrong. You don’t need 3 defensive midfielders to win games if every player gives his best. Carlo needs to step out of his comfort zone and let Isco play. Isco was the glue between defence and attack and we are missing that glue. Ancelotti should make a choice between Varane, Ramos and Pepe. Amazing how three different coaches can’t get one of the best and most expensives selections motivated for playing the game we all love. Therefore Real Madrid will get close, but won’t win. Just like they did the last three times. Hopefully Carlo gets the benefit of the doubt and can stay after this year or the same old story will continue until Perez finally realizes that working on long-term has better results than trying to buy yourself the big prices every year.