Real Madrid heads into the new season with more questions than answers

(CNN) — Zinedine Zidane’s second coming at Real Madrid demonstrated the Frenchman isn’t a miracle worker. After he returned to the club for a second spell as coach, he had been supposed to supply answers to some crisis-ridden season. From the time Zidane had been reappointed in March, two other managers — Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari — had been gone in the blink of an eye. Fast forward to the close of the year and Real Madrid had missing 17 matches in all competitions and finished 19 points supporting La Liga champion Barcelona, making it the oddest Los Blancos facet of this 21st Century. Real dropped four of Zidane’s 11 matches accountable but his trophy-laden first spell made him the benefit of the doubt with the club’s board. However, as La Liga shouts off Athletic Club beat Barcelona on Friday — doubts still linger over Zidane’s man management skills, his tactical nous and whether the achievement of his first spell has been down to 11 players’ individual brilliance — notably Cristiano Ronaldo’s persistent goalscoring feats. “I believe that the major success of Zidane from the prior years was Cristiano Ronaldo and he is not at Madrid anymore,” Catalunya Radio journalist Ernest Macia informed CNN Sport. “So now we’ll see the authentic Zidane. The folks here in Madrid stated:’The Real Madrid of Zinedine Zidane, it was the Real Madrid of Cristiano Ronaldo.’ Now we will see how hard it’s to handle, to learn a dressing room such as Real Madrid — especially if results aren’t great. “He has a lot of credit since he won three Champions Leagues, however it will depend not just on the outcome but on how Real Madrid plays. Unlike Barcelona, that is a club with a doctrine and DNA, Real is a club that welcomes cash to win titles.” READ:’Neymar’s harm Is Totally mended,’ states PSG’s Leonardo READ: Neymar, Bale, Coutinho — The loneliness of the megabuck soccer superstar Pogba or Pogba A tumultuous pre-season — that has contained a 7-3 thrashing to new-look town rival Atletico — and Zidane’s ongoing feud with Gareth Bale has included yet more doubt to an already cloudy historic period in the club. It’s been reported that the Frenchman will now keep both Bale and James Rodriguez from the squad against his own fantasies, as Actual failed to land his own No. 1 midfielder target Paul Pogba. Actual President Florentino Perez has been thought to be a lover of the Welshman — coming to his defense on a number of events during his time in the club and James, and has reportedly clashed with Zidane above their future roles. “Zinedine Zidane desired Pogba at any cost,” Macia explained. “When he was asked:’Okay, if Pogba isn’t feasible, another player?’ He said:’Pogba.’ “Obviously it’s a big disappointment if Pogba remains [at Manchester United], he’ll need to discover answers somewhere else. He’s been offered three of four unique options and he’s not happy with Bale, who is a participant who makes a distinction but he has hurt very frequently.” A couple of new summer signings may also need time to gel as well as Zidane has continued to show preference to that which he views as his trusted older guard. Karim Benzema seems set to begin the up front before new $60 million ($66.5M) striker Luka Jovic, while doubts remain concerning the role summer marquee signing Eden Hazard will play. To make matters worse, Real announced Friday the Belgian superstar has suffered a hamstring injury and will miss Saturday’s season opener against Celta Vigo. Stalwart Marcelo will probably be preferred at left back to thrilling youthful signing Ferland Mendy, since will Raphael Varane in place of 50 million ($55M) signing Eder Militao to associate captain Sergio Ramos in the center of defense. “I don’t see them winning a lot more names,” Macia said. “In Europe they’ve large opponents, in La Liga they’ve Barcelona that’s very well settled. It will return to how Real Madrid develops this undertaking. “With fresh players, notably the registering of Hazard, and the way they make the transition from the older ones — such as Modric in midfield — and the newcomers. I think that Real has got the players to do it but I’m not sure that Zidane is the man. “I think it will be very hard for him and his brand new time there will be more challenging than the past four decades.” READ: Real Madrid and Gareth Bale saga is a’Rubik’s Cube to resolve’ READ: By fantasy start to nightmare end, Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid profession turns sour Champions League ‘obsession’ Together with Atletico Madrid undergoing the biggest squad overhaul — an exciting one — at Diego Simeone’s eight-year reign, Barcelona’s settled facet would be the overwhelming favorite to keep its La Liga title. The $120 million ($132M) signing of Antoine Griezmann from direct rival Atleti and the coming of precocious talent Frenkie de Jong from Ajax has bolstered an already world class squad. However, Barcelona’s attention this season will undoubtedly be about the Champions League, a competition it hasn’t won since 2015 and has since crashed out of in spectacular style the past two seasons. After surrendering 4-1 and 3-0 Duty leads against Roma and Liverpool, respectively, there is an increasing issue among fans that the team is throwing away chances for arguably the best player ever: Lionel Messi. “After what’s happened in the previous two seasons, the Champions League has become the priority — I would say it is an obsession,” Macia said. “At Barcelona we know we have potentially the best player of all time and that we are wasting our time committing silly mistakes. “In Barcelona we think the Champions League is a must for this group. Not only because of Messi but because Barcelona has an extraordinary team. “They’ve invested a lot of cash in Griezmann and De Jong and possibly Barcelona has the best group in Europe, along with Manchester City.” Barcelona’s pre-season continues to be promising, losing only once and showing hints that the new players are integrating nicely into the programs of Ernesto Valverde, who himself is under pressure this year after also losing the Copa del Rey closing. But Barca’s defeat in Bilbao Friday hinted the Blaugrana might have a battle on his hands win the title, while Real won 3-1 away at Celta Vigo despite playing the majority of the second half with 10 men after Luka Modric was sent off.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *