A much needed winter break has arrived and the players are now on holiday for a couple weeks, which is something they are in desperate need of after a disastrous first half of the season.
Starting with the league, it’s no secret that Real Madrid have been struggling and currently find themselves in third place behind leaders, Barcelona, and second-placed Atletico Madrid. The players are not playing anywhere close to their form of last season and even the games where they have performed (Mainly against Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, and Manchester City), they have not played as well as they could. Their recent 3-2 loss to Malaga is what has all but sealed the deal that they will not be holding the cup at the end of this season. Also, the controversy has been over the top against the team and specifically, Jose Mourinho, as he is the one getting fingers pointed at him so far this season. His recent ‘tactical decision’ to bench Iker Casillas in favor of second choice Antonio Adan did not go well with any of the fans and he will need to find a way to gain their trust back as soon as possible.
As for the players, they will need to re-gain the intensity that they have clearly lost. In the beginning of the season, this was all blamed on fatigue but they still need to find some way to overcome all of that and play the way they used to. It’s true that the league is pretty much over right now but Real Madrid have never been a team that have stopped fighting and they will need to do that now as it is still mathematically possible to win this season. And, if they don’t, then at least they went down fighting.
La Liga Top 5:
1. Barcelona – 49 Points
2. Atletico Madrid – 40 Points
3. Real Madrid – 33 Points
4. Malaga – 31 Points
5. Real Betis – 28 Points
Copa del Rey:
The King’s Cup is a slightly different story. Jose Mourinho has placed the least importance on this cup as he is playing some of the fringe players such as Antonio Adan, Nacho, and Alvaro Morata. This doesn’t mean that they don’t need to fight though. In the last game played (First leg of the round), Real Madrid lost 2-1 against Celta de Vigo in a game which featured players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Again, Real Madrid did not perform anywhere close to their real potential and were slightly lucky to find the back of the net late in the game to have a good chance of making it through to the next round.
The second leg will be played on the week back after the break and hopefully the Men in White will be able to win convincingly and find themselves moving onto the next round of the Cup.
UEFA Champions League:
The UEFA Champions League is arguably the only competition in which we are still going quite strong. After being placed into the “Champions Group” alongside Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund, and Manchester City, Real Madrid were able to end the group stages in second place after some convincing performances. Now, for the Knockout Round, Real Madrid find themselves in the hardest game against Manchester United. Judging from past performances of both teams, there are sure to be a lot of goals scored but Real Madrid will probably have a harder time because of their defensive problems and the fact that they are not able to score as much as they did last year.
The good news is that the first leg is scheduled during the first week of February, which means that Real Madrid will have time to improve and will also most probably be able to welcome back Fabio Coentrao, Marcelo, and Gonzalo Higuain from their respective injuries.
In the end, the next step is very obvious for Real Madrid. They are in desperate need to improve and will need to fight extremely hard if they plan to end the season with any silverware whatsoever. But as the fans have stood together during victory, they will need to stand together during defeat and difficult times.