Before I start this off, I want to ask one question: When was the last time that you predicted Carlo Ancelotti’s starting lineup and got it wrong? My answer is “Pretty much never!” The only times I may have gotten something wrong is when deciding one position as it is between Lucas Silva or Asier Illarramendi. Most of the time, I’m also able to predict it.
I remember a time where, even if you could predict the starting eleven, you’re still in for a surprise when it comes to the tactics. Lately, even THAT has stayed the same! Our opponents are easily able to prepare for the games against us and we are beginning to struggle a lot more than we should. It may be said that our main problem isn’t predictability but rather the general mood of the team (will get to that a little later) but I personally see this as a major problem.
Our games in 2015 compared to the same fixtures in 2014:
Real Madrid 2-0 Cordoba
Real Sociedad 4-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 1-2 Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid 5-1 Elche
Villarreal 0-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 5-0 Athletic Bilbao
Cordoba 1-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 4-1 Real Sociedad
Atletico Madrid 4-0 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 2-0 Elche
Real Madrid 1-1 Villarreal
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Real Madrid
As you can see, though we have had ups and downs both starts, we have still been able to come out with good performances overall and beat the “smaller” teams convincingly! We do not see that anymore in the team and every game has become its own mission.
Here is a list of things that I want to mention about our recent form (since the beginning of 2015) –
The team walk onto the pitch and, as a fan, you’re full of hope and positive thoughts because you know for a fact that they are strong enough to beat ANY opponent. The game begins and, as time goes on, your face goes from that smile to pure confusion. No one seems motivated anymore! I really don’t understand what’s going on really because we have proven to everyone just how good we are. This is something that needs to change soon and Carlo Ancelotti needs to make it work again. The only players who come out and play with full motivation are Casillas, Carvajal, Marcelo, and Isco. That’s it.
I don’t want to single anyone out and this isn’t really what I’m trying to do here. My admiration for Cristiano Ronaldo is unbelievable but this is not the Cristiano Ronaldo that people fell in love with, that we counted on, that won the Balon d’Or. He is a shadow of himself and there is something going wrong. It may be a bad patch of form, which is COMPLETELY fine but, if he isn’t doing well, then put him on the bench! Let him start the game and, when it seems like it’s just not his day, put someone else instead of him. Just because his name is Cristiano Ronaldo, it should not mean that he is above the team and has to play every single game from beginning to end!
The bench is always the same and is slowly becoming increasingly filled with unsatisfied players! Jese, who has massive potential, is finding himself on the bench during every single game. Asier Illarramendi hasn’t gotten the playing time he needs to continue improving. Keylor Navas hasn’t even gotten off the bench to do anything ever since we were knocked out of the Copa del Rey. Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) is on loan to us and isn’t being given the opportunity to show what he is capable of. This is getting unbelievable and it has reached a point where, when they finally get those 10 minutes on the pitch, they try to do the impossible in order to show Carlo Ancelotti how good they are!
The Absence of Luka Modric:
This is probably one of the biggest reasons as to why we have been suffering so much. Luka Modric has been injured for a few months and is finally returning in the UEFA Champions League clash against Schalke. He has been a master in our midfield and we miss him greatly. With that said, we shouldn’t be that dependent on him. We have world class players in our squad and we really need to utilize them. We cannot let an injury affect our performance that much anymore because we will always suffer!
These are just some of the reasons as to why I see we have been under-performing. Unfortunately, a lot has to do with Carlo Ancelotti and he really needs to change his approach to the games and to the players so that we can get back to how we were before. At this second, it isn’t too late and we are strong contenders for the UEFA Champions League and La Liga. If we wait any longer, it will be too late and there is a big possibility that we could end up having a trophy-less season..