Does September 22 stand out to any of you? Because it sure does for Real Madrid fans, that was the last time their side won. When their team takes the field next Saturday on October 20, it will mark almost one month since their last victory. Since their 1-0 win over Espanyol, Madrid has drawn one match and lost three. The fans are almost in shock and there is definite angst among them. Pressure is building on Julen Lopetegui to get his team back on track. So what is causing this tough run of from for the usually dominant side? I’m going to dig into three reasons that I think are to blame for Madrid’s slide.
Reason #1- Lopetegui’s Tactics
Before Lopetegui took over for Real this summer, the task of leading the club was held by Zinedine Zidane. His sides were dominant, winning three Champions Leagues among a host of other trophies. After his sudden resignation, Madrid chose Lopetegui to take over for Zidane this past summer. Under Zidane, Real had no trouble scoring goals, holding possession, and taking care of lesser opponents. With Lopetegui, Real is still holding a large amount of possession but it is not translating into goals. This is because Lopetegui prefers to sit farther back with his side and hold the ball. His own player, Toni Kroos, has come out and voiced his concerns over his role. Kroos is a dynamic midfielder with the capabilities to own the midfield and control a match. With Lopetegui at the helm, Kroos has been forced to play farther back, which limits Real’s attacking creativity.
Reason #2- Injury Troubles/Squad Depth
I’m willing to throw Lopetegui a bit of a lifeline here. Currently Real is battling a bit of an injury bug and the side doesn’t have a large amount of players to cope with this. Marcelo, Benzema, Isco, and Carvajal are all on the injury report for Real currently. All of these players hold large roles within the side and injuries to them clearly hold the side back. However, one of the best signs of a strong side is their ability to rise above adversity. Simply put, Real does not have enough players to cover injuries to key players. They field an incredible starting eleven and have a few quality players off of the bench, but if the injury bug bites Real is in trouble. If Lopetegui is given more time to work with the side, he can advocate for players he wants brought into the side.
Reason #3- Missing Ronaldo
This reason is very obvious. In Real’s six matches that they have either lost or drawn under Lopetegui, they have scored only three goals. After selling, Cristiano Ronaldo this past summer, Real looked to players like Gareth Bale and Isco to fill the void left by the Portuguese star. So far this has not happened. In the past, Real would look to Ronaldo to take over a game that they were struggling in. This year they don’t have that ability. Ronaldo is tearing it up with Juventus in the Serie A, while Real flounder. A power vacuum has developed at Real with Ronaldo’s exodus, and so far no player has risen to fill the need. Will someone like Gareth Bale step up and score the goals Real desperately need? Only time will tell.
So what do you think is causing the struggles for Madrid? Will these issues just pass with time? Feel free to let me know in the comments and don’t forget to share and subscribe! If there is anything you want to me to write about feel free to leave suggestions as well! Until next time, have a great day and God bless!