Did Ancelotti do the right thing by selling Mesut Ozil?

As the end of the season is approached, a serious assessment about a team's transfer which was regarded by most Madrid fans as a huge mistake could be made.

This assessment could be accomplished by comparing Ancelotti's team and seeing if Mesut Ozil's talents would've fit in Madrid's system that is utilized today, or would Ancelotti have been forced to bench Ozil and induce a negative atmosphere similar to the one created by Mourinho which was one of the main reasons that made Madrid agreed with the latter about terminating his contract.

Ozil in Ancelotti’s 4-3-3

After testing various systems to find an ideal system that would best utilize his player’s talents and at the same time offer the balance that Carlo always expressed its importance in his vision of the future Real Madrid team, the formation that Madrid settled on was 4-3-3 .With Angel Di Maria being dropped back to a central midfield role, where he can offer pace in attack as well as a 3 vs 2 situation on the left wing, and would offer with his speed an ability to recover possession by pressing the opponents deep Lying midfielders or attacking midfielders.

The position that Di Maria is now filling is the position that Ozil would be most likely introduced in if he had remained at Madrid.

Ozil obviously lacks Di Maria’s pace in attack and this is the main reason why Ozil failed to show up in a Wide role in Madrid’s system which usually utilizes its wingers more than any other system ( Arsenal). However, with Ozil’s talents and vision he could definitely offer class if utilized in any system in the world. But the question would be? Is Ozil capable of creating chances for his teammates and participate in attack from a central midfield role and at the same time help in covering the central defenders in midfield the same way Di Maria does.

Moreover, is Ozil capable of pressing high up the pitch if needed or drop deep and support the fullbacks as Isco did in both the last classico and Bayern’s matchup? This defensive role filled by Di Maria in a 4-3-3 system or by Isco in a 4-4-2 system is what gave this Madrid team the balance that Ancelotti thoroughly searched for.

Would Ancelotti sacrifice this balance for the additions that Ozil would offer in attack? The balance that helped his team win the most important games of the season until now and which was able to shut down the most two powerful attacking teams in football ( Barcelona and Bayern)?

Definitely NO, as Ancelotti sacrificed Isco’s postion and the addition he may offer as well s the goals he scored at the beginning of the season in order to settle on the most balanced system.

Real Madrid, are surely in need of a talent on the bench that is able to participate when games become more complicated .For instance, the introduction of Mario Gotze for Bayern in the first leg of the Semi Final would have brought Bayern an equalizer if it wasn’t for Iker Casillas’s heroic save at the late stages of the game. But Ozil is not the type of player that would start most of the season’s matches on the bench as Kaka did in the previous two years.


From a tactical view, and disregarding the financial benefits that Ozil’s transfer provided, Ozil is a player that lacks defensive qualities and is physically incapable of filling the role that Di Maria provided balance to Madrid’s system from.

Nowadays, all midfielders should be capable of offering physicality in midfield to break down opponents attack from the midfield and not exposing central defenders.

Hence, Ancelotti had a clear vision of what he wanted his Madrid team to look like and he knew from Day 1 that Ozil’s talents are not enough to make him lose the defensive duties offered by another player in his position. After observing Madrid’s defense in the last two games we come to a conclusion that any talent could be sacrificed in order to get this match-winning feature that empowered our defense.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Managing Madrid

You must be a member of Managing Madrid to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Managing Madrid. You should read them.

Join Managing Madrid

You must be a member of Managing Madrid to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Managing Madrid. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.