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Real Madrid V.s. Levante: Tactical Analysis--Mourinho Needs to Meditate


Terrible.That's the right word to summarize yesterday's Real Madrid game. And no, I am not being apocalyptic and I don't think we need major changes like firing some players and/or the coach. Mourinho just needs to think about his system, and so do the players.

I don't understand Fábio Coentrão. He was the best player on the pitch Wednesday and one of the worst Sunday. He was OK on the wing until Khedira was sent off, then Mourinho placed him in the midfield and he started to lose importance. And here's Jose Mourinho's first mistake: Esteban Granero should have been on the list for the game.

Without the obvious absence of Nuri Sahin, El Pirata would have been the right choice when Khedira abandoned the field. I would have taken out Marcelo, so we could play a 3-3-3 with Coentrão, Xabi Alonso and Granero in the midfield. Levante was defending Alonso pretty well, so Granero would have been pretty much open to create and play Xabi's role. With Nuri Sahin ready, Granero might be dispensable, since they share similar features, but without the 23-year old we desperately lack some offensive imagination and creativity when the other team is so tight. Granero needs to be on the bench at least until Sahin is healed.


Mourinho also needs to realize that the team does not open up the field. With Coentrão and Di María on the flanks, I expected the team to play a lot more in that area. As I said, Levante was organized and close, but the solution is pretty obvious. Play on the wings with Marcelo, Di Maria and Coentrão so Kaká and Benzema  have more space in the center. I am not talking about crossing the ball because Cristiano Ronaldo is our only offensive man that can play in the air.

His substitutions were not right also. He took out Benzema for an injured Cristiano. That's right, Ronaldo was obviously still hurt. Even Ballesteros beat him in the 30m sprint. Then, Mourinho realized that we were missing a pure striker, so he subbed on Higuaín. I am not going to repeat myself about Pipa. Everyone of you know that I believe he is not fit and ready to play, and he demonstrated so yet again. Mesut Özil looks tired, but he joined the pitch for Marcelo (the team finally played the 3-3-3 for the last 20 minutes). We looked better when the German genius started to play, so he was right with that last change, though he executed it too late.

But please, don't panic. There are a lot of good coaches in the world. In that group José Mourinho is the one that stands out. Every coach makes mistakes. Pep Guardiola sold Samuel Eto'o almost for free--they transfered him plus 45M€ for Ibrahimovic--, and he also finished the decisive game against Inter Milan with Bojan, Messi and Jeffren trying to head the ball after taking out Ibra. Sir Alex Ferguson's lineups against Barça are not realiable as well.

As you can see and imagine, Mourinho and these players deserve some credit. Although we didn't play well at all, this game was an accident. We had outrageous luck and I firmly believe that the "normal" outcome was a Real Madrid win anyhow. I am certainly sure that the team is going to improve. Mourinho was going to rely on Sahin for these games, but we have been unlucky with his injuries so far.

I don't know whether Mourinho is planning to play the starting team against Racing, but it would be nice to win the game in a comfortable and authoritative way.

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