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How Are Real Madrid Playing?

Denis Doyle

I don't think the start of the season has been positive. Ancelotti's team is struggling to play their football when the game is not comfortable from the start. Away from home in la liga the team is struggling. Real Madrid is ending up reacting to their movements and chasing the ball vertically. There is a lot of room between the lines for the other teams to take advantage of. I don't want to pick on certain players because this is mainly a tactical problem.

<a href="" title="Click to view tactic"><img src="" alt="madrid vs Away team - Football tactics and formations" /></a>

I'm not sure if Ancelotti's 4-4-2 system (two wide players going inside) is the best way for this team to play. It is very difficult to control games against teams that play the ball well with such big gaps between the lines. I would tighten things up. The midfielders have too much space to cover. Teams that play a double pivot can move the ball out easily. This is also a problem we saw with a 4-3-3 at the start of the Villarreal game. The midfielders were responsible for too much space. I'm aware that it is very early for this team but i'm not sure if two lines of 4 without the ball is really the best way to handle some situations. The team's shape is susceptible to fast ball movement because of the spaces between players. Unless the attacking players come closer to the midfielders I'm not sure these formations will be as effective as they are expected to be. I would love for this to work better but some things causing this are not going to change. Without the forwards being behind the ball it is very difficult to put pressure on the ball. Then all the other players are out of position and have too much space to handle. It is difficult to make numerical overloads in any area of the pitch because if the ball is lost players are too far out of position.

I hope one of Marcelo or Carvajal always starts. These are our two fullbacks that can take responsibility in the attacking end. Arbeloa is a safe defender but having him next to Coentrao means neither one of our fullbacks can make a difference. Coentrao doesn't really make a difference in the opposition's half. Without adequate support the wide players are in tough situations.

We are playing Atletico Madrid in a peculiar situation. They are ahead of us in the table. I'm surprised they haven't dropped points yet. This will be the biggest test of the season. Real Madrid cannot afford to drop points. I'm certain they will make the game really tough for us. We are going to see how well the team can control the game in their current shape. If it doesn't work well against them or in the Juventus games then I think it might be best to look at more staggered formations. For example 4-2-3-1.

What do you think?

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