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Five Takeaways From Real Madrid's Win Over Elche

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

1. Isco is our most consistent player this season.

The Spanish magician surely must be considered as our most reliable and consistent player this season because whilst Toni Kroos started off the season by constantly putting in quality performances , his form has dropped since Christmas and the same could be said for Cristiano Ronaldo. Whilst Ronaldo is undoubtedly our best player that does not mean that he is our most reliable as he has certainly put in a number of poor performances despite his continued goalscoring exploits. It's fair to say that one or two games aside Isco hasn't gone missing for this Real Madrid team and recently he has elevated himself to a position where he is now considered by many people in the media and fans alike to be 'undroppable'.

2. Pepe deserves to be recognised as Real Madrid's best central defender.

At this moment in time it is Pepe who is the best performer in central defence for Real Madrid. He has added a level of composure to his game that he didn't possess 2-3 seasons ago. Gone are the days when Pepe would receive a ridiculous or unnecessary red card. In the 2012-13 season it looked like his days at the club might be numbered due to the emergence of Raphael Varane. However he has since improved and was a colossus last season at the heart of the defence, especially in the critical games against Barcelona and Bayern Munich where he seemed to clear every single ball that found its way even remotely close to the Madrid goal. Sergio Ramos has also been magnificent for the most part but he has made costly errors in a couple of important matches and Varane only very recently has begun to find his own form. Pepe is the man Madridista's can rely upon.

3. Madrid must remain focused for the next run of fixtures.

Yes, it may be obvious to say it but it is vital that the squad maintain their concentration especially for the next five matches which culminates in a tie against rivals Barcelona. Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao, Schalke, Levante are up first however and with all due respect to Levante they are the only team that Madridista's should expect the team to beat comfortably. The other teams are all very capable of putting in a quality team performance on their day and should not be underestimated by any means. Since the humiliating loss to Atlético in the league, Los Blancos have won all of their last three games and will want to build the streak to 7 in order to be full of confidence and high morale before facing the Blaugranes who themselves are not so untouchable as we saw following their defeat at the hands of Málaga this past Saturday. If Real show the intensity and high-pressing they exhibited against Elche they'll give themselves a good chance of winning those games.

4. The team should only get better.

With Luka Modric and Fabio Coentrao back in training and Sami Khedira set to return in a week or two the injury depleted squad is regaining its numbers and will be more prepared for the run-in to the end of the season when certain players will need to be rested occasionally. Sergio Ramos is expected to return in a months' time and James Rodríguez is also expected to see minutes again before the season ends. Despite the talks of there being a crisis not so long ago after that loss to Atléti, in reality Real Madrid have now won 7 of their last 8 games in La Liga albeit not always in the most convincing of fashions. Still, this team is showing the plucky spirit and resolve to win close games that they might otherwise have lost or drawn. In fact, Los Blancos are the only club in Europe's major leagues yet to draw a game in their domestic league which shows they're not content to settle for a single point. This will to win games is what will win Real Madrid the Liga BBVA trophy if they keep it up. Also, a quick nod of appreciation to Lucas SIlva who is quickly finding his feet in the white shirt.

5. The broken record.

Carlo Ancelotti needs to rotate more than he is and he also needs to give his substitutes more minutes than he is. How many times have various people echoed that sentiment this season? Too many times if you ask me. The injuries that we've received have slightly forced Ancelotti's hand in making changes to the team's starting line-up but generally and for the most part there haven't been enough minutes given to the squad players which creates problems twofold. One, is that the players who aren't getting minutes get demoralised and demotivated. Two, is that those players who are always playing therefore have the increased risk of picking up a serious injury. Yes, of course it was important to ensure that Real Madrid gained the three points to extend their advantage at the top of the Liga BBVA table however with so many difficult games to come I think Elche were a team where Ancelotti could have afforded to give some of the lesser players some minutes and still be confident of getting the win. Jesé Rodríguez for example was generously given 30 seconds to impress the fans.

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