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Analysis: Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Gareth Bale's 2015 form

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Real Madrid's BBC has come in for increasing criticism in recent weeks in light of poor performances and results. We take a look at their level of performance in 2015.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, and Karim Benzema have been the subject of intense debate over the last few weeks as the murmurs that first appeared at the tail end of last season have gained momentum amidst the current situation the team finds itself in. Real Madrid gave up a crucial 4 point lead one match day away from the potentially season defining Clásico and made what should have been a routine second leg performance against Schalke 04 much more interesting than their fans cared for. The latter match was an unfortunately somewhat expected culmination of what has so far been a veritably underwhelming 2015.

Many are now openly wondering whether or not BBC is the key to Real Madrid's winning formula especially with consideration for the 4-4-2 that served the team well at the peak of the 22-game-winning-streak form earlier this season. This is compounded by the supposed drop in form of the famed three pronged attack that has not been firing on all cylinders lately and appears to be in a low point performance wise. In light of this, it would be interesting to take a statistical look at the performance trends for the three forwards to visualize this seeming decline in form.


Karim Benzema

kb5

Before New Year (24 games played):

  • Goals + Assists per game - 0.96
  • Occurrence of 0 Goals + Assists - 7
  • Longest stretch without goal or assist: 2 matches
After New Year (15 games played):
  • Goals + Assists per game - 0.47
  • Occurrence of 0 Goals + Assists - 9
  • Longest stretch without goal or assist - 4 matches


Gareth Bale

GB4

Before New Year (22 games played):

  • Goals + Assists per game - 0.68
  • Occurrence of 0 Goals + Assists - 11
  • Longest stretch without goal or assist - 4 matches

After New Year (15 games played):

  • Goals + Assists per game - 0.40
  • Occurrence of 0 Goals + Assists - 10
  • Longest stretch without goal or assist - 8 matches


Cristiano Ronaldo

CR5

Before New Year (25 games played):

  • Goals + Assists per game - 1.72
  • Occurrence of 0 Goals + Assists - 4
  • Longest stretch without goal or assist - 2 matches
After New Year (13 games played):
  • Goals + Assists per game - 0.92
  • Occurrence of 0 Goals + Assists - 4
  • Longest stretch without goal or assist - 2 matches


What does this mean?

This provides greater credence to the reports that BBC have suffered a marked descrease in effectiveness since the turn of the year. Although the above numbers aren't isolated for just the matches that the three primary attackers played together, it still shows that perhaps there is some worth to the discussion around experimenting with alternative setups which exclude one of Bale, Benzema, or Ronaldo.

However, the most critical takeaway is that the problem (based on the statistics) is not so much that BBC can't work but that it isn't working. The offensive trident were performing very well at the beginning of the season showing that there are factors beyond tactical or system issues that are leading to their poor performances. Their individual contributions have not been optimal perhaps due to fatigue, strength of schedule effects, or the eventual consequences of losing key players to injuries.

So before joining the media in their metaphor circus about changing the channel per se, one should simply reconsider waiting for the BBC broadcast to resume normal programming. Ancelotti has stated that he will not be reaching for the remote any time soon.