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Carlo Ancelotti needs to optimize Gareth Bale's strengths as a player

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The Welsh attacker is yet to play a big part on Real Madrid's offensive system since he was required to work defensively.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Did Real Madrid pay €100 million for this version of Gareth Bale? Over the last three games, the Welsh player has been helping on defense more often, meaning that he is also away from the area in which he's more dangerous: the opposition's box. While it's true that Real Madrid could not afford to defend with just 7 players against elite teams, Los Blancos' offense has not been clicking ever since Bale was required to help Carvajal more often.

Gareth Bale has not declined as a football player in a span of 6 months, but he's not finding the comfort zone that allowed him to succeed during his first season as a Madrid player. It has often been said that Bale's strengths and weaknesses as a football player don't make him a perfect fit for Real Madrid's right wing. Ancelotti stated during one of his press conferences that Bale has more room to shoot from distance if he is deployed on the right flank, but the Welsh player is not using that weapon at all after the Spanish press started to question his decision-making. Bale is now almost afraid to shoot and always looks for the cross or the right assist to his teammates, and that's not the right thing to do when the opposition have learned to force him to dribble with his right foot.

It's Carlo Ancelotti's job to ensure that he's using the players at his disposal the right way. Would Real Madrid improve by moving Cristiano Ronaldo to the center of the offensive line even more? The Portuguese player does not have the acceleration, power and speed he had years ago, so his position on Real Madrid's left wing doesn't make that much of a sense anymore. Meanwhile, that would allow Bale to play with more freedom instead of being used as a pure winger who is always expected to cross and help defensively.

The Welsh player should be expected to make the difference, but it would not be fair to demand that from him if he also needs to make a big defensive contribution.