14 games after the start of the 2017-18 La Liga season Real Madrid are already eight points behind Barcelona. Los Blancos had a chance of cutting that lead to six points against a mediocre Athletic Bilbao side and yet they barely created enough chances to score and ended up collecting just a scoreless draw in the game. To make things worse, Zidane’s men will not win their group in the Champions League after Tottenham secured a draw at the Bernabeu and dismantled Madrid at Wembley.
All things considered, it would be extremely unfair to say that Real Madrid have deserved better this season. Their overall performances have been extremely poor and dropping points against teams like Levante or Betis at home should never be happening.
Zidane is responsible for the team’s struggles and poor play. Why do Real Madrd tend to cross the ball over and over again when they have players like Modric, Kroos and Isco on the field? Why is Lucas Vazquez ahead of Ceballos in the rotation when the young midfielder could provide the playmaking Madrid need off the bench? While those questions should be answered, Zidane is not the only one to blame for the team’s struggles.
The board decided to trust Gareth Bale’s ability to stay healthy when they built this roster, and that was just an inexplicable call. They also sold Morata and kept Borja Mayoral as the team’s reserve striker behind Benzema even though Mayoral is clearly not ready for that role. Same goes for Achraf Hakimi being Carvajal’s replacement or letting Pepe go as a free agent without signing a quality defender just in case Varane gets injured, something which unluckily enough for Madrid happens way too often as well.
Furthermore, some players simply aren’t getting the job done. Cristiano Ronaldo can’t find the back of the net and his current form is worrying to say the least. Benzema is getting most of the blame and the criticism but the board and Zidane should’ve known that he is not going to be the goalscorer capable of leading this team, that’s Ronaldo’s role. Much has been said about Benzema’s numbers but Ronaldo has scored two goals over ten La Liga games, same as the French attacker in the domestic competition. The Portuguese star improves his overall numbers by racking up goals in the Champions League, but he needs to do more in La Liga, just like players like Marcelo, Ramos, Kroos or Modric, who have been as poor as the two attackers?
All things considered, coach, board and players have to share the blame and improve. Zidane needs to trust Ceballos and implement a decent attacking system, the board must learn from their mistakes and sign a goalkeeper and also an attacker as soon as possible while the current players should also take it upon themselves and show that they are not a self-satisfied as they seem to be right now.