Conte reportedly taking over as manager
The biggest report to come out of the embarrassment that was Sunday’s El Clásico was word that Antonio Conte would be taking over as manager of Real Madrid in place of Julen Lopetegui. José Luis Sánchez, who is a Tier 1 source for Real, released this report on his Twitter:
“Julen Lopetegui will be removed in the next few hours (@sexraNoticias) sentenced.
Julen Lopetegui será destituido en las próximas horas (@sextaNoticias) Sentenciado.— José Luis Sánchez (@JLSanchez78) October 28, 2018
Obviously, it has been more than few hours since Sánchez tweeted this out. Many other outlets have claimed that Conte will be announced by the club on Monday and will take over from there.
If this is indeed true, Conte is probably the best choice out of the slim pickings that are available, especially when the only other highly rumored candidate (Mourinho) has yet to be sacked by Manchester United.
It’s been a fairly horrific start for Real, they need a shot in the arm for sure. Lopetegui hasn’t seemed to work out for them at all, and though the blame isn’t solely on him, it’s much easier to get rid of the manager than underperforming players.
Conte can’t be expected to be a miracle worker, this would be a brand new squad to him. However, his tactics would potentially gel with the squad and get them playing to a top level again.
Hopefully, he would receive some transfer backing in January as well to add to the depth of the squad. We’ll have to wait to Monday at least to see what happens, if it is hopefully he can change things a bit around for the better.
Ramos says players are still with Lopetegui
Sergio Ramos was interviewed after El Clásico and asked about Lopetegui and the current relationship with the squad.
“I am not going to change what I say.”
“The coaches and the players are with the coach to the death. Results determine a lot whether a coach stays.”
“But it is not our decision, it comes from above. We have heard nothing. So we will stay the side, and let the hours pass, and what must happen will happen.”
Ramos is honestly saying what any captain would say, he’s not going to undermine his manager in light of all the sacking rumors. He’s especially not going to badmouth him while no official managerial announcement has been made by the club.
The squad is likely very frustrated, between the poor performances and the constant reactions from the media. They probably don’t want to be involved in the managerial process and are going to publicly back him until he is no longer manager. I’d assume they are tired of being asked about their confidence in Lopetegui.
Lopetegui has confidence in the team and believes bad form will come to an end
Julen Lopetegui was also interviewed after El Clásico and asked about the state of the squad and their recent performances.
“I feel sad at the moment, but I have the strength to remain in charge of this group.”
“This is a tough blow, but I know everything can be turned around.”
“There is a long way to go and I have a lot of faith in this group of players. We have had such bad luck over the past few weeks, but all runs come to an end.”
“As a coach, I have to take the job on and try to improve this team. The team has a future this season, it can be successful.”
“We all know how the world of football works and the final responsibility lies with the coach. I am not stupid. But here, we win together and lose together. We are still early in the season.”
Lopetegui still seems to be remaining publicly confident in the squad and his ability as a manager to turn them around. The problem comes with just believing that the bad performances will stop and not actively seeing to that.
It’s easy to say that Real have a future this season and this unfortunate run will end, but they actually have to turn things around physically and not just in words.
We don’t know how long Lopetegui will still be here, according to reports it’s not very long. Obviously, he’s not going to concede to the public what’s going on behind the scenes, if he even factually knows a managerial change is imminent.
If anything positive is coming out of El Clásico, which isn’t much, it’s that Lopetegui and the squad at least publicly are united and are with each other until a potential change at the helm does occur.