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Open Thread: August 4, 2021

Our Wednesday issue of the Daily Merengue!

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Brazil v Venezuela: Group B - Copa America Brazil 2021 Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The Open Thread/Daily Merengue is a place where you can discuss anything and everything related to football. Feel free to discuss the topics presented here, or start your very own discussions! The Open thread will be posted every day by one of the mods: Valyrian Steel, Felipejack, YoSnail, Ezek Ix or NeRObutBlanco.

Toni Kroos Out

It could take at least six weeks for the German to heal the sports hernia injury and rehab back.

Kroos has performed the subtle roles of conducting possession and ball progression for a World Cup win and for 4 UCL titles. His technical level is classically Real Madrid, and his seeming ability to always be calm and have time in tight spaces is a force in the battle for control of the middle. Los Blancos will undoubtedly feel the absence of Toni’s steady hand.

But the reality is: at some point Real Madrid will have to find new players to assume these responsibilities. Although class footballers they may still be, the KCM midfield has logged a lot of miles. The club will hopefully this season identify how its new generation is going to look.

What kind of midfield would you start out with?


What midfield would you start out with?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Casemiro, Modric and Valverde
    (331 votes)
  • 42%
    Casemiro, Valverde and Odegaard
    (328 votes)
  • 9%
    Valverde, Odegaard and Modric
    (76 votes)
  • 1%
    Valverde, Odegaard and Ceballos
    (12 votes)
  • 0%
    Valverde, Isco and Modric
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    Casemiro, Ceballos and Odegaard
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    Casemiro, Isco and Odegaard
    (8 votes)
768 votes total Vote Now

MadridXtra caught this comment from Romano on Twitch, noting that this may spur the squad to strengthen its ranks in midfield, particularly if it is being requested by Don Carlo:

The Five Substitute Rule

It seems unclear whether the La Liga season will feature the five-sub rule as it did for the 2020-2021 season, a rule change put in as response to the pandemic and the short season. IFAB has announced that the upcoming EPL season will be played with five subs.

My take is that Real Madrid has been reluctant to seize upon how dramatically this impacts football. Changing out two, three or four players at minute 65 with a specific plan place is big — it can alter the makeup and style of an entire lineup. This was used strategically by Chelsea and Manchester City with their phenomenally deep benches. Moreover, it means that wealthy clubs with deeper squads have a massive advantage over clubs that get very thin past 12 or 13. It remains to be seen how Ancelotti will approach this change in the game to using more squad depth, if indeed La Liga will continue this rule. Historically, of course, Ancelotti is known as a coach who establishes continuity with a regular starting eleven.

Do you guys agree that the five-sub rule is a major rule change in football that must be reckoned with more by Real Madrid?

Poll: What are your expectations for Real Madrid this season starting under Ancelotti?

Or, post yours in the comments.


What are your expectations for Real Madrid this season starting under Ancelotti?

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    Real Madrid will come out on fire with Ancelotti’s attacking system and play attractive football.
    (201 votes)
  • 40%
    Real Madrid will lose some games in the early part, struggling without Ramos, Varane and Kroos.
    (245 votes)
  • 17%
    Real Madrid are poor and have no chance at a La Liga crown with or without Ancelotti.
    (104 votes)
  • 9%
    Real Madrid will go undefeated, but there will be suffering.
    (59 votes)
609 votes total Vote Now

Vinicius’ Best Position

The report yesterday was that Mister Ancelotti wants to build around Vini. What do you think his best position is?


What do you think Vini’s best position is?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Left wing
    (449 votes)
  • 1%
    (7 votes)
  • 6%
    Second Striker
    (46 votes)
  • 2%
    Right wingback
    (20 votes)
  • 24%
    On the bench
    (171 votes)
693 votes total Vote Now

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