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Ancelotti: “Álvaro Rodríguez and Benzema could play together in a 4-4-2”

The coach spoke about using Álvaro Rodríguez more.

Real Madrid CF v FC Barcelona: Semi Final Leg One - Copa Del Rey Photo by Manuel Reino Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Carlo Ancelotti had a press conference on Saturday ahead of Real Madrid’s match away at Real Betis. There wasn’t actually much discussion about that specific match, as the coach was asked about various other topics.

One of those topics was Real Madrid’s recent struggles against teams playing a low block. Discussing those issues, he said: “It’s true that we suffer a little with a low block because of the characteristics of the strikers we have. But, I don’t want to change that and just put in a tall striker because I want Karim Benzema as my striker. It’s true that playing in transition suits us better than playing against a low block. Rodrygo can help us with this because he can make things happen in reduced spaces. Keep in mind that Rodrygo was out after an injury in Anfield, and wasn’t fully fit for the other night. The striker position depends a lot on how we do as a team and on how the other team defends. I’m not worried about Benzema. If he doesn’t score in one game, that’s fine. We are the team with the most goals in LaLiga. We’ve had a couple of games where we haven’t been clinical, but we had scored five goals in Anfield a few days before. So, we don’t have problems in attack.”

Ancelotti on using Álvaro Rodríguez more

Challenged on the point he made about using a tall striker to overcome a low block, given that he now has Álvaro Rodríguez available, the coach said: “Álvaro Rodríguez has quality to be more than just a substitute. If he deserves to play then he’ll play, because I’m not looking at the age. He and Benzema could play together in a 4-4-2. They could be a good duo, especially because Benzema is used to moving around.”

Ancelotti on his post-Clásico comments

Ancelotti’s press conference after the 1-0 Copa del Rey loss to Barcelona raised a lot of eyebrows, as the Italian said that he wanted a repeat performance in the second leg. Asked if he still thinks that way, he replied: “Having watched the game back, I still believe what I said. There are things to improve of course, but we did most things well.”

Ancelotti on Modrić and Kroos playing together

Many have suggested that Luka Modrić and Toni Kroos struggle when they both start together and the coach was asked if he shares that opinion, to which he replied: “I don’t think that, full stop. I don’t see that problem. The game isn’t about running more. It’s about thinking and they both have the experience to think and make the ball run. The ball doesn’t sweat.”

Ancelotti on Éder Militão’s performances

Asked if Éder Militão is the best centre-back in the world right now, Ancelotti replied confidently: “Yes, I don’t have to add anything more. For me, yes.”

Ancelotti on Tchouaméni’s drop in form

Aurélien Tchouaméni has been criticised a lot in recent weeks, but Ancelotti defended the player, stating: “We shouldn’t forget that Tchouaméni had a great first half of the season, surprising everyone with how quickly he adapted. Then he had the World Cup and had an extraordinary World Cup, after which his level dropped a little.”

Ancelotti on refereeing reports

The topic of refereeing reports was brought up, with Ancelotti asked if he asks for notes to be drawn up on the style of each referee. He replied: “No, I don’t need that because I know the referees. You don’t need a report to know how a specific referee officiates.”

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