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Daily Thread: 25 September 2023

Monday Edition of The Daily Merengue

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Alvaro Medranda/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Daily Merengue is a place where you can feel free to discuss all things football. Do not be alarmed by the overt RMCF bias. It’s in the name!

Shoutout to the mods who do a fantastic job, Valyrian Steel, Kung_Fu_Zizou, Juninho, NeRObutBlanco and yours truly, Felipejack.


Los Blancos failed in their toughest test yet against crosstown rivals Atletico and many glaring issues that have been papered over to start the season reared their ugly head. The players were exposed, the coaching was exposed and the squad planning was exposed. More on this in my thoughts below but first have a read through Managing Madrid’s coverage of the game in the immediate reaction, 3 stats, player ratings and 3 answers and 3 questions articles as well as the Managing Madrid Podcast.

The Valyrian Rant!!!

The Coaching- Here Carlo got the formation absolutely wrong in my opinion. Starting both Modric and Kroos together can work against teams that come to park the bus, but against good sides you’re plain asking for trouble. Not only does the wrong formation aid the opposition’s game plan, but it also limits the strength of your own players. Kroos will never ever be a DM. His talents are wasted in that position. We have a pretty good DM and he was left on the bench.

You also cannot rely on your midfield to score goals. That is a recipe for disaster and is not sustainable. Starting 5 midfielders and leaving your sole striker on the bench just to achieve some control makes no sense to me. Said striker has also started the season well. The objective of the game is to score goals and win the match not have more possession than your opponent. Atleti were clearly happy to sit back and counter which they repeatedly did by slicing our porous midfield open to reach the cupcake defense. If you are hell bent on starting 5 midfielders at least start another attacking one like Brahim. We’ve seen the positivity in his play for a while now.

The Players - Defense laid an absolute egg. Shocking school boy stuff to leave Atleti with wide open headers that were well taken. Apart from that there are a few players that haven’t really stepped up to their true potential. Rodrygo and Fran are a obvious choices but Camavinga too has been pretty subpar. As fans we need to ask ourselves if we are overestimating our players too.

The Management - In my opinion this is the most important piece that provides the foundation for everything. In that regard we are lucky to have the best in the business that was not only able to guide us through Covid, but also sign some of the best young talent in the world. What I can’t wrap my head around is how our rivals (who are apparently broke) are able to plug holes and strengthen their squad with players that are already contributing while we have glaring holes that will cost us throughout the season. For the first time in history we’ve gone into the season without a number 9. Right back is a massive hole that needs fixing and any Madridista could have predicted what would happen to Carvajal. Also how do you not sign a defender when your best one goes down? There is no Courtois to pull off miracles either. We have a bad defence that will leak goals all season.

Finally how do you continue to have trust in a coach that clearly doesn’t want to fully utilize the young talent you’ve signed. When in doubt default to Kroos and Modric. Don Carlo is a blessing and I will forever be grateful for his association with this club and what that’s brought us but he is the wrong person to lead this project. So either you give him the pieces he needs or replace him with a coach that will better utilize what we have. What is the use of all the young talent in the world and fantastic finances if Barca continues to win La Liga and one day overtakes us? To be clear it’s pointless to replace the coach right now unless things get very very bad. There is no such thing as a transition season at this club.

End Rant.

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