Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Is Zidane Zidane nearing the end at Real Madrid ALREADY?

When Zinedine Zidane took over Real Madrid in March last season he had 11 games left to lift the club and lay the foundations for this coming campaign.

He was unable to do so. There were five wins, two draws and four defeats, and never any clear sign of the direction he wanted to take.

His record was worse than his predecessor Santiago Solari, who during 17 games in charge, won 12, drew one, and lost four.

This pre-season Zidane has taken charge of seven matches and Madrid have finished the summer with a worse 'points' ratio tally than any of the 20 clubs set to kick-off the new La Liga season this weekend.

Arguments can be made to defend him. Bad pre-season results, so what? And in the last third of last season there was nothing but pride to play for so it was hard to motivate the players.

But it's being whispered around the corridors of the Bernabeu now that nothing has improved since he came back and, if anything, things have got worse. On four fronts - youngsters, signings, big-name players and tactics, he is coming up short.

The three bright lights of last season were the youngsters Vinicius, Sergio Reguilon and Marcos Llorente. Zidane has moved two away from the club and shown an obvious lack of confidence in the other.

Left back Reguilon has moved on loan to Sevilla and midfielder Llorente was sold to Atletico. Suspicions that Zidane was not as enthusiastic about the raw but obvious talents of Vinicius were aroused last season when he gave him only one start in the final three matches of the campaign after he returned from injury. 

That lack of game time meant his chances of being called up to replace Neymar for the Copa America vanished.

This pre-season – even with Marco Asensio injured and Gareth Bale excluded – he has barely featured. He is a work in progress, but Zidane doesn't seem too interested in being the coach who moulds the magician into a player.

Zidane seemed to have more enthusiasm for the 18-year-olds Rodrygo Goes and Takefusa Kubo but not enough to want them in his first-team squad this season.


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