Five keys to Real Madrid's poor LaLiga Santander performances

Even worse than last season, when they had just 76 points

Posted Monday, November 26, 2018 by

Five keys to Real Madrid's poor LaLiga Santander performances

Real Madrid have had their worst start in LaLiga Santander in the last decade.

They have lost five games out of 13, and are only still alive in the competition thanks to the great amount of points lost by Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

Here at MARCA we expose some of the reasons that may be causing the European champion to have such an awful domestic championship:

1- Incorrect sports planning

This is the main reason of all. Real Madrid seemed to forget that to compete in three tournaments during nine months, you need to form a competitive squad. The club not only sold Cristiano Ronaldo, which of course was a great loss (especially if we take into account what the Portuguese is doing in Serie A with Juventus), but also Kovacic, who was a great engine for the midfield. Moreover, Achraf is also playing incredibly well at Borussia Dortmund, which makes his loan even more painful.

However, the sale of any player isn't the sole reason for bad planning. It's even more severe that there aren't any signs of players of sufficient quality arriving to replace them. Real have acquired a goalkeeper (Courtois) and a right-back (Odriozola), two of the positions that were already well covered. There is also Mariano, who is a great player but he is not a superstar like Ronaldo. After a World Cup, it was usual for Los Blancos to sign great players (Ronaldo Nazario, Cannavaro, Ozil, Kroos, James,...) but this year it's not been like that.

Moreover, the squad has suffered a continuous weakening during the past two years. Since the end of the 2016/17 season, apart from the three previously mentioned, Pepe, James, Danilo and Morata have also left. It seems obvious that their replacements haven't risen to the challenge.

2- Poor state of form of almost every player

The majority of the squad aren't anywhere near their best form. Maybe the player who is the best representation of this is Modric. The Croatian ended last season in great shape and also had a spectacular World Cup, but since he came back to Real he hasn't been able to display his usual range of skills to the team.

This is a statement that could be applied to almost every Real player this season, but apart from Luka, the two who also are especially disappointing are the centre-backs: Ramos and Varane. Both are making unusual mistakes not befitting their world class status, and are two of the main players responsible for the next key aspect in this awful start to the season.

3- Defensive weakness

The defence have been poor in almost every Real Madrid game. They have played 19 official matches this season, and they have only managed clean sheets in seven. The only decent opponents who haven't scored against them were Atletico (0-0) and Roma (3-0), but they opened the floodgates against Atletico in the Super Cup (4-2), Sevilla (3-0), Barcelona (5-1) and Eibar (3-0).

In addition, Los Blancos are the second highest in LaLiga Santander for conceding most goals (16) as a visitor, just a little better than Huesca (19). A team that wants to win a title at he end of the year cannot concede such an amount.

4- Absence of a leader

Ronaldo has left. But that is not the issue. Neither Benzema or Bale have been able to assume the role that the Portuguese had at Real Madrid during the last nine years, and the team are missing having a superstar that can hold them together when things get difficult.

The Frenchman is not a 'No.9', not a pure striker, and he doesn't have the ability that his former teammate had; to be in the right place at the right moment and to drill shots at the opponents goal when necessary. The Welshman is simply disappointing. He is the player in the team with better quality, but he is constantly missing in action. He hasn't scored a goal for over a month, and he has never been the leader he was supposed to be when he arrived in 2013.

5- Injuries

To end, there are the injuries that Real have suffered this year. On Saturday, another victim was added to the list, Odriozola feeling pain in his leg during the play which led to Eibar's second goal. Carvajal, Bale, Nacho,Casemiro, Reguilon, Sergio Ramos, Vallejo or Benzema have also been affected during the campaign.

It is evident that injuries are an issue every team has to deal with every year, but in the case of the European champion, they've been hit especially hard. They are the team in LaLiga Santander with the largest amount of unavailable players, and in a year like this where the squad is short, this is becoming especially harmful for the team.

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