Real Madrid is having a difficult season filled with ups and downs, to the point that there is a genuine risk of being kicked out by the UEFA Champions League at the group stage. Naturally, there have been a lot of critics asking for the head of current manager, Zinedine Zidane. But is this the right way to go?
The current football season has been atypical for all clubs as a result of the global pandemic that occurred this year, causing clubs, for example, to have practically no pre-season and very tight schedules, especially for teams that play international competitions. Real Madrid does not escape this reality and it can be seen how that situation, as well as a few others, have Los Blancos in third place in their group in the UEFA Champions League, having to secure their qualification for the round of 16 in the last match against Borussia Mönchengladbach next week. On the other hand, in La liga they are in the 4th place, seven points behind the leader (Real Sociedad) with a pending match.
Naturally, in a club like Real Madrid, this is a problem and although the situation may seem complicated at the moment, the reality is that it can be reversed quickly, especially in the UEFA Champions League where everything depends on a match and Zidane has an important credit in the club chaired by Florentino Pérez, both as a player and even more so as a manager where he has won 11 titles in the 4 years on Real Madrid’s bench.
Zinedine Zidane has rotated his squad in a very unusual manner, especially at the beginning of the season due to the calendar and the injuries. In addition, some players’s performances have been particularly poor such as the cases of Isco, Marcelo and even Varane since the match against Manchester City last August. These players have been crucial for Zidane’s successes at Real Madrid over the last years. Moreover, the French manager must understand that he needs a replacement for Casemiro, the only player in the squad who does not have a replacement with similar characteristics and that, when he is not on the pitch, the team resents a lot in terms of defensive performances.
Beyond the tactical aspect, the greatest merit of Zidane as Real Madrid manager is the excellent management of the group of players. Despite being often spoiled superstars, most of Real Madrid’s players are committed to the Frenchman whenever there is a complicated situation (which is not the first) and that is something that is difficult to achieve in a club of this magnitude. Zinedine Zidane is skillful at obtaining the respect of each member of the group and this is something worth taking into account when the rumors for a replacement start every time the team has a string of bad results.