X-ray of a failure

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X-ray of a failure

EI Madrid has started 2023 with the wrong foot. An extension to the hesitant course with which he closed the first section of the course. The triumph in Valladolid of the revival allowed us to toast the new year with enthusiasm. From there, the gesture has twisted. Five months to raise a sextet historic, a dream that Barça crushed at the King Fahd. A SuperClásico where only the Catalans appropriated the prefix. The summary of the year: triumph suffered in Cáceres, defeat in Villarreal and the setback of the Super Cup. Although it is early days for crisis cabinets, alarm bells are ringing and various problems are floating on the team’s surface.

Shield/Team Flag

Calendar

Playing games every three or four days has a friendly face. Madrid is already eyeing the opportunity to lick its wounds. Win at La Cerámica on Thursday (9:00 p.m.) I would place him in the Cup quarterfinals, the best medicine for the worst hangover. . And on Sunday, he visits Athletic in San Mamés, another match of supreme difficulty. The schedule is tight, but the Whites must prevent it from drowning them and use it to send the defeat against Barça to the trunk. The Catalans are the mirror in which to look at themselves, as they have been undefeated in the League (7 games) since Madrid’s triumph in the Clásico in October. The calendar can be the worst enemy or the greatest ally of those of Ancelotti.

world hangover

Qatar is taking its toll and in what way. Of the 12 madridistas who went to Qatar, only Courtois, especially the Belgian, Militao and a Rodrygo to the one who saves his goal against Cacereño they have not returned with ballasts. Modric stays halfway, short of physique against Barça. The rest of him glimpses his performance ceiling (very) far away. Valverde, Rüdiger, Vinicius, Asensio, Camavinga or Tchouameni They are light years away from their pre-World Cup face, Hazard is no longer expected and Carvajal is marked out of the Super Cup…

Pinto’s challenge

Now more than ever, Madrid must cling to its ‘iron sergeant’. Pintus has a major challenge, to lift the team’s physique so as not to miss any more titles on this very tough January slope. The Italian coach is a guarantee of success and last year he already revitalized a team that seemed hopeless after losing in Paris against PSG. The white renaissance ended with the 14 and the 35 League in the showcase. The physical state, however, needs to recover quickly, as it was one of the big differences between Barça and Madrid.

Benzema and nobody else

The good news of the restart is that Benzema has recovered his senses. The bad news is that he is the only one with the adjusted aiming point. youAfter the break, the whites have scored 6 goals and 5, the other was the work of Rodrygo, bear Karim’s signaturewho is already the team’s top scorer with 11. Vinicius continues with 10, Valverde with 8… The Brazilian and the Uruguayan, leaders in the absence of Benzema at the start of the season, need to rediscover themselves.

Benzema made up the result by scoring 1-3.

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Benzema made up the result by scoring 1-3.JAVIER GANDULACE DAILY

Defense, no defense

If Karim is alone in attack, in defense it is Courtois and Militao who support a Madrid with a sugar rearguard. The Brazilian, although not at the excellent level of last year, is proving to be the only guarantee in the center of the rear. Against Barça, Nacho was missed. Especially with the level shown by Rüdiger or Carvajal. “We made gifts in the first goals”analyzed Carletto. It’s not the first time he’s targeted those disconnections this season. In fact, according to olocip, Madrid is 15th in defensive efficiency in the League. We must rebuild the wall that, not so long ago, was a guarantee of success.

A shortened template

With defeat looming, Ancelotti did not exhaust all the changes against Barça. Odriozola, Vallejo, Hazard and Mariano remained on the bench. Example of a reality: they are almost invisible footballers. Especially painful is the case of the Belgian, whom Carletto He has tried to rehabilitate on several occasions. If Hazard barely adds 297 minutes this season, the trio stays at 132′: Mariano, 25′; Odriozola, 51′; and Vallejo 56′. The squad was already short, with 23 first-team chips, but the reality is that they only have 19…

there are resources

Nevertheless, There are solutions in the workforce that go through giving greater importance to the aforementioned Nacho, which was one of the highlights in shady matches such as that of Cacereño or Valencia; Ceballos, who despite failing at 0-3, showed his class by enabling Benzema at 1-3; and to Asensio, whose good relationship with the opposing goal is more necessary than ever. As well as expanding the stripes of footballers like Rodrygo, who without Benzema stood out as ‘9 on guard’ and is the only one who, as we pointed out, has seen the goal from Qatar without counting the Lyon.

Two noticeable casualties

In addition, in Arabia, Madrid had the casualties of Tchouameni and Alaba, both with injuries to the soleus (the Frenchman on the right, the Austrian on the right), two top-ranked players for Ancelotti and with whom he will not be able to count, at least, until next week. The double exam against Villarreal and Athletic will be without them. A reset without two key pieces. Hence, alternatives such as Nacho or Ceballos are especially important.

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