Heads and tails in the Ancelotti plan

The white preseason closes with an alarming lack of goal, without a starting half eleven and alarms like Odegaard. The League arrives with Madrid half ...


The second pandemic preseason of Real Madrid has lowered the curtain under a predictable scheme. Carlo Ancelotti has inherited a team with chronic problems (the goal, in capital letters) and which he has barely been able to shoot for the Eurocup and injuries to starters that he also encountered when signing his contract. Four games to prepare with a single victory that leave Madrid on the verge of starting the League (on Saturday, in Vitoria) with the house half-swept, moving boxes still in the living room and the new tenant still evaluating how the partitions are . Apparently and almost more so not seen in this preseason, this Madrid is still half done ...

The goal is still elusive

Zidane's Real Madrid finished 2020-21 with just 88 goals, the lowest number in the last decade, and although Carletto asked for a redoubled effort from his new players during his presentation, the targets have still not arrived. The Italian knows that if he wakes up with the long-awaited signing of Mbappé it will be a gift from heaven and that he has to work what there is. Without Benzema, Madrid does not spit fire. Leaving aside the 3-1 to Fuenlabrada in the first test, as soon as the game mode increased in difficulty, the problems arrived. Between Rayo Vallecano, Rangers and Milan, just two goals, one of them from a penalty (to the franjirrojos). Only Rodrygo, with his goal in Glasgow and showing the world that his place is on the left wing, seems to want to join the party where Karim plays the music. Insufficient.

No one offers to help Karim

Mariano and Jovic are once again not an alternative to the nine starter. Mariano scored a goal against Fuenla at 3-1 in the first trial and it faded. Jovic, who arrived with a suspicious profile, has left some details such as the pass to Bale that ended in a penalty for the Welshman against Milan. His back game is still consistent, but goals, not one. Two forwards who have not been able to redeem themselves, for the moment, not even with the change of cycle on the Madrid bench.

Alaba comes in hierarch mode

He knows all eyes are flying over him, but David Alaba seems immune to the pressure. He made his very fluid debut at home in Austria against Milan. He was seen to be empathetic with Nacho and with an attitude of wanting to be a boss behind. He even dared with a long left foot that forced Mike Maignan to do the afternoon stretch in Klagenfurt. It does not weigh or wear the iconic 4 de Ramos. "My adaptation is not being difficult," he said after the 0-0 against Milan. The final test will start from Saturday when he faces a real threat, but Alaba transmits good feelings in a year in which he has to go no more, make it not be noticed that Ramos and Varane are not there. Ancelotti, over here, breathe easy.

Bale and Odegaard, heads and tails

Two comebacks that have turned out contrary to expectations. Gareth was a mystery and more knowing that he is in the last year of his contract. He was not seen in Glasgow but he was seen a lot in Austria. Incisive (four shots) and fast, participatory and eager. The penalty from the Calabria rossonero was requested, but then the launch was quite poor and Maignan stopped it quite easily. It comes from missing another maximum penalty, with Wales in the Euro, but it is not a drama for Ancelotti, the usual pitcher seems defined: Benzema. Good attitude and presence in the game. With Odegaard, it's another story. The Norwegian returned from his assignment at the Emirates thinking that it was going to be important and although he scored a goal, against Fuenlabrada in the first friendly, he sounds the alarms. Uncomfortable in the tactical drawing against Rangers, Ancelotti relies more on Isco, as seen against Milan. Its continuity is by no means assured and Ceballos is still missing.

Headlines with no return date

Proofs without the parts that you are going to use later. This is what good old Ancelotti has got. Between injuries, vacations for the Eurocup and injuries in the Eurocup, he has not yet had the ability to experiment with Benzema (the positive for Covid disrupted the deadlines of his return), Carvajal and Mendy (injuries dragged from last season), Valverde ( touched), Hazard (leaves with tact after his -th injury with Belgium) and Kroos, who suffered a pubalgia at the beginning of the preseason. Many carats without glistening on the team. Karim and the Belgian can reach Mendizorroza, but without any competitive pace ...

The quarry does not fail

At least, if something has certain Ancelotti, as Zizou could see, it is that the boys of Castilla are not big shoes. Miguel Gutiérrez has been, at least, at the same level as Marcelo and Antonio Blanco has handled himself with enormous ease in midfield. They were the best in Ibrox Park. Chust, Gila, Arribas and Marvin are an extra for the transalpine coach. The Factory is there for whatever they throw at it, which is not little.

Photos from as.com
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