A wounded animal, it is said, is an extremely dangerous one.
Real Madrid certainly fit this category. In reality they blew the title race before Christmas, Borussia Dortmund dumped them out of the Champions League and Atletico Madrid came and won the Copa del Rey against them in their own garden.
Next season, they'll be a squad with plenty to prove after being battered both internally and externally at various points throughout the current campaign.
It has become a case of when, not if, Jose Mourinho will be pushed from his perch—84 percent of AS readers want him gone immediately.
On Sunday it was reported that Carlo Ancelotti had told PSG he's ready to leave (via ESPN), and in Monday's Independent, Pete Jenson detailed just how toxic Los Blancos' dressing room has become these past few weeks:
With [Ancelotti] now apparently available and the atmosphere at Real Madrid understood to be at breaking point, Perez is being urged to take action.
He attended a Real Madrid B-team match on Saturday with the club's second string playing Lugo in Spain's second division. There were around 2,000 supporters at the game and he was vocally encouraged to move to bring Mourinho's three-year reign at the club to an end.
Ian Ladyman detailed in the Daily Mail, in the wake of Roberto Mancini's departure, what a poisonous place a football club can be and, whether the blame lies with Mourinho or a number of his senior players, it can be agreed the Portuguese coach's departure is for the best.
As far as replacements go, Ancelotti could prove a good one.
"The Peacemaker," as he was labelled on the front cover of Monday's Marca, has plenty of experience in dealing with big names (and egos) at some of Europe's richest clubs.
At Stamford Bridge he won the Premier League in his first season with Chelsea, the only manager to bring the club that honor in the Roman Abramovich years other than Mourinho.
The Italian was arguably the last manager who didn't cede power to John Terry and Frank Lampard—possibly Rafa Benitez fits this category, but his reign has come at a different time in their careers.
Moving on to PSG he has brought together an expensively assembled squad from all over the world to win Ligue Un. They looked impressive against Barcelona in the Champions League too, that will surely count as a plus point at the Bernabeu.
He won't inherit an ageing squad either. Ricardo Carvalho (35) is the oldest, but he's been a bit-part player and has long been expected to move on this summer.
Iker Casillas is 32, Xabi Alonso 31 and they will probably be his oldest starters; Pepe, Alvaro Arbeloa and Michael Essien, all 30, are all replaceable.
He will inherit a hungry squad though. One possibly united in their disdain towards Mourinho recently, one definitely motivated by their failure to lift a major trophy this season.
President Florentino Perez will make sure the 53-year-old is well equipped with what he wants and, if the players remain loyal to him, then his fourth league title in his fourth country could well follow.