Analysis of Real Madrid after Three Matches
It's too early to predict what the future holds for Manuel Pellegrini and his team, but it is confirmed after three matches that the football played by Real Madrid will be beautiful.
Real Madrid has adopted a football style much like Arsenal—quick short passes and fluid movement, the style is so hauntingly similar that Real Madrid found it very hard to break packed defenses for two and a half games.
Real Madrid's football is good but it is not flawless, they still have some positions in the field to be sorted out, which I will be pointing to in my analysis.
Players Used: Michel Salgado, Miguel Torres, Gabriel Heinze, Marcelo, Royston Drenthe, Cristoph Metzelder, Pepe, and Ezequil Garay
The defense looked quite solid in all the matches, the center backs-Pepe, Metzelder, and Garay were exceptional, so were the right-backs.
Michel Salgado did not look like he was 33 years old and Metzelder looks hungry for a place in the squad and has put up three amazing performances. Pepe has been world-class, no mistakes from him, pretty solid at the back. Miguel Torres and Garay were decent, too.
The only problem in defense was the left-back position, which was constantly being attacked in every match and Marcelo and Drenthe weren't looking exactly at ease while defending, letting the teams create their attacks.
The possible remedy for the left-back problem is Alvaro Arbeloa, who would be confirmed as a Real Madrid player today, although Arbeloa is a right-back, he will be deployed as left-back—the position where he has played some matches for Liverpool.
Players Used: Esteban Granero, Fernando Gago, Lassana Diarra, Cristiano Ronaldo, Arjen Robben, Tebar, Wesley Sneijder, Rafael Van der Vaart, Guti, Dani Parejo
The center of midfield is a quite worrisome place for Real Madrid, the pairing of Gago and Lass is truly annoying to watch, as neither Gago or Lass can deliver exceptional defense-splitting passes.
Gago may be called as the next Redondo, but surely he isn't, he shows his brilliance in patches, otherwise he is as dull as anything. Lass has been brilliant but he has been guilty of stupid passing and dribbling unnecessarily. But the ball recovery from Gago and Lass has been good and even Pellegrini pointed that out.
Passing from Guti was off too, he was nowhere near his best. But he was working really hard.
Cristiano Ronaldo came to his "running all over the defense" self the previous game only, and will get into his rhythm after a game or two more. Arjen Robben was okay, not great.
Esteban Granero, whatever praise given to him will fall short of describing his quality, possibly the brightest spark in the Real Madrid midfield at the moment. He even got the most amazing welcome against Al-Itihad, the crowd was chanting his name although he played just 20 minutes in his Bernabeu debut.
Granero scored one and assisted one against Liga de Quito. It was nice to see his pirate celebration—he covers one of his eye with his hand as if his hand was an eye-patch. Surely Granero would be better than Gago, he should be starting ahead of Gago.
Players Used: Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain, Raul, Alvaro Negredo
All the forwards except for Pipita (Higuain) have scored, Higuain looks nothing like he was in the season, his touch is off and the disappointment is clearly reflected on his face, he showed his brilliant side for 10-15 minutes against Liga de Quito but then turned off.
Gonzalo Higuain is a fighter, he will get his act together and his brilliant self will be back in a match or two.
Karim Benzema has impressed many. His touch, to put it in MEM's words, is awesome. Everyone expects big things from him, and he won't disappoint.
Raul's performances improved immensely after the match against Shamrock Rovers, and he is showing just why he is still there.
Alvaro Negredo had missed the first game of The Peace Cup, Alvaro Negredo—"The Wild Animal"—made his presence felt, he is definitely a hard-worker. He could have scored two goals against Liga de Quito but one of his close range attempt was save by the LDQ keeper.
If Negredo is kept, surely he will make quite an impact. But his position on the team is not promised, though he can surely fight for it. I believe he should do what is best for his career.
The BIGGEST Problem
The left-back problem may be called the biggest problem but, it's not.
The BIGGEST problem is: Set-Plays.
Real Madrid looked awful in set-plays, be it while attacking or defending.
Real Madrid gave all of the three goals away on set-plays, two corners and a free-kick.
Cristiano Ronaldo's free-kicks were always away from the goal and Guti's distribution from free-kicks was awful too.
The corner kicks were the most fun to watch, out of numerous corner kicks, Guti kept on firing away from the box or onto the opponent's head, laughable really.
The first corner kick Granero took landed in the goal after the header from Metzelder.
Solution: Stop Guti from taking corners, and Cristiano from free-kicks.
The performances have been okay currently, and Real Madrid will surely get better with the return of Kaka, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa, and Raul Albiol, and the problems would rectify with time. It will be sunny in Madrid.
Note: I have purposefully left out the goalkeeper part. As Saint Iker would be returning, and he would be the one playing no matter what.
Would appreciate the honest feedback about my first analysis piece, so that I can improve in future articles.
I think I don't thank them enough:
AVR: Thanks bro, thanks for all the time you have spent "previewing" my articles before publishing.
Alex Dimond: Surely, I have seen no one better at editing. And sorry to bug you on Facebook, asking you to edit my article. You are very helpful.
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