Futbol Chronicles: Real Madrid Will Falther if Defense Does Not Improve

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2009

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 12:  Marcelo (R) and Raul Gonzalez (L) of Real Madrid celebrate with team mate Guti after he scored their second goal during the La Liga match between Espanyol and Real Madrid at the Nuevo Estadio de Cornella-El Prat stadium on September 12, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Real Madrid has started the season great so far, but their performance at the back end has gained much concern already, and this early in the season.

Manuel Pelligrini stated that he wasn't concerned with his club's defensive performances so far, but observers have noted Real's difficulty in containing players down the middle and defending set pieces.

Last night's performance against FC Zurich in the Champions League highlighted the notion that for all the millions spent on Ronaldo, Kaka, and Xabi Alonzo, Florentino Perez may want to consider investing heavily in improving Real's defensive options.

At times during that match, Madrid often found themselves frustrated as they were unable to counter-attack nor control the flow of the ball, leading players like Kaka for putting themselves in danger of being sent off after committing silly fouls.

Teams are beginning to notice that Madrid has a tendacy to lose posession, while getting caught down the middle of the field easily if Madrid doesn't have the ball.

So far, the new additions to the back haven't performed at their very best, but it's early in the season for Madrid, and only time will tell if the club manages to overcome their defensive frailties and muster a more subtle challenge.

Upcoming European matches against AC Milan and Olympique de Marseilles would provide a good test for Real's defense.

Milan are known for their stringent defense and organization, but they too have been going through a bit of struggle as of late. Most of their struggles can be attributed to the age of the players and the inexperience of their new manager Leonardo.

Olympique de Marseilles on the other hand, is an interesting mix.

Lead by the legendary former French international and Champions League finalist Didier Deshamps, Marseilles looks to improve upon their domestic form in hopes of winning their first league title in over a decade, and quite possibly make a run in the Champions League.

Both clubs would provide a good challenge for Marid, who have come to the realization that they're not in an easy group as some would of thought earlier on.

Real Madrid know that if they want to compete with likes of Barcelona, Valencia, Manchester, Juventus, and Milan, they'll have to shore up their situations at the back sooner rather than later, or the club could face some embarrassing losses and performances along the way.

Madrid may have some of the best offensive talent, but they are not a team made of steel, so much so that Florentino Perez would have to wonder if investing more sums into defensive players would be the key for Madrid reaching that level.

Only time will tell.