Saturday, February 22, 2020

Real Madrid Hire Zinedine Zidane Once Again – What Are They Really Doing?

Juan Pablo Aravena in Editorial, La Liga 12 Mar 2019

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Real Madrid will have a THIRD manager in the 2018-19 season. Yes, you have read that right.

Following back-to-back losses to Barcelona and a sounding 4-1 loss to Ajax that eliminated them from the UEFA Champions League, Santiago Solari essentially lost three titles in the span of one week. Between that, and Santiago Solari’s bad relationship with some of the key members of the squad, Florentino Perez has made a shocking decision.

Madrid’s strong man has decided to sack Solari only months after signing him to a multi-year deal following a successful interim term. The problem here is that Solari signed that extension months ago following the departure of Julen Lopetegui. So, this will be the first time EVER Real Madrid will have three full-time managers in the span of one season. But one question must be asked here.

What on earth are Los Merengues doing?

It’s hard to see the reasoning behind this move. Zidane had already left due to a tense relationship with the players, and since his message “was not being delivered” among the squad. The failure in this plan, however, is that Real Madrid basically have the same squad as last season, minus Cristiano Ronaldo and plus Thibaut Courtois.

Plus, the timing of his return seems odd. Madrid have been eliminated from every single tournament, and let’s face it. They’re just not good enough to compete for the Liga title. Nor they won’t have enough time to do it, either, since Barcelona have pulled away for good. Even the most optimistic fan will admit the league is all but gone. And also, it’s not like Madrid have strengthened themselves considerably this season.

Sure, Zidane gave Real Madrid three consecutive Champions League titles. He’s a heralded manager, knows the team, and has been successful before with the club. But that does not guarantee them success this time around. And considering the poor construction of the squad, Zidane’s busiest time will come during the summer where he will oversee bolstering the side.

Is he going to be successful in his second tenure?

The Frenchman should eventually get Madrid back to respectability. But he will need several months before his work becomes noticeable. It might or might not pan out, but one thing is certain. It’s hard to understand what Madrid are doing right now. The timing of Zidane’s return seems odd, and it looks more as a desperation move for a club that do not have a clear path to go.

That uncertainty has become Madrid’s trademark over the past few months. Which is quite a shame for a club that has won the UEFA Champions League in each of the past three seasons.


Juan Pablo Aravena

A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.



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