The defeat against Athletic Bilbao has not been taken lightly by the critics and fans and the manager of the Los Blancos – Zinedine Zidane is under pressure again. The defeat in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup was their 25th so far in this campaign and the report card so far doesn’t make for great reading for Zidane. It’s been his worst start to a full season in the Real Madrid dugout: 14 victories, five draws, and six defeats.
Indeed, the overall scenario does not look good but keeping in mind the style of Zidane, one needs to understand how he runs the show – since his return to Bernabeu for the second stint, the story has been all about experimenting – at times they struck gold while at times, they proved disasters. But that is the way Zidane works and one needs to keep in mind the transition period Real Madrid going through.
Real Madrid have signed players like Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic and one cannot deny the fact, Zidane always gave them the opportunity to showcase their talent. Sadly, the big signings of Real Madrid never failed to pay back the faith put in them. The signings of Jovic and Hazard have big money involved and obviously, they are needed to be utilized because of that, but if they fail to deliver consistently and are not fit enough– what could Zidane do?
The blame of nepotism on Zidane is nothing but lame.
If Hazard and Jovic are not fit then what would Zidane do other than playing the available options?
He gave Isco, Marcelo, and Mariano Diaz the opportunities and there has always been the reason behind this – either injuries or lack of form of the fan favourites paved the way for them.
Then, Martin Odegaard was given the opportunity as well – he failed to impress, but that does not mean his time is over. Again, it is a mistake to claim that Vinicius Junior has run out of favour of Zidane, rather, it is Zidane, who has always trusted in Vinicius Junior. A few minutes in just a week or so does not mean, Zidane is acting like a stepfather towards the youngsters. He has motivated the likes of Rodrygo Goes, Fede Valverde, and Marco Asensio – thus, if someone says, Zidane is not ideal for the young guns to flourish then it is another mistake.
For a player to flourish, time and patience are needed. Jovic has been shown the door because he failed while Hazard might not start anymore because till now he proved to be a big flop.
Most importantly, the improvements of Lucas Vazquez and Karim Benzema are evident, and here are two players, who were almost written off by the fans. But Zidane made them stand on their feet.
If someone questions the tactical brain of Zidane then it sounds funny because in world football very few would come close to his sharpness and deep insights about football. One needs to walk down the memory lane and find out what he has done last season and moreover, if any manager is best suited to lay the foundation of another great era for the Los Blancos then it is none other than Zidane.
Zidane will not stay in Real Madrid throughout his life, but he will leave when his job is complete –a champion does not quit and the Los Blancos would not lose faith in their boss easily like the fans who change their colours when the crisis is around.
Zidane would move on one day, but before that, he would take Real Madrid to the pinnacle of glory.