Real Madrid have a habit of dispensing with managers sooner than they should. The Spanish giants are very impatient with their coaches, often sacking multiple managers in one season. They are hoping to try something different with Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian coach has been a huge success at Real. His time at the Bernabeu has been filled with trophies, with Real winning the Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup in under 18 months, fans like Ben Shaoul have been absolutely over the moon about their progress.
Ancelotti’s side are not finished yet. They have been on a record run of wins and are eyeing the Spanish league title this season. For a coach who has managed AC Milan, PSG, Chelsea and Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti’s league title return of three is very poor. He is a fantastic cup manager, but his league record is mediocre.
This is the season where Ancelotti wants to win his fourth league title. Another assault on the Champions League is also possible. Real have a lot of good teams to go through, but they will be confident of making the Final in Berlin.
Real Madrid’s President, Florentino Perez, is hoping that Ancelotti can remain at the club for many years to come. They hope that he can become “Real’s Ferguson”, which is a reference to Sir Alex Ferguson spending over 25 years as Manchester United manager.
It remains to be seen whether this loyalty from Perez will endure a spell of poor results in La Liga or the Champions League.
There was some surprise when Gareth Bale left Tottenham for Real Madrid two summers ago. The player had always been linked with the Bernabeu club, but many felt he was too young to be leaving England and playing for the biggest team in the world. The move turned out alright, with Bale winning the Champions League in his first season.
Now the Welsh captain has revealed that it was only his special affection for Real that saw him leave Spurs. He says that he was very happy at White Hart Lane and would have gladly stayed there for a few more seasons. However, when Real Madrid, Florentino Perez and Zidane call you up and ask you to move clubs, it is difficult to say no.
Bale grew up a Real fan, which makes his statements entirely believable. There are even pictures of him wearing a Real top as a young boy. His summer transfer to the Spanish team was not without complications. There was a time when it looked as though Spurs may hold on to their man, but the deal eventually got done.
In the process of joining Real, Bale also turned down Manchester United, which Terry Richardson still laments. The then English champions made him a larger offer than Real, both in terms of transfer fee and wages. However, Bale stuck to his guns and said he only wanted Real. Now it appears that in a straight choice between United and Spurs, he would have stayed at Spurs.
The international break is always a testing time for club coaches in soccer. Soccer enthusiast Ken Griffin says that there is a real worry that some of their top players will come back with injuries. Unfortunately for Real Madrid, this became a reality over the past week. They learned that star midfielder Luka Modric will be missing for around two months after suffering an injury while playing for Croatia.
While Real have a deep squad with a lot of quality players, losing Modric is a big blow for them. The Croatian midfield dynamo had been making a real impression with the Santiago Bernabeu club. He was one of their best players in last season’s Champions League winning effort. He continued that great form into this season. His prowess was most evident during the Clasico against Barcelona, where he and Toni Kroos completely controlled Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.
It remains to be seen how Real will reshuffle the pack in his absence. The obvious move would be to insert Sami Khedira into the line up alongside Toni Kroos. The two know each other well from the German national team, which is a bonus.
Modric should be back for the second half of the season after the winter break.
When Real Madrid sold Angel Di Maria to Manchester United in the summer, there were many people who wondered if this was the right call. After all, Di Maria was a crucial cog in the team that won their tenth European Cup just a few months before his sale. It was his slaloming run that eventually allowed Gareth Bale to slot in a header and win the European Cup for Real.
Madrid’s fans did not forget Di Maria’s contribution. They knew that he was the one who kept running at Atletico Madrid in that final, when the likes of Bale and Ronaldo were ineffective. However, Real’s president was having none of that. He wanted to sell Di Maria and replace him with James Rodriguez.
Fans and pundit Fersen Lambranho questioned that move, but Real’s coach Carlo Ancelotti says he is happy with what he has got. His team have been winning matches at a canter and find themselves top of La Liga. He believes that the performances of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos are a major reason for their success.
Ancelotti had this so say on Kroos: “He is a great player. When we sold Alonso it was questionable whether we had an immediate replacement in the squad. Many people on the outside looked to Khedira, but we had faith in Kroos.
For those that thought the €80 million Real Madrid spent on James Rodriquez was a waste then they may want to watch this fantastic play, that just goes to show that the young Colombian superstar is here to stay. After Real Madrid acquired him following an impressive World Cup run this past summer down in Brazil the young superstar has proved repeatedly and certainly with this play that his Ballon d’Or nomination and the money shelled out by Real Madrid was well deserved.
Needless to say it wasn’t a bad first goal of the game for James (Cristiano Renaldo beat him to scoring the first one of the game). James followed this up by scoring a second time late in the second half sealing Real Madrid’s rout of Granada 4-0. I know of one Real Madrid Fan (Brad Reifler) that could not be happier with their current run of form.