AnalyseNot only did Real Madrid lose another final, but also four games in the last few weeks after a perfect start to the season. Carlo Ancelotti threatens to lose even more – not just the thread.
Fotos: getty images”> Enlarge
Ancelotti needs to solve some problems quickly – Fotos: getty images
Sport Only lost two of 17 finals since 2014
“Real Madrid doesn’t play finals, they win them.” Some neutral football fans should be familiar with this saying by now. It was also clear that this saying would not last forever, and that there are always exceptions anyway. Because Real Madrid has lost five of the last 24 finals: Supercopa 2011, Copa del Rey 2013, Supercopa 2014, Super Cup 2018, Supercopa 2023. That still makes a final win rate of 80 percent – absolutely royal.
And yet: Real Madrid has lost the thread. Not only how confidently because a final can be completed without errors and effectively, the Blancos seemed inferior to their opponents in terms of willingness to run and take risks from the very first minute. Accordingly, Federico Valverde also noted: “We lacked the necessary attitude. (…) We gave 90 or 80 percent against such an opponent, we can’t do that.” However, Carlo Ancelotti contradicted this: “But it had nothing to do with a lack of attitude.”
For the 63-year-old Italian it was only the second defeat in the ninth final with Blancos. He, too, seems to be losing something more and more, the thread, but also the reins. In the past season, trust was both a keyword and the key to the success of a team that was able to coach itself in the freedom offered by the coach and, correspondingly, Real Madrid presented itself as a unit and family like never before, this will be almost endless The trainer’s trust is slowly fatal.
Although there were two decisive absentees with David Alaba and Aurélien Tchouaméni, supposed “favorite players” like Dani Carvajal, Luka Modrić, Vinícius Júnior and Karim Benzema fell short of expectations. Ancelotti offered little that was surprising, his plan once again predictable, no plan B, so Xavi coached the coaching legend to his first title. Ancelotti tends to hide behind individual mistakes instead of recognizing that the team may have too much freedom and few other ideas. Little competition, also because some positions are not filled twice, and otherwise fewer rotations than at the beginning of the season.
Apart from a lack of freshness in some regular players, there is no trust in players like Jesús Vallejo, Álvaro Odriozola, Eden Hazard and Mariano Díaz, so they lost against Villarreal (1: 2) and Barcelona (1: 3), for example were not taken into account, although exchange places would have been free. In other words, the coach currently only has 14 field players that he uses regularly.
Sport After a perfect start to the season, four defeats
Ancelotti threatens to lose the thread, Real Madrid already did. Because after there were still spectacular 14 wins and two draws from the first 16 competitive games at the beginning of the season, there were a few setbacks afterwards. The record of the last ten games: four wins, two draws (including Supercopa semifinals), four defeats. The nimbus of unbeaten has long been history, Real Madrid is currently more beatable than ever. Everyone is looking for form and freshness on offense, on defense they are looking for order and concentration – whether it’s long-standing players like Carvajal or newcomers like Antonio Rüdiger, everyone seems to be able to get past them. Consistently good performances like last year are only available in the goalkeeper position – without Thibaut Courtois not only would the Supercopa final have been better, the Champions League final would also have been lost.
Goalkeepers are a part of football, as are defeats. But the Blancos seem out of balance: too dependent on individuals, too little team tactics, too few surprises. In 2021/22 that led to success with a new coach, in 2022/23 you are “only” three points behind the leaders from Barcelona, and yet the possible Copa exit on Thursday would not surprise anyone, then after a small one it would also be the first big titles already gone. And if the subsequent, difficult league games against Athletic, Real Sociedad and Valencia don’t end with a satisfactory score, then even Ancelotti’s chair, who enjoys great trust in both the team and the board, could start to wobble .
It was still “only” a lost Supercopa final, but it was a defeat that was in the offing. Real Madrid have lost the thread, not only in finals, but also in their self-image. Accordingly, the royals are well advised to do something, because just “keep it up” does not always guarantee titles like last season.