Saturday, December 2, 2023

Bellingham eclipses Real Madrid’s slate and dries up Vinícius, Rodrygo and Valverde

He arrives real Madrid tonight into the game against Braga with a serious scoring deficit. Ancelotti’s men are in third place in the League, being the fourth highest scoring team (23 goals), one less than Barça, two less than Atlético and six less than Girona. A year ago at this point he had 36 in all competitions and now he has 29. The departure of Cristiano, Bale and Benzema has diluted the Whites’ punch, which is now conditional on the contribution of an arriving midfielder like Bellingham.

Bellingham eclipses the slate

The Englishman has 13 goals and 3 assists, which means that he has participated in 55% of Madrid’s goals this season. And there is an even more disturbing fact: With the exception of the duel against Real, if Bellingham does not score, Madrid does not win. Jude did not score in any of the three punctures this season: neither in the derby defeat (3-1), nor in the 1-1 at Pizjuán nor in last Saturday’s 0-0 against Rayo.

The focus is on Vinícius and Rodrygo, whose contribution has deflated with the change in the tactical scheme. Carletto warned: “Rodrygo and Vinícius are going to score more goals throughout the season, they are going to score more than Bellingham and Joselu. We have no doubt. Rodrygo and Vinícius will score again without problems. We are in no hurry in this sense.” The Brazilians are very far from last season’s scoring records at this point. Vinícius has three goals and two assists, when a year ago he already accumulated five goals and four assists. Rodrygo has only managed two goals and one assist for the five goals and five assists last season. Just last week the club confirmed the extension of their contracts: Vinícius until 2027 and Rodrygo until 2028 (and yesterday, Camavinga renewed until 2029).

Vinicius celebrates Bellingham’s goal in Naples. real Madrid

The system change

It seems obvious that this loss of goal is a consequence of the change in scheme. Ancelotti went from 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1, to give more offensive prominence to Bellingham, and that is taking its toll on the Brazilians. Vinícius is once again an accelerated player who does not make good decisions. And Rodrygo wanders at the top as he does not have a reference in front of him, as happened with Benzema. He is a dynamic player who shoots diagonals from both wings, with overflow and good shooting. But Bellingham has assumed the role of reacher, pushing the Brazilian up, where he suffers from not having innate movements. It is added that neither Vinícius nor Rodrygo are goal specialists.

This saudade goal also affects Federico Valverde. Last year until the World Cup break in Qatar on November 9, the Uruguayan added eight goals and four assists. This season he has one goal and two assists. Another dozen goals that Madrid misses. Valverde is the most used player, but in another role that makes him lose weight in attack. Bellingham’s accommodation has reduced the offensive importance of Rodrygo or Valverde with their new roles.

Fede Valverde celebrates the goal, later disallowed, against Sevilla. Reuters

In addition to Bellingham, Joselu has scored five goals in 755 minutes, which almost balances the seven goals scored a year ago by Benzema who deflated after winning the Ballon d’Or. The striker takes advantage of his minutes and is changing Ancelotti’s mind, becoming an increasingly recurring resource for his teammates.

This Bellingham-dependency confirms the poor planning of a squad mortgaged by the future signing of Mbappé. Real Madrid fans are beginning to be suspicious of Ancelotti’s new scheme, whom they see in summer on their way to Brazil. AND In this transition season, a victim is being sought so that Florentino Pérez and José Ángel Sánchez, designers of this squad, can escape the problem. Two candidates appear: Ancelotti and the Brazilians.


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