Saturday, April 1, 2023

Real Madrid runs out of goal and Florentino, patience with Ancelotti

May 21, 2022 kylian mbappe detonated a sports bomb whose shock wave fully reached the offices of the Santiago Bernabeu. The Paris Saint-Germain forward announced to Florentino Pérez his intention to renew with the Parisians with a brief What’s App message. The Frenchman, who was the forward chosen for strengthen the lead of Real Madrid, he backed down and planted the whites. From that May 21 to September 1, the closing date of the summer market, 103 days passed.

Mbappé or nothing

103 days in which Florentino Pérez did not consider signing anyone because Haaland, who had just signed for Manchester City, was not available either. When the news of Mbappé’s renewal by PSG was confirmed, Carlo Ancelotti told José Ángel Sánchez, Real Madrid’s general manager, his desire to hire another striker to complement Karim Benzema in the scoring facet. The Italian even slipped the name of the Brazilian Richarlison, then at Everton, where Carletto had trained him. Madrid listened to his request, but Florentino was categorical in his decision: “The signing is Mbappé. And he will end up playing in white”. But until that happens, the white squad continues to present an offensive imbalance, where Benzema, at 34, is the only real resource. Neither Mariano nor Hazard, as they have shown with their performance, are recoverable, so the Italian was forced to improvise by placing Rodrygo on a false 9 with the limitations that this entails.

Florentino is not discussed and the decision was made. In an interview prior to the game with Betis, Manuel Pellegrini, who was Real Madrid’s coach in the 2009-10 season, warned: “At Real Madrid they believe that a coach has to direct the type of players they give him and he has to dedicate himself to that, and I believe that the coach has to have an opinion on the squad he is going to direct. Unfortunately there was a lack of communication between the president and me, or a ‘miscommunication’ from the beginning due to different personal opinions. I don’t have any problem with Florentino, but when the president and the coach have different ideas, the coach has to go. And I knew very soon that I was not going to continue at Madrid.”

In his book ‘Calm Leadership’, published in 2021, Carlo Ancelotti spoke of his first spell at Real Madrid and his relationship with Florentino: “Although they gave me the freedom to change my style of play, they told me and repeated that, whether I wanted to or not, I didn’t want to, the team’s game had to be more offensive.Fortunately, I had experience in satisfying the wishes of a president. Florentino was determined to sign the biggest superstars in the game. soccer world, so players would come and go that maybe I would not have chosen, but my obligation was to make the team work with the assets that were given to me”. And he pointed out a revealing reflection: “In Madrid there is a strange organization, it is not a club to put down roots”.

In the last weeks, the Italian is losing credit in the noble zone of the club. After skyrocketing in popularity after the historic win in Liverpool, the team has linked three matches, against Atlético, Barcelona and Betis, in which they have only scored one goal, from youth squad Álvaro Rodríguez. A fact that Ancelotti himself focused on at the end of the Villamarín game: “In the last three games, we have only scored one goal and from set pieces. It is clear that we must be more effective. The rival teams close in, but we have quality to do it better, to be more effective and more forceful”.

Disappointment and anger

The draw in the league against Athletic It was already “a disappointment” in the club’s offices due to the poor offensive proposal. The defeat at the Bernabéu against Barça generated “an anger” due to the team’s scoring ineffectiveness. Furthermore, from the upper echelons it slips that “Ancelotti does not optimize the resources available to him on the bench”. Resigned to Hazard, Florentino and his collaborators were not amused to see how Nacho, Ceballos and Asensio started again as substitutes in Seville.

Before the losses of Alaba and Mendy, Carletto preferred to place Camavinga on the side rather than a Nacho who is wanted by Bayern, Wolverhampton and MLS teams that knock on his door with juicy offers. Ceballos, who is in his best moment since he was a white player, does not have the minutes that he earns when he plays. And Asensio, simply, is not to Ancelotti’s taste. Three players who are with one foot outside Madrid, even though the club intends to renew the first two, something that complicates the coach’s decisions.

Mortgaged by Mbappé’s fright and with the future of Modric, Kroos, Benzema, Nacho, Ceballos and Asensio up in the air, Ancelotti knows that his continuity on the bench is not guaranteed next season despite having a contract until 2024. They are still alive in the Champions League, the Cup (where they must come back at the Camp Nou) and a very complicated League. But without goals, there is no paradise. AND as Carletto himself warned in his book “at Real Madrid it is not possible to complete a season without winning a title”. Madrid runs out of punch at the same rate as Florentino’s patience with his coach.


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