7 players who are the cause of Real Madrid's struggles and Lopetegui's impending sacking
After guiding Real Madrid to her worst ever start to a La Liga season, it came as no surprise when Julen Lopetegui could very well be fired from the job barely four months after accepting it.
Results have been pathetic under the Basque native, as the club has struggled for form and goals under his watch. There have been a host of unwanted records set by Los Blancos in La Liga this season, and this is the first time the club finds itself 9th on the table after 10 matches.
Earlier on, the club embarked on its worst run in front of goal for over 30 years when it went 465 minutes (almost eight hours) without scoring a goal, in the midst of a five match winless run in all competitions.
Julen Lopetegui accepted the Madrid job in acrimonious circumstances just two days to the start of the World Cup, which led to his firing from the national team.
There were a lot of factors out of his control which meant that Lopetegui was destined to struggle in the Real dugout, and while most of the blame for the club’s poor performances have been laid at his feet (as it usually is), the club’s crises have much deeper prognosis than just the incompetence of the manager.
Boardroom decisions, the curious decision to sell Cristiano Ronaldo, and most importantly, the players failing to step up in the absence of the legendary Portuguese all contributed to the malaise experienced by Real Madrid. Here are seven players on whom the responsibility lays for the struggles at the club.
#7 Marco Asensio
The 22-year-old exploded onto the scene at the start of the 2017/2018 season, scoring a couple of stunners particularly in the Super Cup triumph over Barcelona, and he was earmarked as one of the players to lead the club into the future.
He had earlier shown brilliance, and scored the final goal in the 4-1 demolition of Juventus in the 2017 UCL final, but found playing time hard to come by due to the presence of more established players in the dressing room.
Asensio predominantly plays on the left side of attack, and for as long as Ronaldo was present in the team, he was always bound to be on the bench, as there is no player anywhere in the world today apart from Messi and only a tiny handful throughout history who can start ahead of Real Madrid’s record goalscorer.
After Ronaldo completed his transfer to Real Madrid, Asensio got the opportunity he had been craving, as a starting spot was now all but guaranteed for him, and many believed that this would be the season where he would truly explode and become a genuine world beater.
However, four months on, and Asensio is yet to truly prove his worth to the Madrid cause. He had a plethora of opportunities to stamp his authority at the start of the season, but struggled to make any impact, and was one of the players criticized the most for his role in Real Madrid’s goalless run.
He has since been stripped off his starting spot, and even when he is brought on, he still does little more than complete proceedings as a passenger which is hardly what Real Madrid fans expected at the start of the season.
So far this campaign, he has scored just one goal in 14 matches in all competitions, and this is a poor return from someone whom so much more was expected.
Asensio was expected to play a big part at the start of the season, and in that regard, he has done so, but not just in the positive way that was expected, and a large part of Real Madrid’s struggles are undeniably down to his poor performances.