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Reasons for Real Madrid's dismal league campaign

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1.57K   //    22 Dec 2012, 14:36 IST

2011 World Football Challenge Press Conference

Real Madrid with just 33 points from 16 games has made a dismal start to their La Liga campaign. They are trailing league leaders Barcelona by 13 points. To make things worse they find themselves at third position behind city rivals Atletico Madrid. Their hopes of defending their title are all but over. Here’s a look at a few of the reasons that have contributed to their poor performance in the league.

1. Defensive Errors:

Almost half of  the goals conceded by Real Madrid this season are from set pieces. It’s hard to believe that a team like Real Madrid with the aerial prowess they possess can be so vulnerable to dead ball situations. Despite having players like Ramos and Pepe who are good headers of the ball, lapses in concentration at critical moments from different individuals is one of their reasons for their poor performances. Mourinho needs to address this problem quickly otherwise Real Madrid might drop a few more points.

2. Casillas’ indifferent form:

Casillas, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world if not the best, has not been at his best this season. Casillas, who has received only 44 shots on target, is the least tested keeper in the league this season. He has had to stop about 3 shots per game. Casillas has let one in every three shots into the back of the net. Casillas can be blamed for not being proactive during set pieces. This is not something people expect from Casillas but he is someone who can be trusted to perform better and make some incredible saves during the next half of the season.

3. Poor Decision Making and Poor Finishing:

Spain v France - UEFA EURO 2012 Quarter FinalDecision making from a few of  the Real Madrid players has been poor which has cost them  dear this season. Di Maria has been guilty of squandering possession by taking needless long range shots. Benzema has not been clinical in front of goal this season and has not been able to produce the kind of performances he produced last season. He has produced  some good assists but Real Madrid need goals from him. Ronaldo is having a good season but it can be said that he can do much better.

4. Hitting the Woodwork:

Real Madrid has hit the woodwork on 17 occasions in the league this season. Against Valencia when the score was 1-1, Higuain’s shot  hit the bar which resulted in Real Madrid drop two points at home. At Sanchez Pizjuan where Real Madrid lost to Sevilla 1-0, Modric and Ramos almost found their names on the score-sheet. Against Espanyol last week, Modric’s shot hit the post and Di Maria’s shot hit the post and then went onto hit the bar and Real Madrid dropped two more points.

Real Madrid need to play better football in the second half of the season and see that they don’t drop any more points to save them from further embarrassment. There is no doubt about the ability of the players. They need to improve their decision making, reduce the number of defensive errors and, of course, need a bit of luck. With the ability they have, it won’t be a surprise if they  end up winning the Copa Del Rey or the Champions league.

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