Why Real Madrid are struggling after Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Turin
Real Madrid has a rich history, their gleaming stone in the crown being their 13 UEFA Champions League trophies. Cristiano Ronaldo, for Real Madrid, scored most comeback/winning goals, especially during the past 3 years, when Madrid made history not winning just two - but three - UCL titles back-to-back. No other club has achieved this feat as of yet.
However, this season (2018-19), there seems to be a dip in their form. Why are Real Madrid and their new coach struggling? Here, we look into the reasons why the Los Blancos have had a terrible start to the campaign.
When Ronaldo Played For Madrid
Ronaldo acted as a player who was always there to support in the forward areas of the pitch, at the right place and at the right time. His runs into free space, deadly shot power and speed combined with spectacular passes from Ramos and Modric were a defensive nightmare.
Zinedine Zidane, now the ex-manager of Real, could thus easily employ the 'Target Man' tactic for most games.
Target Man Tactic
Typically, it is a mixture of possession and counter-attacking football, with more stress on the former. Usually, short and quick passes are made in the midfield (wWhich was often dominated by Madrid) and when the opportunity opens up, a long ball is played to a specified 'Target Man', in Madrid's case - Luka Modric.
The job of this target man is to set the ball up for the ultimate forward, which was Cristiano Ronaldo. Mostof the time, Ronaldo got a touch or two on these balls and found the back of the net.
Besides this, his ability to score penalties, keeping his calm at the most pressurising moments (For example, the controversial last extra-minute penalty awarded to Madrid that would decide if they made it to the semi-finals or not) was extraordinary.
After Ronaldo's Move To Juventus
A new manager, Julen Lopetegui, as well as the loss of the Portuguese star has left Real grabbing for a new effective tactic.
They have had a disappointing start to their La Liga in this 2018-19 season, with 2 losses, 2 draws and only 1 win. They seem to be in a confused state and Lopetegui's decision of playing Navas in the UCL and Courtois in the La Liga is not helping the team. It is high time he standardises the goalkeeper as the team is already struggling to fill in a void which Ronaldo left.
Although Ronaldo is a reason for this drop in the game, he's definitely not the only one. A new manager, rotating goalkeepers, unlucky injuries of central players, throwing away set pieces and a lot of players not performing to their potential - this creates a depression for Madrid.
Perhaps a solution is for Lopetegui to analyse and implement new tactics or maybe even make a final decision as to which of Madrid's keepers will start consistently.
Will Lopetegui be able to lead a struggling Real Madrid squad back up the La Liga table and set them in line for what could be their 4th consecutive UCL trophy?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.