Why Zidane shouldn't take his Real Madrid job for granted
When club legend, Zinedine Zidane was appointed as manager of Real Madrid in January 2016, most people thought he was just holding the fort until a more established manager took over. The club had hit quite a low under Rafael Benitez, who had alienated a number of top players at the club and oversaw a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.
What Zidane has achieved at the club has been nothing short of sensational, as he has led the club to back-to-back Champions League victories. The Frenchman united the players and led them to glory, winning countless trophies at the club and establishing stability.
However, in recent months, Zidane has come under fire for bad results as they sit eight points behind perennial rivals, Barcelona. There are a number of issues that he has to be worried about.
Ronaldo's goal tally
Zidane is not directly responsible for club legend Cristiano Ronaldo scoring just twice in the league this season. The Portuguese maestro is in fine form in the Champions League this season, scoring eight times in 5 games. But his league form has affected the momentum of the team.
Ronaldo is looking increasingly disillusioned about life at the club given that two close friends of his, Pepe and Rodriguez, were let go by the club, as he has stated that he is unwilling to sign a new deal. Madrid need their talisman back and it is up to the manager to find a system that will benefit his striker. If Ronaldo plays well, Madrid play well.
The Florentino Perez angle
Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez is known to have very itchy hands when it comes to firing managers. There is absolutely no job security at the club, as other managers have been fired at the club despite their successes.
The likes of Bernd Schuster, Jupp Heynckes, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti have all been let go by the club without much hesitation. Real continue to be successful with this model, meaning that Zidane, if he wants to keep his job, must find a way to stop the rot.
Perez likes a manager who has control over the dressing room as there are reports about a rift between Ronaldo and club captain, Sergio Ramos.
He must win a trophy
At Real Madrid, the pressure to deliver is very high and Zidane knows he must maintain this level of success if he still stays on at the job. Selling the likes of James Rodriguez, Pepe and Alvaro Morata didn’t help his cause one bit, as those players influenced matches at certain points last season when Madrid won the Champions League and La Liga double.
The Madrid dugout is a poisoned chalice. As much as it is the most prestigious job in world football, one must be wary of the consequences of failure. A manager is only as good as his last job.