With Rafael Benitez announced as the new manager at Real Madrid, the club would like to turn over a new leaf following their contentious decision to sack Carlo Ancelotti just a year after winning the a La Decimaa . With Barcelona closing on yet another treble, lets analyse Real Madrida s season and fathom how a team that scripted a world record 22 game winning streak in a season failed to win a single trophy.
The 22 Game Winning Streak
Following their defeat against Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid transformed themselves into a winning squad that only paused after winning the Club World Cup in Morocco last December. The streak not only symbolized Carlo Ancelottia s potential as a manager but was representative of a team that had reached its pinnacle. However as with all teams that reach their pinnacle, the fall is but inevitable. In his desire to script the winning streak, Carlo Ancelotti refused to rotate the squad thus by the time Real Madrid reached the crunch second half of the season, the squad was suffering from a series of injuries combined with mental and physical fatigue. Ancelottia s prized midfielder Luka Modric picked up a knock while on international duty and barely made a come-back for the entire second half of the season. On the other hand the likes of James Rodriguez, Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale continuously flirted with brief spells in the recuperating room and were joined by Karim Benzema during the last most important stage of the season.
Thus suffice to say that despite Carlo Ancelottia s brilliance, his inability to rotate the squad combine with his lack of confidence on the bench left Real Madrid rueing of a season that could have been. Chicharito, Jese and Illarramendi were hardly used while new signing Lucas Silva made a few brief appearances for the Los Blancos. Ancelottia s over-dependence on his star players did get Real Madrid its winning streak but the streak came in the wrong half of the season.
Have You Seen Gareth Bale? And Did Ronaldo Come Back After The Christmas Break?
Roy Keane seemed to be amused by the fact that Real Madrid fielded only ten players against Juventus, refusing to count Gareth Balea s presence on the field as one that had any significance on the match. Though the criticism was slightly harsh, Keanea s comments could sum up Gareth Balea s season with Real Madrid. The Welsh winger refused to step up his game on the big matches and his 13 goals and 9 assists in 31 appearances is clearly not what was expected by Pereza s big money signing.
As with the record breaking winning streak, Ronaldoa s blistering goal scoring form was one that came during the wrong half of the season for Real Madrid. While Commander Ronaldo shot off to a flying start last year, his form post December was curiously out of sorts as the Portuguese failed to inspire Real Madrid to effectively chase Barcelona or beat Juventus in the Champions League.
Ronaldo scored an astonishing 25 goals in 14 appearances before the Christmas break but his next 23 goals came in 21 appearances in the La Liga. Out of which he scored 14 goals in 4 matches, which leaves him with 9 goals in the rest 17 matches.
Big Match Duds
Big Match Duds?
Crashing out of the Copa del Rey following their loss to Atletico Madrid, Real Madrida s season is perhaps best summed up by their game against Barcelona in the La Liga. 1-0 down, Real Madrid fought back brilliantly to equalize but failed to take their chances despite dominating the entire first half at Camp Nou. Having failed to take the lead, a resilient Barcelona took hold of the proceedings in the second half with Luis Suarez scoring the winner to give Barcelona an edge in the La Liga race.
Similarly, Real Madrid dominated the second leg against Juventus and should have taken a two goal lead after scoring the opener. But they failed to make their chances count and Juventus put one back to take the game away from Real Madrid. Carlo Ancelottia s team failed to impose their presence on the big matches, a fact that cost the Italian his job following the end of the season.