Zinedine Zidane arrived at Real Madrid saying he would make many changes. The regular start of his second stage and the current season brought up criticism. They played the same, the changes were not seen anywhere, the bleeding of points, goals and illusion continued dripping without brake. But the road that was presumed muddy is now paved and with flowers on its sides.
What degree of responsibility does Zidane have in changing the equipment? In what aspects has it influenced to reverse the situation? To start, in the attitude. Zizou got tired of repeating in the press conferences that he lacked intensity, that he could not repeat the lack of concentration and to ask his people for more commitment from minute 1 to 90. After the debacle in Mallorca it seems that at last the costumes He has paid attention. “Since the defeat in Mallorca, the team has begun to be more generous,” said the coach after winning at Ipurua.
That generosity is due to several turns of the technician in the team. Defensive strength has improved markedly, with a change. The pressure line has risen, the team steals more balls and the rivals have fewer possessions and generate fewer attacks. And here has a lot to do Fede Valverde. The Uruguayan is the most advanced player in the line of three midfielders when it comes to raising the pressure, but also the one with the most distance to go down to defend if the rival team leaves the white burden to stretch towards the rival goal when Madrid leaves in tromba. In Ipurua, with the Eibar pressing, his presence was accordion, closing with Casemiro and the sides to start the exit and arriving at the Dmitrovic area in the offensive phase of the play. So much that he even scored.
His presence in the center of the field has given Real Madrid a plus of intensity that must be blamed on Zidane’s decision to put it on and give it continuity. Thanks to him , Casemiro can breathe, who despite continuing to play almost every minute finds an ally with lungs and legs to lend a hand. And release a Kroos that has returned to its best level. And he presses a Modric who sees his privileged position in danger and in Ipurua left a very high level of football.
Zidane also changed the third occupant of his attack trident. He dared with Rodrygo, the kid responded and the coach has continued to give him confidence. His goals and covers, however, did not disturb Zizou to sit in Eibar, a complicated field for the show. And it went well, because Lucas participated after a long time and gave a good performance. Another player who sees his usual minutes threatened and who raises a point the intensity so as not to be left behind. “I will have everyone because that means a lot when everyone is involved and when they do it that well when they have to play,” he told a Galician press conference. Importance to training and reward daily work. Where does not reach the eye of the press or that of the fan, is Zidane to go riding his eleven of the next game.
Nor was Zidane worried when Courtois was weak and Hazard did not appear. He did not hesitate, he did not take them out of the field and time, again, has proved him right. In minutes, Eden has found his place, his best friend in the field, Benzema, and the best way. Ipurua was his first major exhibition on a field with the white shirt, although he saw no door. And Thibaut, the same. Neither laziness nor sports laziness made Zidane change her plan. The Belgian is his goalkeeper. Another change from last year, the goal will not generate debates.
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From Mallorca, and in part ‘thanks’ to the absences of Bale and James, who have clarified the picture without resorting to decisions that raise dust, Zidane Madrid has found his eleven, his attitude and his results. Many small changes (attitude, Valverde, Rodrygo, confidence, competition, pressure, aim) that generate a large one. Real Madrid, last season, was four points behind Barça after 12 days. Two years ago, the one that unleashed Zidane’s goodbye was ten. Today, in the absence of the Classic, they are tied. LaLiga is at stake. And Madrid, with options to everything.