Before everyone takes out their swords, Let’s think something here. Last season’s first half, actually had to be one of the most tumultuous seasons in the club’s history. A manager not liked by the players, A President trying to save his face [Still trying to], Club Icons walking away and add insult to injury, the El Clasico debacle, points were being dropped on trips normally where there would be wins and fans jeering did not get any lower. Benitez was already running on fumes when he started and he was put of his misery when Real Madrid finally decided to sack him.
Enter January, came Zinedine Zidane, took over as the new manager after managing the Youth side the previous seasons. One of the Galacticos so popular who actually made the famous ‘Gold Plated’ comments on the Makelele sale during his playing days. The first job he had to do, was to bring harmony into the squad which was lost when Carlo Ancelotti was sacked. The transfer sagas in the summer and the tactics which alienated the players over the first few months really affected the players. Not to say Benitez is a bad manager, maybe he just wasn’t fitting the club, the size of Real Madrid and the politics in the background. Gareth Bale made it public as he wasn’t pleased with Benitez leaving and he wanted to play in the middle. Except Benitez, no other manager has given him the freedom he wants.
Is the Current Real Madrid Midfield ‘Trio’ the BEST of the recent times?
One of the surprising moves we saw in the ultimate see-saw of power struggles in Real Madrid was, Perez’s favourite XI clearly not being the starting XI when Zidane took over. There was no place in the regular starter James Rodriguez who is a ‘Galactico’ on his own right. Isco was also not used as much it was expected. But, Casemiro who was not a Perez favourite was brought straight into the starting line-up. Kroos Position changed on the pitch and the fortunes changed dramatically for everyone to see. The clear sign this midfield had something in them was the El Clasico when Casemiro was the star performer breaking up Barcelona attacks as if an Anti-Aircraft Missile was installed on the pitch.
Kroos was able to roam the pitch a bit higher than usual and Modric as well had the license to control the midfield with more luxury knowing a Tank is standing for cover behind.
2015-2016 also saw someone growing in stature in the midfield for Real Madrid, Toni Kroos started stamping his authority in Midfield and as evidenced by his displays during the Valencia game without Luka Modric to support him, 71/72 passes were completed. The rise of Casemiro has allowed Kroos to go from Anchor to Provider and his diagonal balls and passes to the Overlapping Fullbacks and Wingers are becoming trademarks for the Real Madrid play in the past few matches. If Bale is called Ronaldo’s carbon copy, Kroos definitely is becoming Modric 2.0. The main focus now is to retain this midfield trio as the understanding between Kroos and Modric has gone to another level. This could only mean that next season is going to get even better considering they know that Casemiro is here to stay behind them every time unless he picks a suspension or God Forbid on current form, an injury.
Other than that, Keeping the fingers crossed for Perez to not make a glamour signing and force him into the team to separate this pair. After all, it’s not as if the back-ups are any worse when you have James Rodriguez and Isco waiting for their chance to show their skills again. But for now, talk has been going on for a decade now to end Barcelona’s dominance by Real Madrid and they might have finally found the answer. Whether they want to keep it that way, Solely depends on the Board and a manager who was already a legend but became a God with ‘La Undecima’.