Real Madrid have had a shocking start to the 17/18 season, already eight points behind leaders Barcelona and four behind Valencia. The squad has been sloppy, dull and weak, key players are under-performing and more. Here’s a look a what have been the reasons for Real’s disappointing season so far.
Injuries/Lack of squad depth.
A significant portion of Madrid’s success last season was down to the good squad depth of the team. The club had a so-called ‘B’ team, consisting of Morata, Danilo, James and more, which stepped up to the occasion many times, in cup games and games against weaker teams. The depth of the team also meant that the team had an ample amount of replacements in case of injuries to the key players.
The story is different this season, as Zidane offloaded Morata, Pepe, Danilo, James and other players, who were instrumental for the team in quite a few aspects. Although Morata, Pepe and James left despite Zidane wanting them to stay, the club simply did not bring enough players to combat this problem.
Real have had one or two starters injured almost every game, and with no suitable replacements, the squad has underperformed.
Blunt in front of goal.
A common story for the fans this season, the team dominates the opponents in terms of possession, shots and everything else under the sun, but fails to score. In fact, Real have the highest average shots per game in Europe’s top five leagues with an average of 19.2 shots per game. Despite this statistic, the club is 18th in terms of goals scored (in the top five leagues), with 22 goals.
The build-up has been very repetitive and the attackers inefficient, leading to this crisis.
Although he is just one player, Ronaldo has a huge impact on the Real team. He has finished as the club’s top goal scorer for many years now, but this La Liga season has been something different, in a bad way.
Ronaldo has a conversion rate of 2.08%, the worst in Europe’s top five leagues, and has only scored one goal. This collapse in the winger’s form has been detrimental for Real. As Karim Benzema isn’t doing much better either, Real do not have a proper firing attacker at the moment.
Real’s defence, although having only conceded nine goals in the league, has been far from convincing. The back-line has been found with massive gaps between it, the defenders fail to successfully clear the ball, among more problems.
A major part of Real’s football over the years have been the swift counter-attacks from the back, which are the source of many goals. The partnership of Marcelo and Carvajal on the wings allows for the team to function well and makes the play fluid.
Carvajal has been injured for a lot of the season, and Hakimi and Nacho cannot fulfill the requirements of that style of football.