Real Madrid witnessed one of their worst seasons since the 2014/15 campaign. The Whites are almost certain to end the 2018/19 season without any silverware additions to their trophy cabinet.
Zidane’s decision to step down after the completion of the 2017/18 season stimulated a series of decisions and actions which resulted in a miserable season like this. The Whites have appointed three managers this season starting with Julien Lopetegui, Santiago Solari and finally Zidane!
That statement alone is enough to throw light on the poor year the Whites had this term. However, things are seemingly heading in the right direction once again with the appointment of Zidane on a three-year tenure.
The Frenchman was clinical and systematic in his first spell with the club and even won three UEFA Champions League titles on the bounce! Things are really different now from where Zidane left, leaving him a mountain to climb before making any sort of progress.
Here are three things that should be on priority in Zizou’s to-do list to lift this Real Madrid side once again.
Take Charge of Dressing Room
One of the main highlights from Zidane’s first stint was his ability to be always in control of the dressing room atmosphere. During that period, barely a few media reports even claimed that there was a rift in the Santiago Bernabeu dressing room.
However this season there have been several bizarre incidents in Los Blancos side. A strange video of captain, Sergio Ramos emerged where he smashed the ball at Sergio Reguilon in frustration during a training session. Even Courtois seemed to have a problem with the attitude of a few dressing room seniors. In an interview, he revealed that Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale failed to attend a team dinner as they had to sleep.
Before Real Madrid aim at winning any sort of silverware next season, they need to have things in perfect order internally. It would be amazing to see if Zidane can exercise those powers of his all over again.
Summer Transfer Window
This season was a clear cut display of Real Madrid’s hesitance to spend money during the transfer months. The Whites’ only big money signing was Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea. On the contrary, the iconic Cristiano Ronaldo left to put on the White and Black of Juventus.
The Whites missed precision while going forward this season. A solid number 9 is required to be a part of this squad alongside Karim Benzema. Marco Icardi could be one of the possible arrivals amidst all the controversy regarding him at the San Siro stadium.
Also, Mateo Kovacic should be brought back from his loan spell at Chelsea. The Croatian has been severely missed this season, especially when Luka Modric is not part of the starting eleven. There has been the talk of Eden Hazard moving to the Spanish Capital for a while now, but it would be foolish to rule out that move this coming summer. Zidane’s reappointment could play a vital role in this.
Right Approach To Games
Solari’s reign saw the team go through a phase of normal highs and extreme lows. This is primarily due to the poor approach Solari had in terms of game planning and team selection. Zidane would have to cement a proper football identity to this Real Madrid side, which would make the opponents fear them. For instance, Real Madrid were the best side while counter-attacking if you could recall from the 2013/14 season. Along with time, Los Blancos have become prey to dozens of goals on the counter-attack, which is not at all a good sign.
It would be up to the sharp mind of Zidane to figure out the jigsaw puzzle in front of him in the form of players available and money available in the summer. Zidane’s second tenure will have to without a doubt establish a proper way of going about things, of dealing with difficult situations. In the loss to Ajax, Real Madrid were all over the place after going two goals down. Any other Real Madrid side of the very recent years would have acted far more calmly and maturely, and thus dealt with the situation better.