Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid were left reeling after falling to a 3-0 defeat away to a Paris Saint-Germain side that were without their first-choice front three.
After that result, the supporters were left remembering the Champions League elimination to Ajax last season.
Zidane, who was not in charge for that Ajax tie, said that Madrid lacked intensity against PSG, something that did not convince many fans.
What happened at the Parc des Princes has put pressure on the squad and the coach, with some thinking that Zidane’s magic touch in Europe might have been able to paper over the cracks that have been there since the Frenchman replaced Santiago Solari towards the end of the last campaign.
As is common after every game, Florentino Perez went down to the dressing room. Of course, neither the president nor anyone present could disguise the tremendous disappointment at a result – and more worryingly a performance – such as this.
There was no talk; there was nothing to say. What’s more, Florentino left the stadium very quickly.
From the club, they ask the players to give their all, win, fight, and show ambition, as well as many other factors.
Many of these players have been given a new chance to shine, but thus far they have not lived up to expectation. Trust has become detachment and that has hurt a lot of Madrid fans, something the club’s leaders are trying to convey over and over again.
The image, so important for Real Madrid and in modern-day football, has been left very affected. Respect is won and lost on the football pitch, and right now Zidane’s side do not inspire fear for their opponents.
Zidane is the same, but he fails to convey the necessary message to the players, as demonstrated in Paris. There’s a lack of legs, the players have lost that mental edge, and the club’s leaders have informed the coaching staff of their thoughts on the matter. And the absence of training on Thursday is perhaps an example of the aforementioned concerns.