Blog by: Shayne
Real Madrid have been a busy club this summer. And who can blame them?
After failing to capture La Decima and losing the League by a whopping 15 points to bitter rivals Barcelona, it isn’t surprising at all. So far, the club have added talented players like Daniel Carvajal, Asier Illaramendi and Isco. If rumours are to be believed, they aren’t done yet. The ‘Los Blancos’ are expected to tie up a big-money signing for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale in a few days time.
New manager Carlo Ancelotti’s biggest headache will undoubtedly be how he manages Isco, Ronaldo, Ozil, Di Maria, Kaka and possibly Bale. Given the formation Real employ, only three (maximum four) of these players will start per game.
Assuming all six of the above mentioned attacking players remain at Real Madrid this season (Bale’s arrival has not yet been confirmed and Di Maria’s future would be bleak should the Welshman be signed), the strongest combination is undoubtedly Bale-Ozil-Ronaldo, with Bale and Ronaldo operating as inverted wingers on the right and left wing respectively while Ozil plays in his favoured role behind the striker. Bale and Ronaldo will be a nightmare for any defence to deal with given the pace they possess, and with Ozil sitting and dictating play behind the striker, one can expect plenty of chances to be created and taken.
As far as Real’s first-choice striker, it will undoubtedly be Benzema. Real sold Higuain for a massive sum this summer and are yet to sign a big-name striker to replace him, so it seems likely that the talented youngster Alvaro Morata will be given more games this season. However, he isn’t quite ready to displace Benzema as Real’s first-choice striker just yet.
Summing it up, one can expect a Bale-Ozil-Ronaldo combination starting behind Benzema in Real’s important matches.
That leaves Di Maria, Kaka and Isco. Given that Isco is young and has plenty of potential, one would expect to see him get more than his fair share of games, whether on the right wing or in his favoured position behind the striker. The fact that he was signed for a hefty sum of money will certainly help his case. Di Maria is a natural replacement for Bale and vice versa, so one would expect him to replace Bale in certain games.
Of course, both can also play in a more central role so it’s not too hard to imagine both Di Maria and Bale starting together. The fact that Ronaldo has played as a central striker (albeit on a very few occasions) might see him being pushed forward to accommodate one of either Di Maria, Isco or Kaka.
A lot has been said about how Ancelotti, who was Kaka’s manager at Milan, might just bring out the best in him again. The way I see it, that’s more of a hope than a reality. Injuries have seriously hampered Kaka’s career, and his already limited game time will be cut short even more with the arrival of Isco.
Whatever attacking combination Ancelotti chooses to play, he can expect plenty from them. Real’s already-strong squad is now stronger, so it wouldn’t be unrealistic to expect Real to win at least 2 trophies next season. One thing’s for sure: they will be exciting to watch.