Real Madrid have been conceding goals from crosses like crazy. It doesn’t take much insight to observe that the reason why Real Madrid are conceding so much is because the defenders are messing up big time.
Sergio Ramos along with Varane and Nacho (Pepe is the exception) are physically capable of defending air balls but they have not been able to do so, may be, because of bad form or whatever. The fact is that in the past Ramos and Varane have shown that they can defend well against crosses and air balls.
The problem is with Arbeloa and Marcelo. Both are formidable going forward but when it comes to tracking back, blocking crosses or defending them, they are a mess. Marcelo’s height does not do him too many favors and Arbeloa is physically not strong enough to jump up and defend an air ball.
With that being said, I think the player I would want Real Madrid to sign this January or next season would be a world class left back or a world class right back. Carvajal looks promising so realistically speaking, Real Madrid should only look for a world class defensively strong left back. Coentrao has the same problem that Marcelo has but Coentrao does have more control over his positioning and is much more mature when defending air balls. Marcelo is a wreck for me when it comes to defending counter attacks as well.
My choice of player would be David Alaba. He is fast, young and strong. He plays for Bayern Munich so that means Real Madrid would not be able to bully their way into signing Alaba from Bayern Munich. Perhaps a swap deal involving Marcelo or a midfielder would do enough but nothing can be certain.
For all we know Real Madrid are not even considering buying a defender now. So that makes things a bit difficult. Hopefully by the end of the season, when Real Madrid are likely to have won nothing under Ancelotti, Real Madrid would look into the matter and bring in someone who can defend well.
As the saying goes, defenders are brought to defend, not to attack, so the attacking skills of Marcelo should not be considered to be some sort of a compensation for his lack of skill defending his goal.
(Photo By iJose)