Lets not get off on the wrong foot here. Di Maria is a great player. Probably one of the top 5 wingers in the world. Real Madrid desperately need him and probably lost Spanish Super Cup to Atletico Madrid because of not playing Di Maria. But make no mistake. If Di Maria wants to leave, he can and probably should leave. It is as much a loss for himself personally as it is a loss for Real Madrid. Manchester United can dream on about having the same player that, they think, they saw playing at Real Madrid.
There are very few players who do not depend on their teammates when it comes to being the best and performing at the elite level. Messi (to some extent), Ronaldo, Bale, Alonso, Xavi, Pirlo, Zlatan are some of those players. Di Maria is not one of those players.
He may be fast and really daring when it comes to dribbling past players but he wouldn’t be able to perform, as he has performed for Real Madrid, at Manchester United to the levels people have come to expect of him. There is a reason why no manager in the world had Di Maria on his A list of ‘players to buy this summer’ apart from PSG maybe. There is also a pretty good reason why Louis Van Gaal (Manchester United Boss) himself said that Di Maria was on his B list of players he would sign if he could not sign any of his A list players which included the likes of Kroos, Vidal and the rest.
Here are 5 reasons why I think Real Madrid can cope with Di Maria’s loss pretty well and why Di Maria is shit without Real Madrid:
- Same story as was with Ozil. Ozil scored 11 goals and made 24 assists for Real Madrid in his last season at the club and everyone was like ‘man he is the player’. Arsenal’s Wenger took the bait (while Mourinho did not even though Mourinho is a great admirer of Ozil himself but I think he realizes that certain players are suited to certain systems and one player can’t fit all the systems unless your Ronaldo) and what has Ozil done in his maiden season at Arsenal when the defenders haven’t measured him yet and opposing teams are still guessing about his tendencies on the pitch, Ozil has scored 7 goals (including penalties which he did not get at Real Madrid) and has made 14 assists which is, I think, the lowest for him in the past 6 years. Di Maria is the same. He can run with the ball but unless you have someone like Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo at the other end, Di Maria’s game becomes almost irrelevant.
- Di Maria can’t shoot with the ball. His finishing sucks to say the least. People say Di Maria won Real Madrid Copa Del Ray and Champions League final. Wrong. His meek finish in Copa Del Ray Final was actually the reason why he was able to score. A better finish would probably had ended up straight into the back of the net instead of rolling towards the goal post. And Champions League Final was remarkable only because Bale was there to finish off Di Maria’s selfish run. Di Maria didn’t pass the ball, a fact most people seem to forget, he was all for a missed chance vs team glory. Thankfully Bale had made the run for a simple header into the goal.
- Di Maria’s work rate may be great but he can rarely last 90 minutes. And that puts you in a spot of bother as a manager because you would want your subs to be a strategic advantage. Being forced to make a change because a player isn’t performing well is not something a manager should or would appreciate especially when it comes to big games. But wait a minute? Manchester United won’t be playing any big games this season. We can be sure of that or can we?
- Di Maria’s consistency. Is the main reason why Real Madrid did not get any offers for him from any club other than PSG and Manchester United. Think about it, if people knew that Di Maria is actually a good enough player to perform at the levels while playing for Real Madrid then I think the first team who would want a player like Di Maria would be Liverpool. They had a lot of cash with the sale of Suarez. Di Maria made the World Cup Final and ‘helped’ Bale score a Champions League Final goal, so why didn’t Chelsea or Liverpool made any enquiry about Di Maria’s availability? Simple, Di Maria’s brilliance is not independent of his teammates.
- Di Maria’s one dimensional game is also not something every team can tolerate. Real Madrid had a plethora of world class players alongside Di Maria and that helped Di Maria hide his one dimensional game of cross or dribble. These were literally the two options for Di Maria whenever he got the ball. Much like Ozil who has been badly exposed at Arsenal and suddenly people are talking about Ozil not being the same player he was at Real Madrid. With fast and physical defenders barging into you in BPL, it is not always easy to dribble past players at your whim.
So My advice to Real Madrid fans would be this: Di Maria was a good player but when a player doesn’t want to play for your club, he becomes dispensable. No point in voting for him in online polls with the expectation that someone in the Real Madrid hierarchy would listen to that poll and would offer Di Maria the contract he wants. Trust me, the people running Real Madrid have more knowledge about football then all the bloggers in the world put together. If Di Maria was worth it I am sure Ancelotti would have offered him what he wanted.
I am not saying the best thing that can happen to Real Madrid is if Real Madrid somehow sell Di Maria. All I am saying is that when a player hands in his desire to leave a club in writing then that player is done for. There is no point in convincing him to stay because he would not be able to perform adequately.
For those thinking Manchester United would get stronger with Di Maria to the point that they would win BPL. Think again.
I hope Di Maria continues his dribbling streaks and his pin point crosses but as far as Real Madrid goes, I wouldn’t want him now.