Is Real Madrid still an elite club when it can’t win any away games? and should we consider Real Madrid amongst the top five clubs in Europe when Real Madrid can’t put past more than two goals against sides that lie in the bottom half of the table when playing away?
Aristocratic clubs are supposed to pummel teams at home, which Real Madrid does do on a regular basis, and also come away with convincing wins when playing on the opponent’s turf.
It has come to a point now that Real Madrid just seems incapable of winning games away from home convincingly and that is a huge problem because with Barcelona having another purple patch going for them, Real Madrid needs to win all its games. Period.
Anything less and Barcelona is more than assured of the La Liga title this year as well which would put Real Madrid La Liga total to a grand total of one in the last eight years. Not a great rate of return by any means given that Real Madrid have outspent all clubs in Europe when it comes to buying players.
Here is why it would be pertinent as far as Real Madrid is concerned to simply give up La Liga and concentrate on being strong away from home and having a water tight defense both at home and away in any competition:
1.Real Madrid, after Malaga draw, is too far behind Barcelona to have a realistic chance of winning La Liga.
Which is obviously sad since it used to be the other way around when Real Madrid won La Liga at a considerably faster rate than Barcelona.
Now Malaga was by no means a strong away side. The only thing they had in their favour was their impeccable defense having conceded only twenty two goals from twenty five games in La Liga which is bettered only by Atletico Madrid (with eleven goals), Villarreal (with eighteen conceded goals) and Barcelona (with twenty goals).
But regardless of that fact Real Madrid couldn’t put past more than a single strike against the minnows who had previously conceded six goals from Ronaldo alone. Had Ronaldo scored his penalty strike against Kameni, it would still have counted for nothing as Barcelona had won their away tie the day before 1-2 thanks to goals from Suarez and Neymar.
Real Madrid now find themselves a massive nine points behind Barcelona with only thirteen games to go. And let’s not forget, Barcelona also have the added advantage of a better goal difference and better (way better as a matter of fact) head to head result against Real Madrid so even if Real Madrid draw level on points with Barcelona, it would still not be enough to win the title.
2.Real Madrid lack the capacity to win away games
Real Madrid, understandably, is placed third on the La Liga table when it comes to away game results (coincidentally, third place is also the same rank Real Madrid has on the overall La Liga table) behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Of the twelve away games Real Madrid have participated in, it was lost two and has drawn five. That means that Real Madrid has mustered up enough potency to win just a shade over fifty percent of the total points that were up for grabs this season in La Liga in away games.
Barcelona on the other hand have won eight away games of the twelve they have played in and Atletico Madrid have won a mammoth nine of the thirteen that they have been involved in.
No points for guessing that teams that do eventually win La Liga are always strong in their away ties than the rest of the pack. Is it not shame worthy that Real Madrid has only managed three points more than Celta Vigo from its away games?
And before some of us find solace in the fact that Real Madrid did pretty well against an inform formidable Roma side then let’s remind ourselves that were it not for a massive deflection off Ronaldo’s shot, Real Madrid would not have been able to force Roma to open up for the rest of the game which eventually led to the tie killer second goal from Jesse.
Real Madrid could have conceded goals against Roma had Roma actually went through the trouble of buying a quality striker in the January transfer market. Roma had two or three decent chances and even had a penalty that wasn’t given which could have really hurt Real Madrid. Who knows if Real Madrid had lost against Roma, Zidane wouldn’t have been sacked as well.
The one key lesson every Real Madrid fan must take from Real Madrid’s awful away form is that Real Madrid should leave La Liga for Barcelona or Atletico Madrid and concentrate its efforts on a knockout competition where luck plays a larger part when it comes to away games (or any game for that matter).
3.Real Madrid can’t beat Barcelona or Atletico Madrid
And isn’t that the story of Real Madrid’s La Liga season for the past seven years or so. Real Madrid, even if it is able to match Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in beating tier two teams that are unfortunately playing in top flight Spanish football, can’t deliver when it really matters against the big dogs.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid represent the twelve points that Real Madrid seem unable to win no matter who’s the manager at Los Blancos or what the quality of the squad is.
The only time Real Madrid looked like beating Barcelona and Atletico Madrid on a consistent basis was under Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho’s Real Madrid initially got mauled by Barcelona at Camp Nou when Barcelona put past five (three of them really lucky goals) against The Whites but as always, Mourinho improved and worked even harder and by the time his tenure was done at Real Madrid, he managed a scoreline of 0-3 at Camp Nou.
But that was sometime ago, since Mourinho’s departure the only victory that seems worth a mention was the 3-0 scoreline Real Madrid managed at the Bernabeu under Ancelotti.
Even under Ancelotti, Real Madrid didn’t do as well as some might have expected against the two giants that are Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
Atletico Madrid famously destroyed Real Madrid 4-0 at their home ground Vicente Calderon and came inches close to beating Real Madrid for the Champions League crown as well till Ramos saved the day with an extra time header that eventually lead to a humiliating scoreline of 4-1 in the Champions League final of 2014.
In short, since Real Madrid can’t beat Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, the best line of action would be to completely ignore them and focus on Champions League where there is a much greater chance of Real Madrid not having to face either Barcelona or Atletico Madrid till the final or maybe not even there.
4.Real Madrid squad depth is lacking
This squad for all its Bale’s, Ronaldo’s and Benzema’s is in need of some major alignment work as it is brutally unbalanced in favour of generic midfield players who really play to get a paycheck rather than make a difference.
The likes of Isco, James, Kovacic and Kroos should never be on the same squad let alone be present on the pitch at the same time.
The result of this mismanagement when it comes to transfers is that Real Madrid is desperately short of a world class striker, a solid backup right back or left back.
Bale, not counting his first season with officially greatest club of the 20th century, hasn’t exactly turned out to be 21st century version of Cristiano Ronaldo on steroids.
His injuries along with his weak mental fitness as left him as a would-be Ballon D’or forward who seems to be perpetually waiting for the perfect moment to make himself count for the team.
But even beside him, one injury here or there (or to Ronaldo) and Real Madrid’s level of play goes down by about three notches.
The result is for all to witness as beside an added time header into the back of the net, Real Madrid haven’t actually won anything of note since Mourinho’s departure from the White House.
It would be far more prudent to save this squad’s legs for more important Champions League games rather than for a mission impossible La Liga games.
5.Between La Liga and Champions League, one should always opt for Champions League
No need for an explanation here really. Any club would take Champions League over the league title even though the league title requires a team to be consistent over the course of a whole season rather than over the course of twelve or thirteen matches.
Real Madrid became Real Madrid not because it won a record 32 La Liga titles but because it won a staggering number of Champions League titles and it would do well to stay on the same course.
Champions League trumps league title even when it comes to transfer market activity. Players want to move to clubs who have won prestigious international titles rather than local ones.
Besides, Real Madrid is not in a position to go for both so Champions League makes the most sense because, one, Real Madrid can win it without ever facing Barcelona or Atletico Madrid and two, it’s a knockout tournament where anything can happen (such as a bad penalty decision, a wrong offside call or a dumb red card) since the stakes are so high, Real Madrid is definitely better of chasing Champions League, get rich quick, glory than the slow and almost impossible La Liga win.
Real Madrid at the moment cannot compete with Barcelona or Atletico Madrid and therefore would be better off to greener pastures where both of them might never face the once a menacing foe.
Ronaldo doesn’t like scoring against elite teams and Bale is content in take paychecks for no work week in, week out.
As a result, Real Madrid can only hope to ride its luck and go with full force for Champions League fame.