Real Madrid Rudderless Without Ronaldo

During a previous Galacticos era; people demanded that Real Madrid President Florentino Perez stop splashing out on attackers and bring in some better defenders.

Yet this summer Perez and Real decided to sell key man Cristiano Ronaldo and instead of bringing in a direct world class replacement Madrid brought in a young potential world beater in Vinicius Junior, bought back forward Mariano, right-back Alvaro Odriozola and Belgian golden glove winning goalkeeper Thibuat Courtois.

The one transfer window that the giants of Madrid were calling out for a Galactico and Perez didn’t provide them with one.

None of these new signings have set the heather alight, they’ve certainly not done enough to let the Los Blancos fans forget about Cristiano.

Junior hasn’t started a La Liga game yet but the teenager is still adapting to Spanish life, so it’s not reasonable to think he’d just come to Europe and takeover from Ronaldo.

Forward Mariano has only started once and he’s also made four substitute appearances in the league. In his 205 minutes on the field, Mariano hasn’t managed to find the net. It looks increasingly likely that he was only brought back from Olympique Lyon to sell on for a higher price in the near future.

Full-back Odriozola looks ok but you need to be better than just average when playing in the Bernabeu. At twenty-two years of age, he’s got time on his side to get used to playing at such a illustrious club.

The biggest disappointment for Real, in terms of recruitment, has been Courtois. The Belgian internationalist was desperate to return to Spain and he really pushed for the £30m move, as reported by The Sun.

Yet he’s since conceded eighteen times in his first eleven Spanish top flight appearances. What’s more baffling is that Real already had a very good keeper in Kaylor Navas, who helped them win three Champions League titles in a row.

On Twitter, football fans are now stating just how terrible Courtois has been thus far:

In previous years, Ronaldo was always on hand to get Real Madrid out of any ruts they might’ve found themselves in.

But after years of speculation, the Portuguese superstar left the Bernabeu in a £90m move to Serie A champions Juventus.

Now some would have unfairly said that it’s easier to score lots of goals if you’re spearheading Real Madrid’s attack.

I think Perez has looked at his squad and thought that between them Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Isco and Marcos Ascensio could step out of Ronaldo’s shadows and they could replace his goals.

But it seems as though these players have become accustomed to playing second fiddle and relied on the Portuguese internationalist to grab the vital goals. Before arriving in the Spanish capital Bale and Benzema were team leaders at their previous clubs. They would be game changers and grab the headlines. At Real they quickly found themselves being used as attackers to help facilitate Ronaldo’s needs. It’s difficult to once again become the top star!

Real’s four creative sparks have scored just ten La Liga goals between them this term. After his goal today, Ronaldo has struck nine goals in thirteen Italian league games!

Between them Madrid’s four top attacking players have created six assists, Cristiano has managed five on his own at Juve.

Earlier today, Real Madrid were humbled 3-0 away to Eibar. In the Guardian’s match report you’ll notice that Real were three down before the hour mark.

During the tough times this season, Los Blancos have been looking for a talismanic hero to come to their rescue and no player has stepped up and taken on that role.

They’re now onto their second permanent coach in Santiago Solari, after today’s result he’ll know the full extent of the problems that are facing him in his new job.

The defence isn’t good enough, the new signings haven’t improved the team and there’s a huge Cristiano Ronaldo hole in the team-sheet.

Former head coach Julen Lopetegui left the Spanish job right before the start of the World Cup and he wasn’t given enough help from Florentino Perez to better the Madrid team. When Julen needed an Eden Hazard or a Neymar type signing, he was given Mariano a player who was already deemed not good enough by the previous management team.

Lopetegui’s father gave an interview to El Mundo (translated via Evening Standard) and he clearly believed the selling of Ronaldo was a major factor behind his son’s exit:

“Cristiano Ronaldo was good,”  

“Was he cocky? We all have defects. But he scored 50 goals a season. Now he is missed. They don’t have a goalscorer. Not one.”

“Nobody came in,”

“It was Neymar this and the other guy that, but nobody arrived… they have stolen 50 goals from my son.”

It might be blunt and to the point but Jose Antonio Lopetegui is right, the club didn’t replace their best player. They miss his goals, his presence and the fear factor he brought with him.

Until Real Madrid go out and spend big on a new forward, I fully expect them to continue this slump. Don’t get me wrong, they might finish second but I don’t think they will be near the eventual champions nor do I expect them to retain the Champions League.

For the first time, in a long time, Real Madrid look lost and toothless!

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