Real Madrid Would Be Foolish To Go After Antonio Conte

Julen Lopetegui must have thought he’d been awarded his dream job when he took over the reigns at Real Madrid. It was such a hot offer that it meant Julen decided to leave his post as the Spanish national team manager on the eve of the World Cup.

The Spanish FA decided to hasten his departure and he was gone before Spain’s big kick-off in Russia.

Lopetegui made huge gamble but obviously thought it was one worth taking.

Unforturtately it’s not gone swimmingly for the fifty-two year old at the Bernabeu.

First off the club decided to cash in on it’s main star Cristiano Ronaldo, who might have been ageing but he was still their talismanic figure. They didn’t really replace the Portuguese superstar either.

Los Blancos spent most of their summer budget on eighteen year old Brazilian Vinicus Junior but obviously the teenager has been bought for the future. He’s so far only played twelve minutes of La Liga football.

The next big buy was goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea. There’s no doubting that the big Belgian is a talent in between the sticks but did they really need to fork out £35m for the goalkeeper? They already had Kaylor Navas at the club and he’s helped the club win the last three Champions League titles. Tellingly Costa Rican shot-stopper Navas has played in two league games so far this term and Real have won both, Courtois has started in seven La Liga fixtures and only won two!

I think Lopetegui could be disappointed by his side’s summer transfer dealings and they have certainly missed Ronaldo.

But alas his record should still be better.

In their opening nine league games; Real Madrid have won just four, drawn two and lost three. They have scored thirteen times, which is less than Sevilla and Levante and a whopping ten less than main rivals FC Barcelona. They’ve also had disappointing results in Europe; losing to Atletico Madrid in UEFA Super Cup and CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

Madrid are currently lying in fifth spot in La Liga and that has lead to people questioning Lopetegui’s future.

The next two games could be huge for the Real boss. Up next, they’ve got Viktoria Plzen in Europe before they take on Barca in the El Clasico. Lose either of those two and it will probably be curtains for Julen at the Bernabeu.

But say he masterminds a win over Barcelona, the gap between them closes to just one point. He believes things are changing for the better:

“I feel more encouraged than ever to continue because the team gave their heart and soul on the pitch,”

If he does get the chop, then who would be next into the hot-seat?

Well speculation seems to be pointing towards former Chelsea and Juventus boss Antonio Conte.

I’d think that would be a strange appointment.

Yes the Italian coach has guided teams to success but his style can rub fans and players up the wrong way.

For months we’ve seen Real being heavily linked with a move for Belgian maestro Eden Hazard, yet Eden and Antonio didn’t always see eye to eye at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard didn’t like being deployed as a false nine and he didn’t appreciate some of Conte’s more defensive focused tactics.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Eden Hazard signing a new Chelsea deal if Conte is given the Real Madrid job.

Hazard wasn’t the only star player to struggle under Antonio either.

Top scorer Diego Costa famously left the club after a text from Conte saying he was no longer needed at the club, the manager then failed to replace the Spanish forward.

Brazilian international attacker Willian said this when asked if he would have stayed at the club if Conte was still there:

“No chance. No. I’m here because I want to play for Chelsea.”

David Luiz also stated he would have departed Stamford Bridge if he was still being bossed by Antono Conte.

Conte is known for being a pragmatic coach, I’m not sure that will work in Madrid nor am I sure that’s what’s needed at the moment.

Real need to be getting more from their attacking players and Conte isn’t that kind of manager.

It might sound ridiculous but I think Arsene Wenger would be better off in the role rather than Conte. Realistically I think you could give it to Guti and reassess things in the summer or even approach Joachim Low.

All that being said, if Julen Lopetegui can put a winning run together, including a victory at the Camp Nou, then all talk of a managerial replacement would be redundant.

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