Following the escape from a humiliating loss against Club Brugge in their Tuesday night Champions League game, a lot of Real Madrid fans have started to question Zidane’s choice of player for the fixture.
To the shock of fans, Zidane had excluded Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez from the squad that would face the Belgian side in their Tuesday night Champions League clash.
Even though the Spanish side came back from 2-0 down to end the match in a 2-2 draw, fans had not been satisfied with their performance.
The Real Madrid boss, after the match claimed the duo were injured but a piece in AS debunked the claim stating:
“Real Madrid’s Wednesday morning training in Valdebebas confirmed what had already been let slip on the eve of the match against Brugge. James Rodríguez and Gareth Bale were in good physical condition and their exclusion from the matchday list for the Belgians was solely down to a tactical decision by Zidane.
“The French coach wanted to put it out there yesterday to the media his claim that the two players had a knock and we do not want to risk them.’ This was a decision that did not sit well with the Colombian nor the Welshman, both of whom would have wanted to be, at least, on the bench yesterday, a place from which they could have helped out a team after a depressing first half. A game that puts Madrid on the edge of the Champions League chasm.
“The footage released today on the club’s official website appeared to make it clear that both James and Bale were in perfect physical condition, completing the group session without the slightest problem.”
Speculation had been ongoing on whether Zidane was resting the two because he wanted them out in the summer.
A columnist and journalist wrote an open letter to Zidane on Marca, expressing his concern and questioning his tactical decisions.
“Starting from the premise that I am simply a journalist and football fan and that you’re a prestigious coach with three Champions Leagues, never mind what you did as a player, I’m going to allow myself to write these lines from inside the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu”.
“There is nobody better than you to know the players and the status of each one based on training, but it seems incredible to me that a player like Vinicius had a good game against Osasuna and then doesn’t have a minute at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in the derby. Maybe his speed would have been useful given how plainly the team attacked.
“Then he was on the bench again in the Champions League, with Lucas Vazquez starting. Lucas Vazquez is a magnificent backup, a player who gives his all on the pitch and who is an example of sacrifice, but right now he isn’t at the level of a Real Madrid starter and you’re going to end up dismissing his impact by insisting on starting him when the performance doesn’t follow.
“He’ll end up becoming an easy target for the fanbase. Excuse my boldness, but you’re also not aware that the star XI needs fresh blood, that Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos aren’t in sync and keep conceding goals, that the midfield of Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric was great in their day but now doesn’t conjure up the necessary play, and that there is a lack of goals up front despite the improvement of Karim Benzema. It doesn’t seem like there is anything automatic in defence, nor sequences prepared for
“Maybe the one who isn’t aware here is me. Please understand that you’re back in the Real Madrid dugout and that the fans at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu are asking for something else from your team. Primarily, they’re asking to fight for titles, at least until the month of May.”
A club should always have the best interest of its fans at heart and that includes the manager of the club making sure to put that interest first before any sentiment he has for players or the management.
Zinedine Zidane over the past couple of weeks has made it apparent his team selection has been based on sentiment, a decision fans won’t have paid much attention to until it started affecting the club’s performances.
This might be the beginning of the end for Zidane as he has started facing heavy criticism from both fans and the Spanish media. He might want to put his house in order before he gets to the point where he will have to fight for his job.