The seven keys to Real Madrid's mini-crisis at the start of the season

Madrid's season has not started as they would have expected

Their form at the Santiago Bernabeu has been the most concerning

Minuto de silencio antes del encuentro entre Madrid y Tottenham
Minuto de silencio antes del encuentro entre Madrid y Tottenham | AFP

Real Madrid's start to the season is worrying the club's supporters. The lack of goals, their fragility in defence and the amoung of injuries and bans are concerning. There are seven reasons to argue Los Blancos are going through a mini-crisis, especially at the Santiago Bernabeu... 

Alejandro Alcázar

1. 'It's not going in': Madrid have scored 22 goals so far this season, 21 short of the 43 they had at this stage last year. In addition, only 11 different players have scored when last season it was already 17 by now. Cristiano Ronaldo's the only player to have improved, from four goals to six, despite missing sitters like the one at Getafe. The lack of goals is, without doubt, hindering Zidane's side at the moment. The departure of Alvaro Morata seems to have caused more damage than expected and his successor, Mayoral, is not at Madrid's level yet. 

2. Sieve Marcelo: The Brazilian is not in his best form and against Tottenham he was a long way from his normal level. The left flank was a 'sieve' for the opposition forwards and Sergio Ramos could not put the lid on. However, in attack Marcelo did not add anything, either, which is his strongest, most recognised characteristic. 

3. Benzema's form: Being dubbed the 'modern' forward means his incredible failings are often forgiven. However, there have been several games now when Madrid have not managed to turn their play into goals because of the French forward's errors. The fans are beginning to lose patience with him and even former players like Lineker and Mijatovic have said he is "overrated". 

4. 'Bernabeu syndrome': Never in the 21st century have Madrid had so many problems in their own stadium, winning just three of the seven games played there. 

5. Injuries and suspensions: What is true is that Zidane has not often had the players available he would have liked. Nacho and Isco have had to play regularly because of injuries and suspensions. Bale, Kovacic, Benzema and Marcelo have all been struck by injuries, while Ronaldo had to serve a lengthy ban. 

6. Inconsistent stars: Ronaldo and Benzema only scored their first league goals last weekend. Marcelo's not on form. Bale's on the sick bed more than the pitch and Varane's not playing as expected. The continued rotations mean decisive players like Modric and Isco have alternated between starting and being on the bench, the same as Asensio. 

7. No pressing: When it comes to attacking, things aren't quite going for Madrid but the defending from the front is a problem, too. The lack of pressure obliges Madrid to make the pitch too big for the midfielders, who cannot cover the forwards' ground. 


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