This season, Real Madrid has been soaring high – or at the very least higher than many imagined – but one issue has always remained: how would Carlo Ancelotti cope with rotations, injuries, and exhaustion when one of his key starting players is out or injured?
Despite his wealth of knowledge and skill in the game, he never rotates. We learned early on that, except for the right-wing. He has 10 players who are sure to start when they are healthy. The team only alters when absolutely necessary.
It’s impossible to hold him responsible to a certain level. You want your finest players to remain on the field at all times. This is to give yourself the greatest chance of winning. He has previous experience of receiving the sack by Florentino Perez. It is something he does not like to go through again.
The only way to avoid sacking is to win championships. Or change your name to Zinedine Zidane. As a result, he understands the necessity of maintaining consistent performance. However, not everyone is flawless, and the current Real Madrid manager is far from being one of the best in Europe.
Taking risks at Real Madrid to avoid taking risks
Real Madrid employment represents the peak of professional football. After receiving an unexpected phone call from the club while on vacation with Everton over the summer, Ancelotti returned without hesitation. He was demonstrating how important it was to him. Ever since being let go by the club in 2015, he was hoping for a return. When the chance arose, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
As a result, he understands that he must uncover the formula for success. This turns out to be starting your top players whenever possible and without hesitation, regardless of the circumstances. Recently, when Los Blancos faced Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, we saw firsthand what I mean. Having arrived from Brazil just a day before the game, Vinicius Junior, Carlos Casemiro and Rodrygo were all clearly exhausted.
Even Thibaut Courtois was in the starting lineup for the game. A match that took place in a tournament when Andriy Lunin should have been able to ensure a spot on the field. Real Madrid was eliminated from the competition in the end. The replacements made by Ancelotti left us with fewer answers and a whole lot more questions than they had before.
Ancelotti does not want to take chances, yet in doing so, he is incurring risks himself. Aside from the fact that the opponent can predict who will play and how the game will unfold, the players are also aware of this. The problem arises with other players in the squad who are less often employed. They lose motivation. Match fitness suffers a hampering as a result of this.
That is something that will very certainly be shown in training if it has not already been demonstrated. It’s reasonable to argue that this will motivate players to go out and prove him incorrect on the field, as we witnessed with Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic against Granada last weekend. However, they will need frequent opportunities to do so, which they will not be receiving.