Zidane, before the abyss

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By CAPosts 02 December, 2020 - 02:46pm 86 views

After the jolt of bewilderment, the first finger always points to the coach. On Tuesday in Kiev, the shaking of the defeat against Shakhtar was felt with earthquake intensity at Real Madrid. The first signs that escaped from the circles of the high command pointed to Zidane in the tone of one who seeks an example rather than a settlement. Two hours later, Inter came back and won in Mönchengladbach, and the arrangement of what was threatening cataclysm was now closer to hand. For Madrid, something that two hours before was insufficient was enough: to win against Borussia next Wednesday at the Alfredo di Stéfano to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League for the 25th consecutive time, the only team that has been there in all its editions .

“Nobody questions Zidane. You have to know how to wait. He has given us a lot, only four months ago we won the League. And he has said that he had strength, "sources close to the leadership assured this Wednesday.

Despite the cooling that the perspective gives, the vertigo and the precipice are still there, according to sources close to the day-to-day work in Valdebebas:" Zidane and the players know that the state of alarm has been declared. They know it perfectly, ”they say. The club looks into a sporting, reputational and economic abyss at the time of greatest financial fragility in recent decades, which precisely this Wednesday they returned to put numbers in the offices. At six in the afternoon, a board of directors convened a couple of weeks ago met in Valdebebas to close the accounts for the 2019-20 financial year and approve those for 2020-21 that they will present to the assembly of delegates on December 20. Zidane was not on the agenda, but in fact the French was in everything. In the accounts of the past year, that of the outbreak of the pandemic, the confinement and the League title after leaving the confinement: after the salary cut and the waiver of bonuses, Madrid signed black numbers, 313,000 euros of benefits, after having budgeted 822 million in income and having received 716. Also in the budget for this year, which the board of directors set at 617 million, when before the pandemic it had projected that the club would already be at 900 million.

The consequences of the Wednesday's match against Gladbach are also collected by the accounts, which in recent years had assumed that the team would reach at least the quarterfinals of the Champions League. UEFA repays that achievement with 20 million euros: 9.5 for reaching the round of 16 and 10.5 for reaching the quarterfinals. To this can be added the 2.7 million that would be raised for the victory in the group stage necessary to advance to the second round on Wednesday: 22.7 million

The path of the Europa League to which the third place in the group would lead is much less lucrative and lustrous. To compensate for missing the eighth of the Champions League, it is necessary to reach the final: only by adding the prizes of the sixteenth (0.5 million), eighth (1.1), quarter (1.5), semifinal (2.4) and final ( 4,5) accumulate 10 million

That is also at stake on Wednesday, when it is even possible that, depending on what happens at Inter-Shakhtar, Madrid will be left with nothing, fourth in the group. So what? "No one knows the consequences, because they are not written anywhere," they point out from Valdebebas. "From the president to the last executive they want Zidane to continue and find the light," they say.

Internal doubts

The confusion of Tuesday's stumble, fifth defeat in 15 games, was amplified by the growing noise of a troubled river that is felt in the last weeks in different sections of the club. Some of the line-ups arranged by Zidane have been judged with disgust from above: by many changes, by few young people, by breaks that they do not decipher, such as Casemiro in the key event in Kiev. There is also a part of the dressing room that believes that, although they are necessary, when the rotations are too many they disconcert some players, preventing them from accumulating confidence and making it difficult to consolidate the block. Although they are also understanding about the accumulation of injuries and infected by coronavirus.

Some of the high command's suspicions about the methods and intensity of training also point in the direction of the block's imbalances. The strangeness reached even a Shakhtar analyst on Tuesday: “They defend very badly. It seems to me that Zidane does not work much on these things ”. A source with access to the Madrid dressing room also attributes the imbalances in pressure to the lack of intensive work, less effective than last year. Although he also remembers that the calendar leaves little margin for these questions, between trips, games and recovery days. "We cannot train," they lament, according to this source.

With this luggage and the majority support of the heavyweights of the booth, Zidane will appear on Wednesday into the pandemic abyss of Madrid. What if they fall into it? “Well, maybe he will go, you know how it is. He's already left once, "say sources familiar with the sentiment of the offices.

Source: Elpais

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