The latest Real Madrid match in Sevilla gave us an of what Zinedine Zidane wants from his players, we analyze their improvement.
The news outlets from Spain have a very powerful influence over what some of the clubs’ decisions, especially the ones from Madrid.
We can’t forget the time when Marca published that infamous cover that effectively brought Manuel Pellegrini’s dismissal in 2010.
The media doesn’t know that sometimes they are the ones who lead the way with the pressure they apply to some clubs.
Real Madrid is no different as Florentino Perez is often influenced by some select outlets, the case of Zinedine Zidane was starting to get a little too familiar.
The French manager wasn’t getting the results he wanted from the players, but this is hardly his fault as he came to save the squad from a public embarrassment last season.
His initial plan was to get the transfers he requested to the president, and then build the most competitive squad from there.
The problem is that ‘Zizou’ didn’t get all the players he wanted to make the revolution he seeks, but the gaffer knew that he would have to play with the toys he was given.
It’s not as if Real Madrid had terrible players anyway, the only problem was that Zidane would have to improvise given the lack of midfielders he currently has.
El Real Madrid de Zidane nunca ha perdido en el campo de un líder de la Liga:
✅ 1-2 en el Camp Nou en 2016
🤝 2-2 en el Camp Nou en 2018
✅ 1-2 en el Pizjuán en 2019 pic.twitter.com/uFXbgOtRFt
— Real Madrid C. F.⚽ (@rmadridsite_) September 23, 2019
From the Paris fiasco to the Sevilla redemption.
After the fail that was Real Madrid’s trip to Paris, Zidane knew that he would have to get on the players’ backs and demand more defensive sacrifice from them.
This was the second away match in one week, there was a high risk of getting a fresh defeat and the manager wasn’t willing to let that happen.
The initial demand from Zidane was the compliance from all his players on the defense, but specifically his names on the attack.
Everybody knew that Los Blancos (who wore green on Sunday), weren’t going to have a field trip to Sevilla.
They all needed to work on defensive coverage in order to get those three points, the most surprising player who made a huge sacrifice was Eden Hazard.
As he goes through one of the most ruthless bullying episodes of his career, the Belgian player became one of the most impressive lifelines for Real Madrid’s recovery zone.
As he played on the left flank of the pitch, he was always on point to return for defensive coverage against Jesus Navas.
Ferland Mendy was also one of the best Real Madrid players on Sunday, but he wouldn’t have done as good of a job if he hadn’t Hazard’s help throughout the match.
Eden also created the two most important chances for Los Blancos next to Bale and Benzema, he proved that all that talk about his weight is not important.
Look at this hazard heat map, him and mendy put in an absolute shift on that left side pic.twitter.com/KKKSRv1LGN
— AM (@KingKxrim) September 22, 2019
The James Rodriguez effect.
Even though one of the best players on the pitch was Daniel Carvajal, we need to point out how important James Rodriguez has become for Real Madrid.
The Colombian playmaker returned with a whole new sense of responsibility, he knew that he needed to impress Zidane during training sessions.
When he played under the French manager during his first spell with the club, ‘Zizou’ never acknowledged him as one of the best players during practice even once.
This completely changed when he returned from Bayern Munich, James quickly became a Zidane favorite due to the level of commitment he’s shown over the last two months.
This player is completely different from the one who disappointed Zidane two years ago, that’s the reason he is becoming an integral part of the squad.
Although he still hasn’t proven to showcase his offensive qualities as he wants, ‘Zizou’ values defensive work over anything else on his team.
Rodriguez was arguably the best defensive player last Sunday, this earned him the respect from the manager even more than before.
The biggest change we can see between Paris and Sevilla, is the players’ involvement in the cause.
Zidane has another lifeline after last Sunday, but he will still risk his job net weekend when Los Blancos visit the Wanda Metropolitano.
Dejarse la piel.
Eso es lo que hace @jamesdrodriguez en cada partido.
Más jugadores así ❤️ pic.twitter.com/iGmEbF0nGI
— Madridismo Real™ (@MadridismoreaI) September 22, 2019
What’s the biggest surprise about Real Madrid’s improvement in Sevilla last Sunday? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.