While he has been given ample cash to invest on players, Zidane is not going to enjoy a smooth ride with Real Madrid next season.
While Zidane was a great player, it doesn’t seem that he is a great manager. Don’t let the not so distant Champions League trophies fool you. And while the purpose of this piece is not to belittle his achievements, Zidane might not be the savior Real Madrid need.
When Carlo Ancelotti was fired despite helping them claim the elusive La Decima, fate played a card that propelled Zidane’s status as the ‘homegrown’ manager Real Madrid would boast about.
This was Madrid’s response to Pep Guardiola. A former pupil who won everything as a player was going to manage the team. Many of us dared dream that Zidane would indeed be the club’s answer to Guardiola.
Sadly though, those dreams were but…dreams!
Zidane with all his charisma and all his accolades, was going to be the antithesis of the Catalan. The Frenchman was only learning his trade under Ancelotti but was eventually asked to add more to La Decima.
And trophies he did win. All three of them as Madrid conquered Europe without any major problems.
Upon his third trophy, Zidane suddenly decided to walk away.
And unlike Guardiola, the former France international wasn’t burned out. He just didn’t want to work with Florentino Perez. Though the two men enjoy a great relationship, Zizou wanted to be as far away from Madrid as he possibly could.
The third Champions League title coincided with Cristiano Ronaldo’s statement that he wanted to leave.
And Zidane knew what was coming.
As someone who was part of the Galacticos V1.0, Zidane could foresee a testing future. One with stifling encounters against the likes of Levante, a rude awakening against Seville, an embarrassing drubbing at the hands of Eibar and to top it off, a humiliation at the hands of Barcelona.
Perhaps Zidane knew the club was not going to go anywhere. With an ageing squad that was set to lose its most important player, Madrid were going to struggle.
While there were reports of him joining Manchester United, Zidane was ill at ease.
You can blame Woodward for a lot of things but even he saw that taking in Zidane was going to be a risk. This was a manager who wasn’t a builder. And while diehard fans would say that his second coming is going to change things, the recent mauling at the hands of Atletico Madrid suggests otherwise.
Granted the game against Diego Simeone’s men was just a preseason game, Real Madrid doesn’t expect to concede so many goals in one game.
And while the likes of Eden Hazard are Militao are going to help turn the tide, it is clear that Zidane is not going to be the man who would revive this club.
The legendary playmaker inherited a great and focused squad from Ancelotti in his first stint. This time around, he’s signing up for a different proposition. One that is going to test him to the limit and even seal his reputation as either a truly astute tactician or a one-hit wonder who just happened to change the music sheets of an orchestra with Beethoven and Mozart playing the tunes.