Real Madrid’s title defence began with a 2-1 win over newly promoted Almeria on Sunday night. While the win was not spectacular or dominant, Los Blancos managed to get all three points and secure a lead over Barcelona.
The hosts took an early lead via Ramazani’s finessed shot before Lucas Vasquez brought the team back on track at the hour mark. Ultimately, a David Alaba screamer gave Real Madrid the decisive edge.
Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media after his team’s win and spoke about the performance and avenues for improvement. Madrid Universal brings you the snippets from his press conference.
On the performance of his young midfielders: “Camavinga and Tchouameni have not shown the quality that I see in training, it is normal, this shirt is very heavy.”
On the team’s performance: “I am happy with the game even though it wasn’t spectacular.”
On Eden Hazard: “Hazard did a great job in the tight spaces, he’s training well and taking his time.”
On Marco Asensio’s future: “We have to wait and see what Asensio decides.”
On Antonio Rudiger’s debut: “Rudiger played a great game, he has a lot of experience.”
On the possibility of playing with a 4-4-2 (diamond): “I don’t know, I have to think about it. Keep in mind that we have an attacker, Vini, who likes the wing very much.”
On David Alaba’s match-winning goal: “Davide had to tell Alaba to go on very quickly because it isn’t easy to tell Benzema and Toni not to shoot. I’m kidding.
On the youngsters: “From what they’ve shown in training, the youngsters deserve to play. But on an emotional level, the game weighed little heavily on them.”
Real Madrid’s 29-year-old star upset with his situation, desires more clarity on role
At Real Madrid, the quest for securing a spot in the first-team lineup involves battling it out with some of the best players in European football.
Competition is generally considered the perfect antidote to complacency and the Merengues‘ immensely talented roster encapsulates that sentiment best.
While injuries have done a number on the team, there is still an abundance of competition in the squad. As of now, the fight for a spot in the starting lineup is most intense among the goalkeepers.
Indeed, since the beginning of the campaign, there has been no fixed goalkeeper with both Andriy Lunin and Kepa Arrizabalaga featuring between the sticks alternately.
However, after being acquired on a season-long loan to fill in the absence of Thibaut Courtois, Kepa is not entirely content with his situation.
Kepa unsatisfied with the unclarity
Indeed, as per The Athletic, Kepa is extremely disappointed with his situation and how the coaching staff at Real Madrid have been handling the matter.
Ancelotti has not clearly explained his reasoning as to which of Lunin and Kepa is currently his first-choice keeper.
And according to sources close to him, Kepa is unhappy and would have preferred further clarification on the matter from the manager.
Lunin in the driving seat
Owing to Lunin’s exceptional form lately, he has successfully displaced Kepa as the first-choice goalkeeper.
In fact, Kepa has not started a game since Real Madrid’s clash against Almeria last month in which they leaked two goals.
It is safe to assume Kepa’s frustrations stem from the fact that he initially arrived as the primary keeper to replace Courtois and turned down an offer from Bayern Munich to join the Madrid outfit.
As such, being shunned and having minimal clarity from the coaching staff’s preferred goalkeeper has led to dissatisfaction.
As things stand, Real Madrid have no plans of signing him permanently, given that Chelsea would ask around €20 million for him, something that the club have intentions of paying.