After an undeserved 3-0 hammering at the hands of Barcelona, Real Madrid will hope to get back to winning ways when they take on Juventus on Wednesday night.
It will be their last game of the pre-season tour, with their next match directly being the La Liga opener in 10 days’ time.
The last three games have brought several lessons for the Real Madrid management. Some of their ploys have worked, others not so much, but it is clear that the manager has utilised his chance to experiment to the fullest.
Speaking in his routine pre-match press conference in the buildup to the game against Juventus, Carlo Ancelotti summed up the takeaways from the US tour so far and the experiments he tried during its course.
“If we’re weighing up what we’ve done so far, it’s been good. We’ve tried a few things and they all went pretty well. We will finish the tour tomorrow and we want to do that as well as we possibly can,” he said.
“We have to keep going in this vein and then we’ll assess whether to continue with it or make a change.”
The Old Lady are coming off a win over AC Milan at the weekend, and the Real Madrid manager admitted to the threat the experienced Italian side posed, saying:
“On a personal level, I’m satisfied. We have to adapt certain things but the players are pleased. Tomorrow is a real test against tough, experienced opposition and it’s going to be a great game.”
A common feature in all of Los Blancos’ games so far in the pre-season is the passionate support from the fans. Ancelotti made a special mention of the packed stadiums and the atmosphere in the USA, as he said:
“It’s fantastic to be here. We’ve played some big games against really top opponents. Plus, we get the chance to meet with our fans in the United States. There are so many madridistas out here who feel immense passion for the club.”
The Italian gaffer also commented on the situations of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. The veteran stars renewed their deals with the Merengues earlier this summer hoping to carry on their legacy for one more season. However, they face stiff competition from Jude Bellingham, Arda Guler and Eduardo Camavinga.
“Nothing changes in the games because they are still players with a degree of knowledge and experience that is unmatched by anyone. They set the example in our squad. They have given us so much and will continue to do so this season,” Ancelotti said.
“If the question is how many minutes they are going to play, I’m not sure. They will be important for us as they have been in previous years. The young lads are coming on really well and that is precisely because they have the chance to watch Kroos and Modrić,” he added.
Talking about the change in position of Vinicius Jr with the switch in tactics, Ancelottil elaborated:
“I have to make an assessment of that and so does he. The player likes to play a bit more on the inside. On the outside he makes the difference, but on the inside he can score more goals. In these games, Vini has done very well against Milan and Manchester United.
“It’s true that he could have been a bit better against Barcelona, but he had a lot of chances. I don’t know if he had those chances playing on the outside, but he’s still the best there. It’s pre-season and if we don’t try things now we won’t be able to do it later.”
On the formation change to a 4-4-2 diamond and what the team has learnt from it so far, Ancelotti said: “This scheme allows us to have another opportunity to vary the system. I think it’s good not to have a fixed system.
“On an individual level. we have learned from the qualities of Bellingham, who looks like a complete playmaker and not an inside player. He can make more of a difference. We are taking these things into account for next season.”
“What I disliked about the new system is not very much because we had good situations offensively. We were good in transition after a loss and also in pressing up front. The idea of changing is if the players are not comfortable. On the other hand, if they are comfortable in this system, we will continue with it,” he added.
The manager also spoke about academy product Nico Paz who is said to have impressed him in the pre-season so far, saying:
“Nico is very talented and very young. He looks like a first team player. We don’t want to put pressure on him because he has to improve, but he has the quality to play for Real Madrid in the future.”
Ancelotti also had words of praise for Real Madrid Femenino star Linda Caicedo, who is lighting up the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 with the Colombian national team.
“She is doing very well. We have been keeping a close eye on women’s football and we are watching it. The World Cup is being entertaining. Spain’s last game didn’t go so well, but Linda did very well for her national team,” he said.
“We have some great players and a good relationship with the coach of the Real Madrid women’s team. It’s a growing game and hopefully our women’s team can go on to win titles like the men’s game.”
Source: Real Madrid website
French midfielder admits considering PSG move before Real Madrid called him
Aurelien Tchouameni has had an exciting start to his career at Real Madrid. Since joining the club for almost €80 million last summer, the young Frenchman has now become a pivotal figure in Real Madrid’s midfield unit.
However, prior to his move to Santiago Bernabeu, the midfielder was closely linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
In a recent interview, Tchouameni opened up on his links to PSG but revealed his decision to join Real Madrid.
Aurelien Tchouameni on PSG links
Talking about speculations linking him to PSG, Tchouameni said (h/t Madrid Zone), “PSG? Frankly, I thought about it. It’s a very big European club, we want the French clubs to succeed.”
“But honestly, when Real Madrid calls you, it’s very complicated to say no,” Tchouameni added.
The midfielder was linked with a move to PSG during his time at AS Monaco. Les Parisiens wanted to sign the youngster as part of their plans to reinforce the midfield unit.
Tchouameni, though, ended up opting for a move to Real Madrid, which turned out to be a prudent decision from the midfielder’s end.
Tchouameni’s career at Real Madrid
Aurelien Tchouameni made a total of 50 competitive appearances during his maiden season at Real Madrid.
Although the Frenchman was not entirely a first-team regular in Carlo Ancelotti’s setup, his stature in the team is expected to grow in the coming years.
Especially as Toni Kroos and Luka Modric move on at the end of the season, there is scope for Tchouameni to become a first-team regular in the Real Madrid midfield in the years to come.
The former AS Monaco starlet has already played a crucial role in the starting eleven so far this season and it is only going to continue as the season progresses.