A lot of credit must be given to Carlo Ancelotti’s coaching exploits this season with Real Madrid. He already had his work cut out when Karim Benzema left the club to join Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro League, but things only became harder from thereon.
Not only did Madrid not sign a superstar replacement, they have been hit by a wave of serious injuries since before the season even started.
Thibaut Courtois was the first pawn to fall, tearing his ACL during pre-season. Eder Militao fell to the same fate on the opening day of the season, which was then followed by the same injury to David Alaba nearly midway through the season.
Between all of this, too, los blancos have had several players sidelined, including Arda Guler, Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga, Vinicius Jr and then some.
In fact, Vinicius picked up another injury as recently as this weekend. The Brazilian was supposed to start against Atletico Madrid, but could not compete after picking up a knock to his back during warm-up.
Eventually, he was replaced by Brahim Diaz, who went on to score.
Antonio Rudiger was another player who had to be sidelined during the game against Getafe. He was substituted off at half-time, and eventually missed the Atletico clash despite being a part of the squad list.
Arancha Rodriguez has provided an update on both players’ situation, meanwhile.
As far as Vinicius is concerned, the discomfort to his cervical is more serious than initially assumed. His participation against Girona will depend on his recovery, but it is likely that he could start on the bench.
Meanwhile, there is optimism about Rudiger, who is expected to be back in time against Girona. It is still too early to say, though, and Carlo Ancelotti will make the decision to play him only if the medical staff give him the green light.
Madrid dropped two points against Atletico at the Santiago Bernabeu after Marcos Llorente scored a late equaliser. While they are still top of the table, their lead has been cut down to two points with Girona, who could make their way back up with a win next weekend.
Ancelotti apologised to Real Madrid youngster after substitution incident vs Sevilla – report
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has apologised to youngster Arda Guler after last night’s substitution incident against Sevilla.
When Real Madrid played host to Sevilla, Los Blancos were desperately trying to find a breakthrough and amidst that, Ancelotti decided to introduce Guler, but his decision quickly changed soon after Luka Modric scored.
The 19-year-old wonderkid was close to come onto the pitch and was receiving instructions from the coaches, before being asked to sit back on the bench.
Why was Guler sent back?
Just as the former Fenerbahce midfielder was gearing up to enter the field, Modric scored from the edge of the area to put Real Madrid in lead.
In response, the manager called an impromptu discussion with one of his assistants, conveying a sense of calm through various gestures, signalling a decision to delay the planned substitutions.
Having overcome the challenge of breaking through Sevilla’s defence, the coach opted to bring in a player with the ability to control the possession and provide some solidity on the field.
Eventually, Dani Ceballos was called into action and Guler was ordered to go back to the bench. Explaining his decision after the game, Ancelotti explained that before Modric’s goal, he had some plans for Guler but all that changed after his side went a goal up.
“I had a thought before the goal and I changed my mind after the goal and I preferred to bring on a more defensive player such as Ceballos. I think he understands it very well and if he doesn’t, that’s fine,” said the manager.
Guler’s presence on the field has been extremely limited this season, with only five appearances, one of which was as a starter in the Copa del Rey match against Arandina.
His involvement in league matches has been brief, featuring in the final stages against Las Palmas, Girona and Rayo which is why he has had minimal opportunities to showcase his talents.