Real Madrid were doomed to lose their first match of the LaLiga Santander season from the moment Zinedine Zidane chose his starting line-up.
Alvaro Odriozola and Marcelo, who are more wingers than full-backs, were selected, while Isco and James Rodriguez were thrown into the center of midfield alongside Casemiro, meaning the Brazilian had to defend for five against Real Mallorca.
It’s easy to point out mistakes once you know the result, but it’s not difficult to understand that Fede Valverde, with his form, physical attributes, youth and confidence, should be playing in this side.
Zidane didn’t see it and didn’t want to see it. Like he didn’t see the need to bring in a back-up for Casemiro in the summer, despite spending 300 million euros elsewhere in the squad.
You don’t need to have done a coaching course to see that this Real Madrid squad is going to unravel sooner rather than later and it will almost certainly come when Casemiro doesn’t play. There is no one like him in the squad. These are Zidane things.
With all said and done, a team like Real Madrid should be able to score a goal against Mallorca with more than 83 minutes left in the match.
They were missing lots of players who can make a difference, and the commitment of the likes of Gareth Bale and even Luka Modric is being questioned more with each passing day.
But there were still enough stars on the pitch, although their performances didn’t thrill.
Los Blancos have given up their LaLiga Santander leadership and now they will play for their Champions League future in two days’ time.
It’ll be October 22. You have to see it to believe it.