Celta Vigo were always on a hiding to nothing in Saturday’s LaLiga Santander fixture, with it clear that Real Madrid would be motivated by Zinedine Zidane’s return, and the French coach has made abundantly clear to his players that when they don’t have the ball, they must run to get it back.
Goals from Isco and Gareth Bale, two casualties of Santiago Solari‘s time in charge, secured the three points for Los Blancos, however there is still much debate over who will stay at the club beyond the summer.
“When you don’t have the ball, you have to run to get it back,” he made clear in his post-match press conference.
This was a sentiment that Zidane had repeated for much of the week leading up the match, and it showed in their performance.
Madrid were more aggressive, they were conscious of the fact their coach hates periods where his team doesn’t have control of the ball.
Zidane made it known to the squad that their attitude in recent matches had made it difficult for them to either achieve positive results or, indeed, improve.
He was very demanding in his first three training sessions after his return was made official, and the 46-year-old detected a very strong response from his team
Zidane told his team that they were starting with a clean slate at Celta, it was now down to them to impress him in the final 11 matches of the season.
He has let his staff now that the past stays in the past, he won’t fixate in the failed eras of both Julen Lopetegui and Solari, but instead will give everyone a fair chance to prove their worth ahead of the summer transfer window.