5 things about Sergio Ramos' uncertain start to the season
The Real Madrid captain hasn't started this campaign off well and various reasons have been given for it. We look at five elements of his game that have stood out as strange.
Sergio Ramos is going through an interesting time. His start to this season has been somewhat unconvincing, both in LaLiga Santander and in the Champions League, not to mention the Super Cup game against Sevilla that got it all going. Lapses in concentration and poor decision making...we look at five areas that are just not working for the Madrid captain.
Ramos has already given away three spot kicks in just nine games this campaign. Some say these have been lapses in concentration; others say it's due to his high intensity levels. Either way, it has and, if not controlled, will cost his team.
The three penalties, and subsequent goals, came against Sevilla in the cup and then Osasuna and Villarreal in the league. Interestingly, the captain also scored in each of these games - some would say admonishing him of any guilt - and it was only the latter that had a negative impact on the team's result.
In just six games this season the man from Camas has accumulated four yellow cards - these was actually awarded in his first five games (Real Sociedad, Osasuna, Espanyol and Villareal). This means he played the last game against Las Palmas with the threat of suspension - five yellows means a ban - and this continues to hang over him with Zidane likely to ensure it is managed appropriately.
The way Sergio Ramos appears to have been so keen to use his hands in the early games this season suggests that there is no Casilla or Navas behind him. As well as the illegal hand-ball incidents which in themselves add danger to the opposition attack, he has also been caught going down immediately after and holding his face to hide the truth. Against Villarreal his hand got him a yellow, a penalty against and a goal conceded.
This season has seen the Madrid captain tally up some of his worst ratings from the AS analysis team, certainly in terms of a run of games. The opening day win was seen as his best performance and since he has been marked amongst the lowest in the team. One thing that has been noted in the comments is that Ramos is one player in particular who misses the cover given with Casemiro in the defensive midfield position.
Ramos has become known as a defender who can start attacks with a long an accurate pass. Over the years this tactic has worked well for the team and allows them to mix it up and not only look to build through the midfield when they have had such devastating pace in attack. This season the captain is struggling to find his range and it is now becoming a reason for more turnover of the ball and other options, for example utilising the distribution of Toni Kroos, would make more sense.
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