Jorge Valdano has been speaking about the difficult situation that Real Madrid find themselves in. A former player and manager at the club, he told on Spanish radio programme El Transistor on Onda Cero, that there is a level of anxiety having a bad effect on the team, and that certain individuals are looking to take on too much responsibility.
Isco and Cristiano as individuals
"One of the problems the team has, is the well-known factor of anxiety. Rather than negligent play there are many players who want to win the game by themselves. Isco is one of them. He covers every blade of grass and this makes him a really important player, but due to his efforts he tires in the final 20 to 25 minutes.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is another - he looks for goals from all types of situations. He had a good game [against Athletic Bilbao] but didn't link up with [Karim] Benzema."
The Argentine, who won the World Cup in 1986 alongside Maradona, continued on the relationship between Madrid's frontmen:
"Benzema doesn't look for Cristiano and Cristiano doesn't look for Benzema. The statistics show that they didn't find each other once in the whole of the second half [vs Athletic]. These are elements that weigh on the team when you're chasing the leader."
Zidane's lack of confidence in Plan B
Last season, an important factor to Zidane's success was being able to call on his Plan B, but this season Valdano sees a lack of confidence to go to the second string by the manager:
"Last year Zidane rotated the side and it worked out great with him not having any issues in the changing room. Those waiting in the wings are very young lads who haven't shown consistency. Maybe this is why he doesn't have enough confidence yet to give them the responsibility to resolve the situation."
"The team needs another centre half and a striker," Valdano declared, "but I don't think that David Luiz will be allowed to leave by Chelsea."