Vinicius tightens the screw on Bale
This moment that Real Madrid is currently going through is rather similar to others that I have seen in the past, ones that prove favourable for academy players to step up easily. It's one where there is a combined sporting and economic crisis, the latter now due to Madrid's entrapment in the stadium refurbishments that denies them signings. This was also the case back in the days when the 'ye-yés', the 'garcías' and 'La Quinta del Buitre' arrived on the Bernabéu scene. Always in moments like this, with an aging or overly-comfortable squad, a lack of money to invest, or a frustrated support. In these conditions, the academy players are a Godsend. And those who are good enough stick around.
Vinicius surge; useless Bale
This is where Vinicus comes in, not from the academy, however, but after a ridiculous transfer fee for someone of his age. He does feel like a youth player, though, due to him serving his time with Castilla. An intelligent, anarchic, rebelious player, who was being missed even before we got to see him in the attack. When he did appear, he opened up the game with a deflected goal that wasn't awarded to him, but he celebrated it as if it had been. The goal of course was created from his own play, an insurgency against Valladolid's tight defence that Bale had failed to achieve during his ineffective time on the pitch.
Reguilón challenges Marcelo
And what now? It's anyone's guess. Bale was expensive, that's his justification, and he has also scored some important goals in finals... those which didn't need his help to reach. My aim is not to already put one in front of the other, but for Bale, I can only feel that he is bringing this upon himself. And what applies to Bale, also applies to Marcelo, who from one day to the other can spoil his great contribution going forward with carelessness at the back. Seeing Reguilón complete a full game (and a difficult one at that) getting up and down the flank, showing attacking and crossing as much as retreating and closing down, meaning Marcelo now has serious competition. Reguilón is not Coentrao.