Marcelo singled out again after poor Villarreal performance

Marcelo's defensive intensity has dropped and his initiative in attack is also missing with the best version of the Brazilian a distant memory.

Marcelo singled out again after poor Villarreal performance

Marcelo is once again being pointed out as a weak point after Real Madrid's draw with Villarreal on Thursday night. Chukwueze's aggressive dribbling down the left-hand side subdued the left-back and the Nigerian was creator-in-chief of Santi Cazorla's opening goal leaving Marcelo in his wake, which came after an early strike on Courtois by the winger; an opening five minutes to forget for the Brazilian.

The 30-year-old has slackened on the defensive side of the ball but his lack of initiative going forward is hurting Real Madrid too. He is also less competitive in tackles, getting into just 7.63 duels per game. That figure is far lower than he ever acrued under Zinedine Zidane and he is also recovering less possessions per 90 minutes with 4.45 in the league (this rises to 4.8 in the Champions League). Under Zidane he was recovering over six per 90. His lack of intensity has resulted in goals against Girona, Athletic, Sevilla, Eibar and CSKA Moscow with plenty more shaky moments that have left Real Madrid short at the back.

LaLiga Santander

Table PTS W D L
3Sevilla 32 9 5 3
4Real Madrid 30 9 3 5
5Alavés 28 8 4 5
Full standing
Next matches
Real Madrid - R. Sociedad D-06/01 18:30
Betis - Real Madrid D-13/01 20:45
Real Madrid - Sevilla S-19/01 16:15

*Update 4 de enero de 2019

Attacking Marcelo a distant memory

In attack, Real Madrid are also missing the best version of Marcelo. He has only one assist for the goal scored by Mariano in the Champions League against Roma with the game already put to bed and with the striker doing most of the heavy lifting on that particular effort. He is nowhere near the 13 assists he managed two seasons ago or the 11 he amassed last season.

Statistics comparing Marcelo and Reguilón

Marcelo Reguilón
Games played 15 6
Minutes 1.312 495
Assists 1 0
*Passes 66.81 61.82
*Successful passes 56.39 54.00
*Unsuccessful passes 10.43 7.82
Passing percentage 84.39% 87.35%
*Tackles won 3.84 5.09
*Tackles lost 3.84 3.64
*Ball recoveries 4.80 5.82
*Possessions lost 18.11 14.36

*Every 90 minutes.

Source: Opta.

In years gone by, competition was scarce with the likes of Theo Hernandez and Fabio Coentrao, Marcelo has Sergio Reguilón to contend with this season and the youth product might be a better option if his form continues to cause problems. The replacement left-back has shone when called upon and while he is less involved (five passes less per 90 than Marcelo), he has a more successful pass percentage. He also wins the ball back more and loses it less than his Brazilian teammate.