Real Madrid

Sacked by Christmas: Madrid fans offer their verdict on Zidane

Since returning to the Santiago Bernabéu bench for his second spell as head coach in March 2019, the Zizou effect has yet to yield positive results on the pitch.

Sacked by Christmas: Madrid fans offer their verdict on Zidane
David Ramos Getty Images

Joachim Low, Mauricio Pochettino and even Jose Mourinho were names all linked with the vacant Real Madrid coaching position last March after Florentino Perez called time on Santiago Solari's brief tenure on the Santiago Bernabéu bench.

More than just an eyebrow or two were raised when the club president unveiled Zinedine Zidane as the new Real Madrid coach, some nine months, eight days and two managers later after the Frenchman originally quit the position in May 2018.

Real Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane

"This is a demanding club, where we push the players to the limit and there comes a moment when you cannot ask for more," claimed the Frenchman in 2018 as he called time on life on the Bernabeu bench in his May 31st press conference .

Zidane's record with the club was glittering. In two and a half seasons the former player won three Champions Leagues, one LaLiga title (coming as part of a European/domestic double in 2017), two Club World Cups, two European Super Cups and one Spanish Super Cup and his return was heralded by fans and media alike.

Second coming

As we've seen so many times... second comings can have a habit of not working out as planned. Real Madrid's end to the 2018-19 season was long and drawn out with the club eliminated from all competitions as of March and "Los Blancos" eventually limped to a third place finish in LaLiga some 19 points behind fierce rivals Barcelona. 

The most worrying aspect about this poor end of season run was the attitude on the pitch with many of the first team squad clearly having 'switched off' when there was no silverware on the line. Madrid lost four games in the space of two months with the away defeat to already doomed Rayo Vallecano ensuing a furious post match outburst from Zidane who stated: "I am not sorry I returned to this job, it's the opposite. I know I'll have to deal with difficult moments like today but everything was wrong, starting with our attitude".

Zinedine Zidane

New season, new hope

A raft of new summer signings including Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard, Militao and promising teenagers Takefusa Kubo and Rodrygo Goes heralded a new dawn for the club as they embarked on their pre-season tour of the US with three International Cup 2019 games. A trio of dismal performances later with Madrid shipping 12 goals in the games which included a particularly embarrassing 7-3 reverse to city rivals Atlético, dubbed by RM super-fan and journalist Tomas Roncero as "the most humiliating defeat in 50 years"  have seen any pre-season optimism evaporate.

Eden Hazard of Real

Patience is always in short supply with a fan-base as demanding as that of Real Madrid and without a ball having being kicked in the 2019-20 LaLiga campaign, many are now doubting the Frenchman's ability to ensure that this powerful machine, greased with international talent can gel as a collective and deliver in both results and performances.

AS English readers too have their doubts with 53% of voters in our Twitter survey suggesting the Marseilles born coach will be dismissed from the role before Christmas 2019.