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REAL MADRID

Zidane doesn't have unlimited credit at Real Madrid

The poor results, some tactical and technical decisions and the doubts about his squad building have led to a drain on Zidane's credit at Real Madrid.

Zidane doesn't have unlimited credit at Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane retured to the bench on March 11 as a solution to what had become a desperate situation at the club. The initial boost his return supplied has been diluted for a number of factors though; The poor results, controversial and sometimes head-scratching technical and tactical decisions and some doubts regarding his squad building haven't helped. It has led to a loss of credit during his second spell at the club as the manager. The faith the fans and the board once had in the Frenchman is starting to waver.

More points lost than won

Zidane managed the first game after his return against Celta on Match 16th. Since then, he has overseen six wins, four draws and four losses. That means he has lost 20 points and won just 18. The start of the current season hasn't chaned things and the poor run has continued with two draws and one victory in their opening three games accumulating just five points from a possible nine. He faces a real litmus test in the next three weeks with seven games against some tough opponents.

Doubts over Real Madrid's summer departures

The exits of players like Marcos Llorente, Reguilón and Dani Ceballos have provoked an uneasiness within the fanbase. The left-back has been one of Sevilla's best players and the Andalusian midfielder has shown off his skills early during his Arsenal spell. The French manager has shown his preference for the 'old guard' over young players and that causes concern.

The Keylor Navas situation

The goalkeeper during Real Madrid's Champions League successes was held in the highest regards by the fans. Zidane closed the doors completely on the Costa Rican and said Courtois is his keeper and that Navas wouldn't have many options to play. Navas left for Paris leaving the Belgian keeper with no competition. Curiously, Zidane vetoed the arrival of Kepa in 2018 as a sign of solidarity to Navas.

The 3-7 loss to Atlético Madrid

The loss to Atlético Madrid in New Jersey stung even if some members of the board wanted to downplay it. The manner of the defeat left directors angry with the team and with Zidane and the response was to tell James he was staying against the manager's wishes. This was a way of letting Zidane know that the club and performances were above his criteria.

Lack of faith in Vinicius

The Brazilian striker was the one bright spot in an otherwise a very dark second half to last season. His development was a breath of fresh air as the fans got a glimpse of a player who is sure to become a future star in the team. Zidane, however, pumped the breaks and doesn't seem to have faith in the Brazilian. Zidane even threw two of his previously 'discarded' players into the team in James and Bale in place of the 19-year-old, which also led to Vinicius losing confidence in himself and his place in the team.

Undefined tactics

Real Madrid have played three games this season against Celta, Valladolid and Villarreal with three different systems, thinking more about the opponent than his own team. He started with a 4-3-3 with Bale and Vinicius on the wings. In the second game, he changed his tact and played James as the third midfielder and Isco on the left. The last system was a 4-4-2 against Villarreal with Lucas and Bale on the wings and with two strikers. Too many changes and doubts in his own tactics haven't helped his loss of credit at Real Madrid.