Real Madrid player verdicts: Bale, Valverde, Rodrygo, Jovic...
The readers of AS.com were given the chance to offer their verdict on the Real Madrid players' performances so far in the 2019/20 season.
Real Madrid head into the New Year having failed to win any silverware in 2019, but having also overcome a tricky start to the season to give their fans renewed cause for optimism in the last couple of months. With Madrid now 24 games into the 2019/20 campaign, AS.com offered its readers the chance to give a 'pass'/'fail' verdict on how each member of Zinedine Zidane's squad has performed so far this campaign, with 67,100 voters taking part.
Real Madrid squad approval ratings:
Valverde has been the revelation of the season and has comprehensively won over the Madrid supporters. The Uruguayan international midfielder earned the highest approval rating in the survey, with 96% handing him a 'pass' mark after a first half of the campaign in which he has played 52% of Madrid's total game time and displaced Luka Modric in big matches against the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.
Finally, after a few years of debate, there are no question marks over Madrid's goalkeepers. 76% of AS.com readers gave Thibaut Courtois a 'pass', while his understudy, Alphonse Areola, also scored high, earning a 78% approval rating. Madrid have conceded just 12 goals in 18 LaLiga matches this season (0.66 per game), their best defensive record at this stage of a league campaign since 1987/88.
Madrid's solidity at the back has led to positive marks for three of the team's four long-term defensive regulars: Raphaël Varane, Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal have been given the thumbs-up by 86%, 80% and 80% of the fans, respectively. Only Marcelo, with 42%, received a negative score.
Hazard and Rodrygo
Real Madrid's summer signings have largely settled in well at the Bernabéu, according to the results of AS.com's poll - particularly Rodrygo Goes, who was handed a 'pass' by 88% of voters. Ferland Mendy (78%), Eden Hazard (69%) and Éder Militao (66%) have also done enough to satisfy Madridistas. However, Luka Jovic's underwhelming start to life at Madrid saw him get an approval rating of just 21%.
Division of opinion over Vinicius
After bursting onto the scene in the second half of last season, Vinicius Júnior has found life a little tougher since returning from his injury against Ajax, so much so that AS.com users are split over his displays in 2019/20: 50% give him a 'pass', 50% give him a 'fail'. Opinion is also divided over Isco, although the Spaniard's score of 51% means he did pick up a positive rating - just.
James, Lucas and Odriozola
James Rodríguez's return has seen him have only a fleeting impact this season. Having seemingly made peace with Zidane, he performed well in September and October, but has disappeared from view since suffering an injury on Colombia duty. After missing the last 12 games of 2019, he gets a resounding thumbs-down from the fans: just 22% gave him a 'pass' mark. Lucas Vázquez and Álvaro Odriozola (both 21%) also failed to convince the Madrid support, after finding themselves relegated to the fringes and struggling to impress when given their chance.
Bale panned by fans
These have been turbulent times for Gareth Bale at Real Madrid. Having been unable to fill the goal-scoring void left by Cristiano Ronaldo, he very nearly departed in the summer. After finally staying, he courted controversy this autumn with his surprise trip to London and THAT incident involving the "Wales, golf, Madrid" flag. This led Bale to be on the receiving end of deafening jeers from the Bernabéu crowd in November's LaLiga win over Real Sociedad. The fans are in no mood to forgive and forget, with just 19% deeming the Welshman worthy of a 'pass'.
Mariano gets lowest score
Mariano Díaz is a forgotten man under Zidane, with just 244 minutes of playing time to his name in the entire calendar year. His minimal impact at Madrid is reflected in his 15% approval rating, the lowest in the whole squad. The fans clearly agree with the club's desire to offload the striker in January.