Zidane studying the possibilities that come with five subs rule
Zidane is not known as an interventionist but has been known to change things when they are not working in the past. The new rules brings a new raft of possibilities.
On 8 May, FIFA and the International Football Association Board (IFAB) announced measures to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of training as leagues hurry to get their seasons finished. When football returns, every team will be allowed to use five subs. The new rule was brought in to protect players from the physical stresses of returning to action so soon after getting back on the field. This has caused managers to assess the possibilities it will bring.
Zidane and his technical staff are currently working on how to use the new rule to their advantage. The French manager is not known as an interventionist. Not counting the 10 games when he had to change players because of injury, he is relatively slow to make moves on the bench. In 29 games, his first sub came beyond the 70th minute. That is 51.72% of games.
In total, Zidane has made 112 changes this season. In six games, 15.38% of the total, he has not made a change at all. In two of those games, Madrid drew. Zidane felt more comfortable with what he had on the field than anything he might achieve by making a change.
Another curious statistic is Zidane's 15 double subs. That shows that while Zidane might be slow to make changes, when things are not going to plan, he is willing to completely change his team. A significant example came in the derby against Atlético. After the first half the game was 0-0. He took Kroos off and Isco and he brought in Lucas Vazquez and Vinicius, a radical change. They proved decisive with the Brazilian involved in the winning goal. The new rules gives Zidane five opportunities to change games when things are not going as planned.
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