Ancelotti: "Hazard? If a player wants to leave, they should..."
"I have never forced a player to stay when they want to leave," said Ancelotti when asked about Hazard. As for VAR: "It's cleared up a lot of things".
Carlo Ancelotti says that if any of his players want to leave in the winter transfer window, he won't stand in their way. When the Real Madrid coach was asked how he would feel if a player like Eden Hazard requested to leave in the January window, he replied that he has never forced a player to stay on at a club if they are keen to move elsewhere.
In Friday's press conference, the Italian also spoke about some of the issues which were raised during the midweek game against Osasuna. He said that solutions need to be found to ensure that interruptions in the game don't affect the viewing experience for fans and that some of the regulations are too complex and unfair.
Ahead of tomorrow's meeting with Elche, Ancelotti hopes his team continue to show commitment and that they are as tactically and technically as strong as they have been in the last few outings.
The team have had several tough games and little time to rest. How will that affect tomorrow's game?
"We have been preparing for it knowing that the physical side will be secondary to the commitment that the team has shown in recent games. We'll be trying to do things well from a technical and strategic point of view".
Would you like to see Xavi take the Barça job?
"I know him well from his time as a player and I wish him all the best as a coach".
Did you think [referee] Soto Grado showed a lack of respect towards your players?
"I don't really want to enter into that. It's too much hassle. The problems is that there are a lot of stoppages during games. It's not a problem with the referees, it's a problem with football. That needs to be sorted out. They need to find a solution to be more efficient with time. It's not good for those who want to watch a game of football".
Do you think VAR is being used in the wrong way?
"It has cleared up a lot of things, but in other areas, which are not objective, it's a little more complicated. But I think overall it has been a good thing for football. Problems existed way before VAR".
You have been playing Vinicius quite a lot, do you think he might need a rest?
"I don't think so. He's fine, he's young and recovers better than others. If one day he has a problem or suffers a drop in form then we can rest him. But right now we are very happy with him".
Vinicius and Rodrygo
"Rodrygo just needs to continue doing what he has been doing in the last few games - keep doing his defensive work and show his quality in attack. He's doing exactly what we have asked of him. I'm happy with him. I hope he continues playing as he is".
Do you think that the VAR is being used is actually complicating rules which otherwise would be clear and simple?
"Some rules are complicated for me. The offside rule is complicated and not fair. VAR has cleared up the offside rule but complicated it in other ways. The difference between what is objective and what is subjetive is open to interpretation".
If a player asked to leave in January, for instance, Eden Hazard, would you allow them to go?
"Never in my career as a coach have I forced a player to stay when they want to leave. In my own personal opinion I don't have any doubts about that".
Do you think the team needs to find alternatives in attack when rival teams close up?
"Tes, we need to work on the attacking side. You work to create chances. We had them against Sheriff and Osasuna. We have to improve on our finishing, and not just put in better crosses, but arrive better inside the area, have more players in the box, move better when we don't have the ball... We have to work on all of those things. We can improve".
"Modric is ok. He trained yesterday, and will train today and play tomorrow. He was rested as a precaution. He had a few twinges. Just tiredness".
Do you still think that 4-3-3 is the best system for this team? One which is fixed?
"It's not fixed. I think we can change it. I'm pretty sure that it's the system that the players feel most comfortable playing. There might be some moments or games when we could do with another striker alongside Benzema in the box".
You have coached in all of the major European leagues. Do you think the level of refereeing in Spain is better, worse or the same as in other countries?
"I can't really say if it's better or worse, different, yes. Spanish football today, compared to my first spell here is more global, there are good sides who are playing less possession-based football, they are more direct and better defensively... Before, it was more focused on possession and now it is more attacking. I really liked what Iraola said the other day about playing a long ball game. It's a way of attacking and Rayo Vallecano are using it very well. There is no such things as better or worse football, just football in which the coach has to get the best out of the characteristics of his players".