Everything Carlo Ancelotti said in Real Madrid’s pre-match press conference before LaLiga game against Las Palmas
The Italian spoke after the derby defeat to Atlético Madrid, a loss that has caused a huge sense of doubt to creep into the Santiago Bernabéu.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the press ahead of the LaLiga clash against Las Palmas, a game that has a special significance in the season for Los Blancos, given their devastating defeat to city rivals Atlético Madrid in the last game.
What type of game to you expect tomorrow? Every team has their own characteristics and Las Palmas play football well. They have quality. We are thinking about winning, about reacting quickly after Sunday.
How have you managed the criticism over the past days? Criticism is part of my job. When you manage Real Madrid and things don’t go well, the criticism comes out. It’s logical. It doesn’t affect me. Having said that, I have to evaluate the things we don’t do well, which isn’t a lot, but you have to work on it. My evaluation is different to that of a lot of people. We’ve done well until this point and we have to carry on. Every system has its difficulties: the diamond isn’t perfect, but the 4-3-3 isn’t either. Every setup has weaknesses. The diamond allows you to press higher, to be more energetic, but it can allow you to end up out of shape for crosses, because the midfielders don’t always get back. We are working on it, the problem is obvious and it can be fixed.
Injury update on Carvajal, Vinicius & Arda Güler: They are available, it’s great news for us. A great sign. Tomorrow they’ll be ready, but I will decide on how many minutes to give them.
Would you like a contract renewal? I’m very happy here, everyone knows it. But now is not the time for that.
Five of seven goals have been conceded in the first 20 minutes, how can that be worked on? Showing that it is something that has happened too many times. We have to change our attitude in the opening minutes, we know.
Do you understand the doubts surrounding the squad? People can say whatever they want. Every idea is respected. But I won’t get into that. I have to evaluate things with more balance and fortunately I have that in my blood. I am a calm person with the capacity to evaluate things. Doubting a team that has won 6 out of 7 seems too much to me.
Could Güler play tomorrow? He’s available. He needs minutes, he needs physical conditioning, he needs to get used to the style, but he’s OK. During this time he’s shown that he has extraordinary talent and that is genetic.
Why were so many things changed for the derby? Modric could play that position [top of the diamond] without a problem and as for Bellingham, I only changed the defensive idea, as in attack he had to do the same thing. I don’t think I changed that much.
Have you spoken to the defenders? We have seen the goals we conceded and we know that we should have been more decisive. Both in terms of not letting the crosses come in as well as getting people into the box.
Has the most painful criticism been that you ‘don’t dare to bench Modric and Kroos for the big games’? Do me a summary of all of the criticism I’ve had! I’t doesn’t annoy me one tiny, tiny, tiny bit. It’s my job, as I said before. It’s not true that I don’t dare to bench Modric and Kroos. Here all the games are important. If I had to respond to every critic, I’d be here [in the press room] a long time.
What are Real Madrid’s weaknesses? It’s hard for us to control the wings, especially in our half. And it’s something we need to work on, to correct. It’s something we saw in pre-season, but in the league it was working: we had conceded just 3 goals until the derby. But there we forgot what to do.
Does playing Vini Jr and Rodrygo centrally not take something away from their game? The errors that young coaches make is that they give too much information, with the ball, to the players. And as for myself, as I’m from the old school, I give more freedom and creativity. Without the ball, everything has to be done with effort and concentration. But with the ball things have to be done creatively. If they want to go out wide and attack from the wings, I’m never going to say anything to them. I don’t want to put a lid on the creativity of anyone.
What do you think about Xabi Alonso being linked as your future replacement? I know him, because I had him as a player. He has an enormous knowledge of the game and he is doing great at Leverkusen. I hope he, like Raúl or Arbeloa, manages Madrid one day. Because this is the top level. Because I love them. Hopefully they can manage Madrid one day.
Does the midfield diamond work badly for Modric and Kroos since they’re less physical? No. They can play in any system in the world. Given their quality, knowledge and experience, they wouldn’t have problems to play in any system.
When there’s criticism in Spain, nobody gets off lightly, how are you viewing Kepa’s performances? Kepa has my total confidence, he’s a fantastic goalkeeper and is doing excellently well. The three goals in the derby were everyone’s fault. I don’t like the point fingers and even less so at him, he couldn’t do anything.