How Kroos control is pressuring Ancelotti decisions
Despite the lack of minutes this season, the German is proving decisive with his participation at this start of the season.
Toni Kroos enhances everything he touches, and he touches the ball a great deal when he’s on the pitch. Kroos is the fourth-highest passer in the Real Madrid squad with 317 passes. Only Alaba (398), Tchouaméni (379), and Rüdiger (353) surpass him, but they have required 263′, 173′, and 213′ more minutes, respectively, than the German.
The statistics speak for themselves. Toni is determined to make Carlo Ancelotti see that the solution to some of Los Blancos’ occasional issues in this season’s beginning (lack of creativity, clarity in midfield, dominance in the center...) lies at his feet.
The Toni Kroos effect
Kroos has demonstrated this influence in the moments Ancelotti has given him, and recent matches reaffirm this. Against Getafe (45′) and Union Berlin (24′), he entered the field in the second half with the team struggling, contributing significantly to the eventual victory. Against Bordalás’ side, he revolutionized the game with his switch of play and dangerous through balls, while against the Germans, he allowed Modric to roam freely. With him on the pitch, Madrid went all out in search of victory. Similarly, in his only two starts this season, against Almería and Real Sociedad, he made it clear that his decision-making and distribution remain impeccable. Particularly against Almería, with an assist to Bellingham to turn the game around.
His presence is a breath of fresh air for his teammates, especially for the Croatian, who performs better with his main partner alongside him. Kroos allows him to venture closer to the area where things happen, the final third. So much so that the Zadar native ended Wednesday’s Champions League match as the player with the most completed passes in that part of the field: 41. The reliability of the number 8 in white when it comes to distribution is one of the foundations on which Real Madrid relies when confusion reigns or urgency prevails.
It’s no wonder he has been frequently called upon by Carletto to win matches, and that’s in addition to the confidence he exudes. He’ll turn 34 in January, but he appears dynamic, energetic, inspired, and self-assured. Qualities that the team sometimes misses in the other pivot, Tchouaméni, who can only be learning.
Their characteristics are indeed different, but the last two matches tip the scales in favour of the former Bayern player. At least, in terms of matches like the Champions League opener, against opponents who are tightly organised in their defence and demand creativity. The challenging fixture list and the need for finesse are converging towards Kroos having a more prominent role in the coming weeks.
“In this period where we’ve only played one game a week, I’ve given minutes to the young players to see what they can bring. They’ve done well...
“I don’t need to give minutes to Modric and Kroos to see what they can bring; I know perfectly well. They will also contribute this year,” Ancelotti commented in the lead-up to the clash against Real Sociedad.
The Italian is aware of the assets at his disposal, yes, but just in case, Toni provides him with a reminder in every match.