Squad Analysis

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Squad Analysis Empty Squad Analysis

Post by Valkyrja on Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:36 am

Real Madrid have started their pre-season in preparation for the 2013-14 season. Players and coaches have left the club and their successors have been brought in. In this article I will write an analysis to provide insight in the qualities and depth of the current squad. Madrid’s goalkeepers guild is the first line to be analyzed.

Iker Casillas and Diego López will compete for the spot of first goalkeeper. Casillas has proved himself to be one of the best in the world for the last decade. Yet López’s great performances in the Champions League managed to keep the captain on the bench in the second part of last season. Both have proved themselves to be an asset for Real Madrid and their unique abilities should be used to the fullest extent. Casillas has great communication skills to command the area and his catlike reflexes have prevented many goals. Casillas’s main weakness is his length, this makes oppositional set pieces a grave threat. López’s strengths are his aerial abilities and his reflexes. Casillas would be used best against strong opponents, because his unmatched reflexes and leadership can give the edge to win. López should play against weaker opponents, because his aerial abilities can abolish the threat of set pieces and crosses.

Real Madrid’s defense had undergone a few changes during the transfer window. Raúl Albiol and Ricardo Carvalho left the club while Daniel Carvajal rejoins after a year in Germany. This means there will be serious competition for the right back position for the first time in few years. Alvaro Arbeloa has good defensive qualities, but what really stands out for me is his passion and great mentality. Carvajal on the other hand is an agile player and has more attacking abilities. Arbeloa could be best used against opponents with an offensive style, because he gives the team defensive certainty. Carvajal should play against team with a defensive style of play. When he plays close to the sidelines on the opponents half their defense gets pulled apart. The oppositional full backs have to step out to mark him, this will create more space for creative players in the centre. The centre backs for the upcoming season will be Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Raphael Varane and Nacho. Ramos is the leader of the defense, as vice-captain of the team one of the two spots in the centre is filled. Pepe and Varane will compete to play alongside of Ramos. Varane despite his young age has proven to be capable of withstanding the pressure at Madrid. His pace, length and strength make him a complete defender of whom even Lionel Messi is afraid. Pepe lost his starting position, but over the last few seasons he showed himself to be an asset to the team. His aggression and strength make him feared by attackers, unfortunately he is prone to losing himself in the heat of the battle. Nacho will be cover for the first team when players are injured or need to rest. His capability of playing all over the defensive line make him very useful. Nacho’s weakness is his length, with only 1m80 crosses could be a threat if he plays as a centre back. At the moment Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao are Carlo Ancelotti’s options for the left back position. Marcelo is a player quite similar to Carvajal. He also is very agile and has a great dribble. His defensive abilities have been questioned often, but at the Confederations Cup he showed to be adept at this as well. Coentrao is a versatile player, he is good at both attacking and defending. In his first year in Madrid he also showed to be able to play in midfield or as a winger. Ancelotti will have to make a hard choice since both Marcelo and Coentrao expect to be a regular starter.

Real Madrid’s midfield also has a few new faces, Asier Illarramendi, Casemiro and Isco have come to strengthen the squad. Ancelotti laid his card on the table in the match against AFC Bournemouth and showed the public he will start with two controlling midfielders and three attacking midfielders around the striker. For the two controlling options there are five options, Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Illarramendi and Casemiro. Sami Khedira would be my first choice, his strength, positioning, stamina and mentality make him indestructible. Because of his dynamic playing style he is ball winner as well as threat higher up on the pitch. To spot next to Khedira will be rotated often. Against weaker opponents I would start with Modric. He is one of the best playmaker in the world and could be used to hold the opponent all the way back. In the matches against strong opponents Alonso or Illarramendi would be a wise choice. They are very similar players who lay deep and build up attacks from there. Both are also good ball winners, this gives the team the defensive certainty it needs. Casemiro will be a cover for Khedira in case he is not completely fit. In the match against Bournemouth Casemiro proved himself to be a real asset to the team. He won back possession several times and showed his technical skills with the goal he scored. The three positions around the striker seem to be filled up already. Ronaldo and Mesut Özil are Real Madrid’s best players and will have a starting position. Isco may very well be the missing link in Madrid’s attacking play. In the match against Bournemouth he pulled the strings and showed his great skills. Yet Real Madrid has a few more quality players other than Özil, Isco and Ronaldo. Angel Di Maria’s pace, dribbling skills and crosses make him a player who can singlehandedly force a breakthrough. Kaka also is a player who adds depth do the squad, his through balls and shots from around the box could prove to be a winning factor. The last player who will fight for a place in the midfield is Jése Rodriguez. Castilla’s top goal scorer is one of Spain’s brightest young players and key player in the future. His main strengths are his speed, technique and finishing. He will need playing time to develop into the star player he can be.

With the possible departure of Gonzalo Higuaín only two striker will be left, Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata. This reminds me of the 1994-95 season when Real Madrid only had Emilio Butragueno and an unknown boy named Raúl. Morata already scored an important goal last season against Levante and at the Euro u21 he was the top goal scorer. Morata’s length make him an aerial threat to defenders and his dribbling abilities and finishing are very useful in and around the box. If we keep confidence in him and Ancelotti gives him regular playing time we have at least decade of goals right here with us. The main striker for the next season will be Benzema though. The only thing standing between him and stardom is his indifferent attitude. If he starts playing with the passion Real Madrid deserves he will be a key player for the years to come. His pace, strength, shot power and technique could possible make him one the most feared strikers of this era.

To conclude this analysis I am stating that the depth of this squad will make this team one of the best Real Madrid has had. Real Madrid has goalkeepers capable of winning points for the team. The defense is solid and has both defensive and offensive qualities. The midfield will be the key factor for success. With all the different players and qualities the team is capable of opposing a wide range of tactics. Up front the individual skills and creativity are nearly unmatched.

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@Myesyats wrote:Mane-Origi-Gigi forward line? :bow: It's not gonna be pretty for us.

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