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In a precise pun, the 'merengue' cast will go blank in 2018-19. Not qualifying for the next edition of the Champions League would be a hecatomb

No possible trophy: can Real Madrid save the season?

Real Madrid is going through a very delicate moment in the season, or maybe not. Having been eliminated from their 'fetish' competition by Amsterdam Ajax and thrashed at home and previously dropped twice at home, by different competitions in just 3 days, without scoring a goal and before their archrival Barcelona (which eliminated them from Copa del Rey and virtually of the League), leads us to ask ourselves: how to finish this horrible season in the best way? A campaign that, in any case, presaged difficulties after the departures of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Leer en español: Sin posibilidad de títulos: ¿puede el Real Madrid salvar la temporada?

Everyone knew that the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo would weigh, and that Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are not of the type of goal-scorers to cover such a high quota, since they were rather the complement of the Portuguese star in the golden years that allowed to raise three consecutive 'Orejonas' between 2016 and 2018. It was also foreseeable that Julen Lopetegui or any other coach sitting on that bench would carry the heavy cross of the previous international titles, and without CR7.

Santiago Solari, perhaps to extinguish any fire, had less pressure in that sense, although after the two defeats at home against Barca and the shameful thrashing against Ajax, now has only one mission: save the season by qualifying the next Champions League. The question is: how will he do it? Or what should he do to get it? From our point of view with much internal management of the campus, which gave some referents the importance they deserve. They have to find a way to work together in such a complicated moment.

Read also: VAR: Did it arrive to Spain to do justice or to make things worse?

To have the option of clasifying to the Champions League, they have to ...

The first thing is to leave behind the unfortunate week in which in 7 days they threw the whole season overboard. It will not be easy but you have to assume it as possible within the standards of a team that won everything and that is closing a cycle. The date in which it was possible to hire a 9-caliber forward, not Cristiano, but one that helped to shovel the lack of goal. I can think of two: Inter's Mauro Icardi (currently discarded by coach Luciano Spalleti) and the Polish sensation Krysztof Piatek.

However, they are not there and the problem must be solved with what you got. One option is that Solari lime roughs with Isco Alarcón, a skilled player who can give freshness in the attack. It is true that he is not at his best level, but in league games that no longer require so much effort he could give him the minutes he needs to regain confidence. Marcelo is a similar case.

For example, we have not seen Isco and Vinicius together. Solari must be more generous and trust more his players. I think that Gareth Bale has not earned the opportunities he has received and it is time to definitely pass him to the bench. Marco Asensio also needs minutes. The solutions could be in the banking, but they must be managed first from the armistice and the confidence so that they can be seen in these players the same performance as with Zinedine Zidane.

Keylor Navas, who for many was the amulet in the three years of the Champions League, may have to return to the goal after the poor performance of Thibaut Courtois. His performance has been subordinated to the Copa del Rey in which they are no longer. If it is about recovering the winning nucleus, Solari must rescue the men who have shown that together they can win things, and Navas, maybe he is not a better goalkeeper than Courtois, but he is a better goalkeeper for Madrid. That is the feeling that exists.

Reguilón and Vinicius Jr. are two big bets, players with youth and talent that will surely be figures in the coming years, which also seems very logical to use in games that do not have direct elimination, such as those that come in the league. Both failed above all against Barcelona: the first lacked location and intelligence, and the second strength. To make matters worse, Vinicius Jr. will miss much of the remainder of the season after being injured in the match against Ajax.

What to expect then from this campaign?

Obviously it is our opinion and, if Solari decided to pay attention to us, it will not guarantee that at least they will keep their place in the league to go to the Champions 19-20. The line between success and failure is very thin in games of direct elimination, as evidenced by Ajax (the club that avoided the first goal before the Dutch opened the scoring, for example), but in league is another affair. There are many games still ahead.

The season is already a failure for the 'merengues' for the overall balance of the three main competitions. Can we ensure that with Cristiano and Zidane if they would have won the fourth consecutive? Of course not. So what is left for Solari and this Real Madrid from 18-19? He must at least do something by obtaining the classification to the next edition of the UCL (with being fourth in the Spanish League is enough for them) and they will surely get it. Recover their best men and return to show on the court.

Many just ask themselves inconsolably why a season without titles, but a good part of the rational environment of soccer will know that it is only a season of transition (perhaps not the only one) and that it is normal for these things to happen in sport, when it comes from a golden age, full of successes. Of course, for the 19-20 will come another technician and another forward center level, while many of the current staff will leave.

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

Translated from "Sin posibilidad de títulos: ¿puede el real madrid salvar la temporada?

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