Everyone seems to be pointing fingers with Real Madrid at the moment after the humiliation to city rivals Atletico, and this weekend’s win against Deportivo was no exception. One that has evaded the limelight in recent months is Isco, who has put in some fantastic performances since being brought into the side after injuries to Modric and Kroos.
His strength, pace and power has added another prong to Real’s attack, which has been less than potent since the beginning of the New Year. Once again he was on the score sheet against Deportivo, finishing off a chance missed by Ronaldo, who was too angry with himself to celebrate Isco’s finish.
The Spaniard had been out of the team after a string of performances that provided nothing spectacular last season, and with so much talent within the squad, it is very hard to stand out from the rest. He has changed his style this season in order to fit in to the side and it has proved worthwhile. He now tracks back, runs faster and tackles harder in midfield, similar to the role that Di Maria played at the Bernabeu last season.
But his attacking, creative flair is his bread and butter. With marauding runs from midfield, the former Malaga man is able to split defenders and open up pockets of space for his teammates, while finishing the moves off with some sublime passes. He is the complete attacking midfielder.
Real need to pick up their performances and Isco is the man to lead them. If he can keep his stunning form going, the rest of the team may be able to reflect this into some of their own performances, no less from Ronaldo.
After winning the Ballon D’Or for the second consecutive time, his form as dropped significantly. His own personal gain seems to be top of the agenda, consistently moaning and whining at his own team mates for not passing the ball to him, even when they have a clear goal scoring chance themselves.
On the backlash of his poor performances has been unfairly, Gareth Bale. The Welsh winger looked like the only player on the pitch at times when he performed in the Premier League for Tottenham, and his overall team-play has vastly improved since moving to Spain, but clearly not enough for Ronaldo. The team need to forget about why they are not performing and focus on what made them such a great success in 2014, which may help recapture some of the form.
The change is due quickly as the last 16 of the Champions League has approached them, which is a fantastic chance to gain some confidence against Schalke in their tie. Isco will be looking to retain his place in the side after his performance at the weekend, and although Real battered Schalke at the same stage of the competition last year, the current side is yet to produce a convincing performance in 2015, although they will still be firm favourites.