The return of Zinedine Zidane to the Bernabeu was one of the most surprising turn of events in the La Liga season. However, it did very little to improve their fortunes on the field that much with the club ending the season in third place behind their arch-rivals Atletico and champions Barcelona. The summer window is a massive deal for the club, and they have already indicated their intent with early signings of massive players. However, the lingering doubt of many players will likely decide the mood of the club as they begin their season.
Madrid ended the season with three defeats in their last four matches, much to the disappointment of punters who used the Coral promo code to bet on them, but none of the blame with be placed at the door of Zidane. He has arrived back at the club with a clear plan in mind of the direction that the club must go in without the talismanic Cristiano Ronaldo.
The arrival of Eden Hazard to the club will have an instant reaction, with the Belgium international coming off the back of his most prolific Premier League campaign. However, how the new Madrid man deals with the increased pressure at the Bernabeu will ultimately decide how the club can compete next season. Ronaldo was the ultimate role model to look up to in terms of dealing with the pressure from the Madrid fans. The Portuguese never hid away from the ball and continued doing what he could to help the team. Ultimately this is why the relationship never deteriorated between the player and fans’; although it did threaten to on many occasions.
Contrasting to that you have Gareth Bale; who despite helping the club win four Champions League trophies has been relentlessly booed throughout games by the fans for simply not doing enough- something that Bale’s agent has labelled a disgrace. Of course, fans’ are justified to have their opinions but the way that his agent fuelled the fire even further didn’t help his case, and despite a modest return of 14 goals this season; the Welshman looks to be on his way out. Should Hazard follow Ronaldo and keep doing what he has done at Chelsea, then the club will have a great chance of silverware this season.
The next crucial aspect that must be decided is the formation. The season that Karim Benzema enjoyed last season didn’t deserve to end without a trophy. He ended the campaign with 30 goals in 53 appearances for Madrid, but the arrival of Luka Jovic from Frankfurt has raised questions over Benzema’s role next season. If you could get both players in the same team, then there is sure to be bundles of goals scored between them, while it would seem harsh to leave out a player like Benzema who has committed so much into the team throughout his career. A change in the system could accommodate both, but also Zidane must examine the role that he wants Hazard to play too.
The tools are there for Madrid to perform well next season, but it may be a season too soon to trouble Barcelona who have looked dominant domestically.