Zinedine Zidane is coming under intense pressure at Real Madrid after a 3-0 loss against Paris St Germain. This battle of the two heavyweights was expected to be a close encounter, but it was a one-sided affair that turned out to be a bitter disappointment for the Los Blancos.
Since coming back to Madrid for a second spell, Zidane has encountered a number of obstacles in the way of selling players, purchasing players, tactics, and injuries. However, these should not serve as an excuse for Madrid’s inept performance against PSG. Former Madrid winger Angel di Maria came up with a brace while Thomas Meunier added a late third. The defeat looks even worse considering that PSG were missing a number of their stars like Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Edinson Cavani.
Even though Madrid’s Champions League ambitions are unlikely to be hurt by this result, the blow to the team’s morale cannot be measured. Zidane’s legendary status at the club has taken a major hit with fans calling for his sacking on social media platforms. It may not be long before whistles are heard at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The mood around Real Madrid has been poisonous for several months. Zidane, who led the club to an incredible three consecutive Champions League titles, was expected to address a major chunk of the issues in the summer. This could have been achieved through the clear out of players who had started having a bad influence on the squad. After spending more than £300 million on new players like Eden Hazard, Zidane appeared to have a path for those underperforming stars. Yet, politics between the manager and president ended up shaping the squad in a different fashion.
Even though Zidane did sign a number of new players, it is believed that he is unhappy at missing out on players like Neymar and Paul Pogba. Florentino Perez, though, will be aware that the players are just one of the problems at Madrid. Even when having two world-class players like Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale on the wings, the Spaniards were unable to make much of an impact.
The club’s domestic form has not been great either. The narrow win over Levante is not only success for Madrid in four matches and we have only picked up only two victories in five competitive games.
Zidane appeared to enjoy unwavering loyalty from Perez in his first spell. This is no longer the case and both parties seem to disagree – the manager wanted to sell Bale whereas the president vetoed a move at the last moment – on a number of things unlike before. It would take a large sum of money to sack Zidane, but Perez may be left with little option if the poor results continue. After all, Zidane has been unable to produce any tangible improvement even after spending £300 million in the summer.
The availability of Jose Mourinho – who is free after leaving Manchester United several months ago – makes things highly complicated. One of the few things going for Zidane is that the club are not in a bad position in the La Liga or Champions League.