With seven game-weeks done and dusted, one wouldn’t expect Madrid to be in the predicament they’re currently in. After a mere seven games, Madrid are placed fifth in the La Liga with two losses to their name; the same number of losses that the whites ended up with over the whole of last season.
Mourinho, for one, wasn’t shy to admit that his side wasn’t up to their mark yet considering their poor start to the season. However, with a recent rise in form, the Madridistas wouldn’t be one bit disappointed. One tough task that Mourinho faces, however, is his squad selection.
The Los Merengues’ strength lies in the depth of their squad. With star studded performers on the pitch and on the bench, one has no reason to be doubtful of their exploits. This strength of theirs, however, might well turn out to be more of a weakness. One specific area that this problem occurs in is Madrid’s center midfield. In a squad full of players like Xabi Alonso, Mesut Ozil, Kaka, Luka Modric and Sami Khedira, it spelt nothing more than headaches for the Special One. Last season, when Kaka’s form was nothing short of disappointing, it made Mourinho’s job easier when in came to selecting his line-up. This season however, Kaka has come out to prove his critics wrong with brilliant performances in the past few weeks, both for his club and his country.
These good performances earned him more time on the pitch at the expense of Mesut Ozil. Mesut Ozil, on the other hand, is but a shadow of himself from last season. It may be too quick to judge, but Mourinho certainly feels that he isn’t getting a sufficient work rate out of the German play maker. It may only be a while before he either gets into the mix of Mourinho’s plans depending on his form. Xabi Alonso though, is one person who is most likely to keep his place in the squad with his impressive work rate and box to box play. With the high abundance of attack, Madrid need someone like Xabi Alonso to provide some stability in the lineup. Sami Khedira is a player similar to Xabi Alsonso and depending on the situation, he might just be used in the squad rotation system.
Luka Modric is yet to find his feet and affirm his position in Madrid’s lineup and once that happens, one can certainly expect a tough fight for the centre midfield position. Which of these players can hold onto their place in the squad? Only time will tell.