They say you learn more from defeat than you do from victory and that’s the only real positive Santiago Solari can take from Sunday’s shock 1-2 home reverse against Girona.
The defeat all-but ended Madrid’s hopes of winning LaLiga this season following victories for leaders Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, who leapfrogged Los Blancos, on Saturday.
Fingers were quick to be pointed, as they usually are following any match which sees Madrid drop points, let alone lose at home against a side that had not won in nine matches going into the clash.
This time Marcelo took the brunt of the criticism. Not so much for his performance over the 90 minutes against the Catalan side but more so in light of statistics post-match which showed an unflattering comparison with young Sergio Reguilón, who has come into the first team squad this season and become what looks like Santiago Solari’s preferred choice at left-back.
Spanish stats man ‘@2010MisterChip’ published statistics which suggest Madrid are much better off with Reguilón on the pitch than the Brazilian.
Madrid have won just one of their last nine matches in which Marcelo has started, that victory being a slender 1-0 home win against Rayo Vallecano at homer. Two draws, at Athletic Club and Villarreal, are overshadowed by six defeats.
In stark contrast, Los Blancos have won all eight Liga matches in which 22-year-old Reguilón has played.
The numbers are damning for Marcelo, who missed out in Madrid’s 1-2 win at Ajax in midweek but came back into the side for the defeat against Girona. Indeed, the Brazilian has gone from being one of the first names down on the team sheet last season to a back-up to his young teammate.
With rumours rife over the future of the left-back, the writing could well be on the wall. Reguilón has played superbly this season and Solari will only hope to see the Spaniard improve with his first full season in the first-team squad under his belt. Marcelo could see a move to Juventus, if the Italian giants are still interested, as a good option.
Indeed, the end of the season could see as mini ‘changing of the guard’ this summer should Solari have his way. Gareth Bale has also come in for plenty of criticism and the rise and rise of Vinicius Jr. could see the Welshman opt for a move to pastures new come the end of the campaign.
Midfield maestro Isco could also see his time up in the summer after falling out of favour with Solari. The Spain international is currently sidelined through injury but has struggled to impress his coach after being a first team regular with Julen Lopetegui.
This summer will be interesting in more ways than one for Real Madrid. While big-name incomings usually dominate the front pages of the Spanish sports press, it could well be big-name outgoings that lead the way this time around.