Real Madrid has shown once again the importance of Karim Benzema. Cold has arisen at the Bernabéu since he got injured against Elche. Ancelotti’s playing lacks of ideas in the opponent’s half and scoring chances are shining for their absence.
This problem, which is more serious than expected, has left big consequences: two draws and a win (short score) in league plus their knock out in the Spanish Cup. But, beyond numbers, the biggest concern is in the feelings. A team that seemed unbeatable in Spain is now showing some vulnerability and being unable to replace their star.
Karim Benzema makes up practically 80% of ‘The Whites’ team. The exact percentage could be discussed, but any lucid person can agree with this assertion. And this is not just a simple opinion, as you only need to to observe his best partners. All Casemiro, Kroos and Modric’s performing has decreased considerably without the Frenchman on the field.
However, they are not the only ones that miss him. The leadership and offensive addition from Vinicius has also been diluted. It is true that jet lag from South America World Cup Qualifyers played a role at San Mamés and he was suspended against Granada, but there is clearly a big difference between his partnership with Benzema or a starting eleven without his talent.
But, even though Karim Benzema is irreplaceable, we are talking about Real Madrid and so they should count on a ‘plan b’ that can offset the difficulties of such a sensible absence. However, and after La Cerámica’s game, it has been proven that it just does not work like that.
Previously, Ancelotti showed signs of afraid to rotation. Now, after three weeks into this situation, there are three conclusions to take out. First of all, the Italian coach does not trust his second unit; he does not believe in anyone else but his optimal 12/13 players. On the other hand, Benzema’s injury forces him to correct his system, which turns into a slow start of the team with the ball. And, last but not least, Real Madrid loss all their effectiveness. Despite the multiple chances, ‘The Whites’ have shown a defective accuracy.
It is clear that at the Bernabéu they suffer the ‘Karim-dependency’ as never before. And today, right when entering the crucial part of the season, the return of the Frenchman seems vital towards the visit to the Parc des Princes Stadium.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Twitter @realmadrid.