(CNN) — Zinedine Zidane’s second coming at Real Madrid proved the Frenchman is no miracle worker.
After he returned into the club for a second spell as coach, he had been assumed to supply answers to a crisis-ridden season.
By the time Zidane had been reappointed in March, two other supervisors — Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari — had been gone in the blink of an eye.
Fast forward to the end of the year and Real Madrid had missing 17 games in all competitions and finished 19 points supporting La Liga winner Barcelona, making it the worst Los Blancos side of the 21st Century.
Actual dropped four of Zidane’s 11 matches in charge but his trophy-laden first charm gained him the benefit of the doubt with all the club board.
However, as La Liga kicks off Athletic Club conquer Barcelona on Friday — doubts still linger over Zidane’s man management skills, his tactical nous and whether the achievement of his first bout was down to 11 players’ individual brilliance — especially Cristiano Ronaldo’s persistent goalscoring feats.
“I feel that the main victory of Zidane from the preceding years was Cristiano Ronaldo and he’s not at Madrid anymore,” Catalunya Radio journalist Ernest Macia told CNN Sport.
“So today we’ll observe the authentic Zidane. The folks here in Madrid stated:’The Real Madrid of Zinedine Zidane, it was the Real Madrid of Cristiano Ronaldo.’ Now we will see how difficult it’s to handle, to master a dressing room like Real Madrid — especially when results are not good.
“He’s a great deal of credit because he won three Champions Leagues, but it will depend not just on the outcomes but how Real Madrid plays. Unlike Barcelona, that will be a club with a philosophy and DNA, Real is a club which welcomes cash to acquire titles”
READ:’Neymar’s harm Is Totally mended,’ states PSG’s Leonardo
READ: Neymar, Bale, Coutinho — The isolation of this megabuck soccer star
Pogba or Pogba
A turbulent pre-season — which has included a 7-3 thrashing to new-look town rival Atletico — and Zidane’s ongoing feud with Gareth Bale has included yet more doubt to an already cloudy transitional period at the club.
It’s been reported that the Frenchman will now keep both Bale and James Rodriguez in the group against his own fantasies, as Actual failed to land his No. 1 midfielder goal Paul Pogba.
Real President Florentino Perez has been supposed to be a lover of this Welshman — coming to his defense on a number of occasions during his time in the club — and James, also has allegedly clashed with Zidane over their future roles.
“Zinedine Zidane wanted Pogba at any price,” Macia explained. “When he was asked:’Ok, if Pogba is not feasible, another participant?’ He explained:’Pogba.’
“Of course it is a big disappointment if Pogba remains [at Manchester United], he will have to find answers someplace else. He has been offered three of four distinct options and he’s unhappy with Bale, who’s a participant who makes a huge distinction but he gets injured very frequently.”
A couple of new summer signings may also require the time to gel as well as Zidane has continued to show preference to what he views as his trusted older guard.
Karim Benzema seems set to start the up front before new $60 million ($66.5M) striker Luka Jovic, while doubts remain concerning the role summertime signing Eden Hazard may play.
To make matters worse, Actual announced Friday the Belgian star has sustained a hamstring injury and will miss Saturday’s season opener against Celta Vigo.
Stalwart Marcelo will probably be preferred at return to exciting young signing Ferland Mendy, since will Raphael Varane set up of 50 million ($55M) registering Eder Militao to associate captain Sergio Ramos in the core of defense.
“I really don’t see them winning a lot more titles,” Macia said. “In Europe they’ve big competitions, in La Liga they’ve Barcelona which is very well accommodated. It will come down to how Real Madrid expands this project.
“With fresh players, notably the registering of Hazard, and also how they make the transition from the older ones — such as Modric from midfield — and the newcomers. I believe that Real has got the players to get it done but I am not sure that Zidane is your guy.
“I think it will be very difficult for him and his newest time there will be more challenging than the past four decades.”
READ: Real Madrid and Gareth Bale saga is a’Rubik’s Cube to solve’
READ: From fantasy Begin to nightmare finish, Gareth Bale’s Real Madrid profession turns sour
Champions League ‘obsession’
With Atletico Madrid undergoing the largest squad overhaul — an exciting one — at Diego Simeone’s eight-year reign, Barcelona’s settled facet would be the overwhelming favorite to keep its La Liga title.
The $120 million ($132M) signing of Antoine Griezmann from lead rival Atleti and the arrival of precocious talent Frenkie de Jong from Ajax has augmented the already world class squad.
However, Barcelona’s focus this season will definitely be on the Champions League, a contest it hasn’t won since 2015 and has crashed from in spectacular style the past two seasons.
After surrendering 4-1 and 3-0 aggregate contributes against Roma and Liverpool, respectively, there is a growing issue among fans that the team is throwing off opportunities for arguably the greatest player ever: Lionel Messi.
“After what has happened in the last two seasons, the Champions League is now the priority — I would say it is an obsession,” Macia said. “In Barcelona we understand we have potentially the best player of all time and that we are squandering our time committing absurd mistakes.
“In Barcelona we think the Champions League is essential for this team. Not only because of Messi but because Barcelona has an amazing team.
“They’ve invested a lot of money in Griezmann and De Jong and possibly Barcelona has the best squad in Europe, together with Manchester City.”
Barcelona’s pre-season continues to be promising, losing just once and demonstrating indications that the new gamers are integrating well into the programs of Ernesto Valverde, who himself is under stress this year after losing the Copa del Rey final.
However, Barca’s defeat in Bilbao Friday hinted the Blaugrana may have a struggle on his hands acquire the name, while Real won 3-1 away at Celta Vigo despite playing the majority of the second half with 10 men after Luka Modric was delivered away.
Read more: footballleagueworld.com