Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed Real Madrid’s early-season issues as being down to missing Mesut Ozil in attack: “The problem is balance.”
The Italian has found himself and his new side already under scrutiny for some inconsistency this term, culminating in last weekend’s derby defeat at home to Atletico Madrid.
However, when prompted to see a connection between that and Ozil’s late departure to Arsenal, the Coach was clear.
“I do not regret his departure,” reflected Ancelotti in response to reporters’ questions today.
“I wish him well, but we do not need him because we are doing alright. Our problem is not in attack.
“We are scoring a lot of goals. The problem is balance. We have conceded a lot of goals.”
Ancelotti was talking ahead of Madrid’s trip out to Levante. A 21-man squad has been named, with Gareth Bale the notable absentee once more as he commences a mini preseason.
“He is here to train for the next 15 days and to be ready for the next game. He is not happy because he was looking forward to playing.
“He has had a very difficult period but psychologically he is fine. He is a calm player, whilst his problem has not been serious.
“Levante? They are a tough team, especially at home. Madrid has had problems against them in the past. We have to stay focused and play a very intense game.
“Our form? I am more concerned about being five points behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid than I am of us playing again like we did against Atletico.
“I am convinced that we will improve and we will play increasingly more naturally.
“Against Copenhagen for example, I liked how the players played in the 4-3-3 system, we played well and I liked it. We had a good balance. It depends on Cristiano’s position.
“If the play is open, we can use three midfielders. We will play most naturally in 4-3-3 and 4-4-2.”
Real Madrid squad to face Levante: Casillas, Diego López, Jesús, Varane, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Coentrão, Marcelo, Carvajal, Arbeloa, Nacho, Khedira, Casemiro, Modric, Di María, Isco, Illarramendi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Jesé, Morata