Whilst the fans that remained inside were happy to proclaim their love for their current Coach, it was different outside. TV cameras were running about widely trying to record the opposition fans who were pining for their previous love. After their second derby defeat in five months, sections of the Real Madrid support were not shy in expressing their opinions. They wanted Carlo Ancelotti out and for the first time some were pointing the finger at President Florentino Perez.
After the Elche game, Real Madrid needed a convincing win. To judge Ancelotti now would be harsh but so far his side have failed to convince. Apart from their mauling of Galatasaray in the Champions League, in La Liga they have been lucky. Real Betis nearly grabbed a point. Villarreal drew with them and Elche were cruelly denied a point last week. To make matters worse both Barca and Atletico Madrid have faced tougher tests and won. Real Madrid needed to send out a message but failed. Suddenly everyone had their back against the wall.
On Monday morning a players’ meeting with Ancelotti was called. The first thing that was brought up was that they were all standing by their Italian Coach. The next important item on the agenda was attitudes and gestures, mainly Pepe’s in El Derbi. Another issue was the leaking of stories to the Press. Some say that the leaking of the meeting is evidence that a mole still exists. Others say that the fact we don’t know exactly what was said proves things have changed. Time will tell.
Before the Copenhagen game Ancelotti and Perez faced tough questions. Fans have not forgiven the President for selling Mesut Ozil. He persisted in the chase for Gareth Bale when some feel other positions and other players were a priority. With Xabi Alonso out injured, an experienced replacement should have been signed. Also when they sold Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon, they were left a little light up front. It doesn’t help that Ozil, Callejon and Higuain have all helped their new sides to the top of the table. Yet, a convincing win can change things.
‘Two Angels and One Saint’ ran the Marca headline on Thursday morning. AS editor Alfredo Relano praised the second half performance this week against Copenhagen and also the work of Iker Casillas. It was a win ‘against the crisis’ he declared, obviously forgetting that some at his paper had said that it was foolish to claim that this blip was a crisis. Ancelotti says that the boos and whistles inspired him. Karim Benzema claimed he had received the message from the stands loud and clear.
But, there are still issues to be resolved. Last night Los Blancos started with a 4-4-2 formation and the players didn’t seem to like it. In the second half they switched to 4-3-3 and they seemed to move the ball with more ease. These are still early days but they have been tough ones for the ‘new project’. What is very clear is that patience isn’t something they will get form supporters.