Carlo Ancelotti has promised that Real Madrid will improve in upcoming games against Juventus and Barcelona: “We cannot play worse than we have.”
Los Blancos have struggled for consistency in their early work under the Italian tactician and come out of the international break chasing a five-point deficit over Barca and Atletico Madrid in La Liga.
With the Catalans on the horizon in Week 10, the Coach has made clear his belief that things for Los Blancos will improve.
“We are trying to change something, to play more with the ball and this change takes time,” Ancelotti has mused in today’s edition of the Corriere della Sera.
“Indeed, so far we have played games badly and our problems have been compounded by the fact that Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have always won.
“We have to play better, the criticism that we have received has been with substance. Here the fans are demanding and they are right to be.
“As a Coach I can say that in the next matches, Malaga and Juventus at home, and Barcelona at the Camp Nou, we will do better.
“This is also because we cannot play worse than we did against Levante and Elche.”
Focus has also been on Gareth Bale’s physical condition since joining the club in the summer.
“What is wrong with him exactly? Nothing. He has just not had preseason. Now, we are taking advantage of the break, he is back in shape and will return to play.
“Is it a scandal to have paid €100m for him? In theory it may sound bad, but this is the market. And then Madrid grossed a lot on the sales of Higuain, Ozil and Callejon.”
Ancelotti has determined this season so far Diego Lopez as the team’s No 1 goalkeeper in the League and Iker Casillas between the sticks for European games.
“Rotating the goalkeepers is an anomaly but here the situation is unusual. I have two great goalkeepers – one with less experience, the other as an icon of Madrid and Spanish football.
“Diego Lopez began preseason before Casillas so I began with him, then I decided to give Casillas a chance to play in the Champions League, because he is reliable.”
Ancelotti was asked of employing his son to the Madrid coaching staff, as well as a nutritionist who is involved with his daughter.
“A Coach wants on his staff competent and trustworthy people. My son has competence, enthusiasm and above all I trust him. As for the nutritionist, is it my fault that he is engaged to my daughter?”
The 54-year-old turned attention to next week’s opponents in the Champions League, his former club Juventus.
“I do not know if Juve have dropped in intensity or not. I only know that the Italian League has increased in competition.
“They seem to be a solid team, with a well-defined style of play. Pirlo is always a guarantee and will continue to be for a long time. I wanted him with me at Chelsea but it was not possible. For Andrea we will be prepared – he will be marked by two bulldogs.
“In games of this type, the most important thing is the desire to have courage, to control the game. In football today, there are few secrets to discover.
“Why the poor relationship between me and the Juve fans? To a section of their fans, I was always considered an opponent. I have always been seen with the shirt of Milan or Roma.”
Ancelotti’s former team Milan picked up Ricky Kaka from Madrid this summer.
“Kaka wanted to play more and here there was not the space for that. It is clear that time passes for everyone and he no longer has the physical prowess of 10 years ago, but he remains a reliable reference.
“This is a move that will benefit both Milan and Kaka. Milan needs quality and he needs Milan.”