Carlo Ancelotti pleased with new formation but admits potentially fatal flaw

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti was pleased on the whole with his side’s performance against Milan on Sunday night, but did admit his new formation does have a weakness.

Ancelotti trialled a 4-4-2 formation with  a diamond in midfield against Milan, starting Jude Bellingham in the number 10 role, with Brahim Diaz and Joselu Mato up front. In the second half, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes came on in attack, while Bellingham came off after 64 minutes for 18-year-old Nico Paz.

Speaking to Diario AS in his post-match press conference, Ancelotti was positive on the new system.

“I liked it. There are things that we have to modify a bit. It was a bit difficult for us to start from behind. We tried to play a little more inside thanout wide. Bellingham’s position was good and he played a good game. The team must get used to his quality. We have to enjoy his ability to arrive in the box during the season. I liked the system. Sometimes the pressure was not correct, but my feeling is good.”

He was also asked whether he would look to press higher more often this campaign.

“We have to try to push a little higher. With the diamond in midfield we have a lot of central pressure and less lateral pressure. You have to swing better and press with the full-backs. In terms of the defence, it is not the best system, but I have to adapt the characteristics of the players.”

Ancelotti’s great battle since he has returned to Real Madrid has been his attempts to incorporate pressing. In his first season, he gave up on it fairly soon, and Los Blancos were happy to only push up in fits and bursts.

Last season he managed to press more often with Real Madrid, but as seen against Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final last season, at the very top level they still struggle to maintain that pressure. This season he perhaps has his most athletic Real Madrid since his return, which should facilitate more pressing again, but the switch in formation may take some adjusting to as well.

Tags Carlo Ancelotti Jude Bellingham Real Madrid
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