Real Madrid are in a mess and manager Zinedine Zidane must start planning for next season, according to Terry Gibson.
The Galacticos were beaten at the Bernabeu by Atletico in the Madrid derby on Saturday afternoon, with Antoine Griezmann’s second-half strike sealing a win for the visitors.
Speaking to the La Liga Weekly podcast, the Sky Sports Spanish football expert was critical of Real’s recent performances and praised the way Diego Simeone’s side executed their game-plan.
“To be 12 points behind in the league at this stage signifies that we are currently seeing a Real Madrid team that are a real mess at the moment – and that’s the opinion throughout the Spanish press. Of course, we know where that starts and it starts from the top,” Gibson said.
“There where clever bits when they knew to drop off and allow Real Madrid possession, knowing when to press high and they knew they had to stop Luca Modric. They also came up with the idea of playing Griezmann in the line between midfield and attack, with Fernando Torres leading the attack.
“From Real Madrid’s perspective, they failed to pick up Griezmann and they didn’t get Modric involved in the game. There was a lot of shuffling the ball about from player A to player B at too slow of a tempo and it played into the hands of their opponents.”
Atletico made history with their derby victory – becoming the first side in La Liga to win three consecutive games at the Bernabeu – and Gibson believes the experience of the respective managers had an impact.
“It was almost the master against the apprentice. A top manager who has 11 years under his belt – and some really successful ones – who knows his trade against a manager who’s in his ninth game. That was quite clear to see.
“We’ve said it all season that we aren’t going to see what Zidane is made of until he can put his stamp on the team and there’s going to be a whole load of questions that come with that.
“At the moment, it’s a question of Zidane learning his trade as quickly as he can in difficult circumstances and in the glare of the spotlight. The criticism has been savage on the players and Florentino Perez, but Zidane has mostly escaped that.
“In the past, it was Rafa Benitez but now the supporters and the press are firmly on the case of players like James Rodriguez, Isco and Toni Kroos.”
The Sky Sports expert added Zidane has a “responsibility” to start planning for next season with the players he has – and identify the ones who could be sold.
“The bulk of the squad is there to start planning for next season and I think it is his responsibility. I’m estimating that we might see half a dozen big signings but four or five starting regularly,” Gibson said.