Real Madrid need to reboot if they are to save their season after falling eight points behind Barcelona, says Terry Gibson.
Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat at newly-promoted Girona on Sunday leaves them third with 20 points from 10 games.
Gibson, speaking on the La Liga Weekly Podcast, said Real’s lack of discipline against the La Liga newcomers was evident and says midfielder Casemiro has been the biggest weak link of late.
Gibson said: “Lack of motivation? Yes, that has to be a consideration, after winning the league title last year and the Champions League. It’s very similar to what we saw from Barcelona last year; the games they’re dropping points in are the kind of games they shouldn’t be dropping points in.
“I’ve watched the game three times now, and it gets worse each time. I got bored of the past 20 minutes, continuing to see the same mistakes. There was a lack of discipline in terms of positions of the players, where they should be playing.
“It really feels like, to simplify it, they need to reboot. For me the biggest culprit is Casemiro, who has only ever been in that team because Zidane had the power to want to play a non-star, a non-Galactico, because he realised the players needed a holding midfield player that would be seen and not heard, to do all of the dirty work, and allow Modric and Kroos and others to flourish.
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“It started off poorly, they were fortunate to go 1-0 up, against the run of play, and the spirit of Girona shouldn’t have surprised Zidane, but it didn’t appear to get across to players.”
Zinedine Zidane, who replaced Rafa Benitez during the 2015/16 season, has led Real to two Champions League crowns and a La Liga title in his short stint.
But Guillem Balague, also speaking on the La Liga Weekly Podcast, says that while the Frenchman’s man management has been effective, the coaching weaknesses are becoming clear to see.
Highlights of Girona's 2-1 win over Real Madrid in La Liga.
“This team under Zidane has been very well managed, but poorly coached. They quite clearly need somebody that allows them to do their thing, and it’s not by chance that getting rid of Rafa Benitez and getting Zidane in came from conversations with Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo asking what type of manager they should get in.
“I don’t think this year it’s going to happen for them, and despite Barcelona not being overly impressive, their football is predictable at times, I don’t think Real can catch them, even though we are a long way away.
“This is not a team made for the long run, this is a team made for the big nights. They are superstars, and don’t always want to put in the hard work to win leagues.
“It’s strange to say that about a Real Madrid side who won the league last season, but that was their huge target, because they hadn’t won it for a long while, they put that effort in.
“But against Girona you saw players that just didn’t want to know. They were so, so poor.”