This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Guillem Balague has spoken about Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane on the BBC Football Daily podcast, and he believes that if this month doesn’t go well for the Frenchman, he could be replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Nowadays, whenever there’s talk about Zidane and his troops, it’s mostly in a rather negative sense – the Madrid media have been drumming about a revolution, pointing out the mistakes Real Madrid have made in the transfer window and even Florentino Perez, their president, seems to believe the team has lost its hunger.
And all of that somehow boils down to the management and Zidane himself, who could be the first in the firing line when Perez starts asking questions and replacing people who are deemed not good enough.
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At least that’s what Balague thinks might happen if the rest of the month doesn’t go Real Madrid’s way. If they lose the crucial games that lie ahead, we might be seeing a new coach at the helm of Los Blancos. And his name? Jose Mourinho.
Here’s what Balague said (05:45):
“All in all, what you’ve got is a lack of confidence from Florentino Perez in Zidane and you sense that.
“There’s three or four journalists in Spain and if you read them you are reading the thoughts of Perez, and they’ve started criticising Zidane.
“That’s the beginning of the end, sometimes.”
When asked who he thought would take over if Zidane left the club, he replied: “Who’s a top manager who has ignored huge financial offers from China, for instance, and has said no to other clubs? And he’s waiting… That’s Jose Mourinho.”
When everything is said and done, Balague is right: this month could be truly defining for Real Madrid. Looking ahead at their fixtures, the Galacticos will have to face multiple tricky and difficult opponents. Everything starts, however, with this home game against Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Starting off with a defeat, or simply by not getting a win, could set wheels in motion that cannot be halted. And then come the heavy-hitters: Paris Saint-Germain away from home in the City of Lights, a trip to Sevilla, a place Real Madrid have not won at since the 2014/15 season and then, at the end of the month, the Madrid derby against the current league leaders in the form of Atletico Madrid.
By all means, if they don’t record wins in the majority of the games, and that’s looking rather unlikely at the moment given their rather mixed form, a poor pre-season and ongoing injury woes, this truly might be the end for the Frenchman.
Things haven’t gone Zidane’s way so far this season and unfortunately for him, the situation just might go from bad to worse in a matter of weeks.
And then, as Balague says, there’s only one real candidate who’s already waiting on the sidelines.