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WAKE UP! Why Florentino's bumbling Real Madrid deserve greater scrutiny

COMMENT: Just what is going on inside the Madrid press? We know in Spain its all siesta and sun, but are they really going to let Florentino Perez get away with this season?

His Real Madrid face another year - their third on the bounce - without the Liga title. The Copa del Rey is gone and if Juventus hold their nerve, so will be the Champions League.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. Indeed, by rights, it should be Barcelona who are lurching along.

There's the investigations over Neymar's transfer and the threat of jail for president, Josep Maria Bartomeu. There's been Lionel Messi's tax woes - all played out in local media. There's been training ground clashes between coach Luis Enrique and Messi. A touchline blow-up between the coach and Neymar. Thomas Vermaelen's injury problems. A transfer ban from FIFA.

The problems have kept piling on and on. Yet, just last week, Luis Enrique spoke for all Barca fans when stating: "Treble? I like the sound of that word..."

Given everything that's been thrown at Barca, how can anyone connected to Real be satisfied with how this season has played out?

This week, Forbes magazine declared Real Madrid the richest club on the planet - with revenue better than any sporting organisation in existence. That's Florentino's legacy. He's made Real the biggest club in the world. When they come knocking, no player in the world turns down the Merengues. That's a legacy of Florentino's drive and passion for the club.

But it's also a transfer policy which has left Real a shambles in the season run-in.

For their biggest game of the season, how does Real, for all their resources, leave coach Carlo Ancelotti having to field Sergio Ramos in midfield? And what of Gareth Bale? Being played wide right at Juventus Stadium? John Toshack, the former Real coach, reckons he's never seen the Welshman in such role since he was 17!

How can Florentino leave his manager a squad so limited?

Ancelotti obviously doesn't rate Asier Illarramendi and as for Lucas Silva, he couldn't trust the Brazilian youngster to keep it together in Turin. But the midfield problems go further back. Toni Kroos has been excellent since arriving from Bayern Munich, but by his own admission, he's been played out of position by Ancelotti - again the Italian trying to plug gaps left by injury (Luka Modric) and departures (Xabi Alonso).

Even in attack, for all the early success of the BBC (Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo), it's now fallen on the shoulders of a cast-off from Manchester United to find a way to goal. Louis van Gaal has already stated he doesn't want Javier Hernandez. Yet, Real, the biggest club in the world, are desperately hoping for Chicharito to continue his hot streak.

This is all without mentioning Alvaro Morata and his goalscoring performance on Tuesday. It's clear, people inside Real simply didn't rate him. But there's been barely any scrutiny from the Madrid press about why he was allowed to leave - and who was behind the decision. He could be the man to dump Real out of the Champions League next week. Then what? Another shrug of the shoulders?

How has it been allowed to get so chaotic?

We've been talking about Ancelotti's contract situation since before Christmas. With little over a year to run, the Italian was expected to sign an extension in the New Year. Instead, negotiations first stalled then were stopped. Such uncertainty from the top will always make its way to the training pitch. Why allow it to fester?

And what of Zinedine Zidane? His Castilla are likely to miss out on promotion from the Segunda B. And he's failed to bed down celebrated January signing Martin Odegaard. Another coach, no matter how experienced, would be battling to keep his job. Yet Florentino sees Zizou as Ancelotti's eventual successor. Lack of promotion this season should be regarded as a failure. But again, Zidane and those who put together this season's Castilla squad, will escape scrutiny.

Yet, the problems won't end for Florentino come the conclusion of this campaign. The chance to start afresh is being threatened by talk of a FIFA transfer ban, which Real insist is wide of the mark.

But Angel Torres, the Getafe president, was on radio last week convinced Real could be among clubs facing sanction: "There's a reason there was such a scramble to make signings".

So, even if Florentino was willing to address this season's failures, he could be prevented from doing so by the work of those under him.

For the world's biggest club, the president needs to be doing better.


P2) Sergio Ramos: Form, ego and Real Madrid's demise

P3) More than Morata: 5 Castilla rejects proving Real Madrid wrong

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Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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