Real Madrid play on Saturday (18:30, local time) against Alavés a very important game in La Liga to try to top the table. Los Blancos have the same points as FC Barcelona but the Catalan team play on Sunday in a very tricky game against Valencia CF. Despite being in a perfect position in the season, Julen Lopetegui is already risking his job. Is this possible?
Real Madrid manager was asked about this circumstance in the press conference before the game. Lopetegui tried to defend his work and he doesn’t feel his position is at risk: “We don’t analyze what people think. We work on a daily basis to improve. It’s true that the club goals are untouched. We want to improve, like all the teams”, the manager said.
Lopetegui is the worst coach so far in the Florentino Pérez era. He has lost 3 out of 10 games during this start of the season, so this is the 30% of the games. Although the sensations are not as bad as the numbers, people are allowed to doubt about the manager. Within the same games, Rafa Benítez hadn’t lost a single game and he was fired in early January.
There are some similarities between Rafa Benítez and Julen Lopetegui but also many differences. Lopetegui is trying to play good football and the team has reached the goals sometimes -especially against AS Roma-. Besides, he has a poorer squad and many problems with the injuries. On Saturday he won’t have Marcelo, Isco and Carvajal available again. At least, Gareth Bale seems fit for the clash.
This game could be a final for the manager: “I face every game like a final. This is Real Madrid and we work always in the same way”. Lopetegui seems realistic with the situation. It would be very strange to see him axed only after three months of job, but the team needs to improve or he will be looking for a job very soon.