What do Madrid need to be more competitive?

What do Madrid need to be more competitive?

The Collins Column

So there we go. The title race is over and Barcelona have been crowned champions for the 22nd time.

It was hardly surprising to most football fans around the world that Barca would lift the trophy for the fourth time in five years given that Madrid meekly surrendered the title they won last year.

Damaging defeats and draws earlier on in the campaign meant the title was all but over before the winter break arrived.

It meant Los Blancos could focus on the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.

Although they could yet win the latter, it was the humiliation against Dortmund (let’s face it – Madrid were only in the tie for about seven minutes at the end of the second leg) that will lead to questions being raised.

And the main question on the lips of Madrid fans is “where do we go from here?”

The squad that has underperformed in the league and that was embarrassed in Dortmund is largely the same as the one the broke all sorts of La Liga records last year and narrowly lost out to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi final 12 months ago.

The main difference has been a lack of passion, desire, and poor attitude. That stems from the manager, Jose Mourinho, who’s been at war with most of if squad, the press, referees and UEFA at various times this year.

If most press reports are to be believed, the lack of desire will be fixed once Mourinho ends his three-year stint and Madrid and head back to London with Chelsea.

On the playing side of things, not much needs to change. The new manager needs to decide who the number one striker is between Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema, while Xabi Alonso isn’t getting any younger in the middle of the park. The right back position has been a problem for Madrid this year and needs to be addressed this summer too.

While on the face of it, Madrid’s problems seem to run deep, not much really needs to change.