‘Zidane has enough credit for two seasons without a trophy’ – De la Red defends under-fire Real Madrid boss



A former Blancos player and youth coach thinks the Frenchman is being unfairly criticised for the team’s erratic form this season

Zinedine Zidane has enough “credit” in the bank for two trophyless seasons at Real Madrid, according to Ruben de la Red, who has jumped to the defence of the under-fire boss.

The reigning Spanish champions’ grip on the Liga trophy is slipping at the halfway stage of the 2020-21 campaign, with arch-rivals Atletico Madrid currently sitting eight points above them at the top of the table with a game in hand.

Despite the fact the Blancos gained some much-needed ground by beating Huesca 2-1 at the weekend, pressure continues to build on Zidane with each passing game amid criticism of his managerial approach, but De la Red thinks he deserves more respect for his past achievements.

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What was said?

Asked to address Zidane’s prickly demeanour in front of the media before Madrid’s victory at Huesca, De la Red told Goal: “His reaction seemed very normal to me. 

“What’s more: I think coaches should claim much more than they do. And, in the case of Zidane, given what he has achieved, he should have a confidence margin to last up to 10 years. 

“In five years, he has won three Champions Leagues and two league titles. Ultimately, you have enough credit for a long time. He should be able to afford to go two to three years without earning anything.

“You have to assess the situations. You cannot ask Zidane to be a league or Champions League winner with the injuries he is having and going two years without signing anyone. Let’s be realistic.

“The situation they are going through is not normal. No matter how much you are Real Madrid, so much loss weakens you. Without [Eden] Hazard, [Dani] Carvajal, [Sergio] Ramos… it is very difficult to fight for the objectives the team is fighting for.”

Zidane’s managerial record at Real Madrid

After being drafted in to replace Carlo Ancelotti in the Santiago Bernabeu hot seat in 2015, Zidane delivered three consecutive Champions League crowns, with final wins recorded over Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Liverpool – while also guiding the club to their 33rd La Liga title.

The 48-year-old, who also enjoyed an illustrious playing career at Madrid between 2001 and 2006, resigned after seeing his team lift the European Cup in Kyiv by beating Liverpool 3-1 in May 2018, but he was persuaded to return nine months later after a rapid decline in fortunes in his absence.

Zidane went on to mastermind another run to La Liga glory last season, and the Blancos are once again competing on multiple silverware fronts this term, with a Champions League round-of-16 tie against Atalanta looming later this month.

Who would be in the running to replace Zidane?

Several high-profile candidates have already been touted as potential replacements for Zidane amid Madrid’s erratic form, including club legends Raul and Guti.

Raul is currently in charge of the club’s Castilla side and would be a natural option to step into the Frenchman’s shoes, but RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann and former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri have also been heavily linked with the job.

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