Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos warned those writing off the European champions will be “put in their place” despite an alarming slump in form that has left them eight points off Barcelona at the top of La Liga after just 10 games.
A 3-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League on Wednesday followed hot on the heels of a shock 2-1 reverse at promoted Girona as for only the second time in his short managerial career, Zinedine Zidane’s side have lost back-to-back matches.
“Real Madrid always come back and put everyone in their place. Those that write us off will be put in their place,” said a bullish Ramos. Madrid should be eased back into winning ways when Las Palmas visit the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday with their coach Pako Ayestaran’s job already under threat after four straight league defeats since he took charge in late September.
However, Real’s poor early season form has raised questions over their pre-season recruitment. As other Champions League contenders spent hundreds of millions, Madrid made a 75 million euro ($90 million) profit as Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez, Pepe and Danilo were allowed to leave. Real continued with their policy in recent seasons of recruiting the best young talent in Spain.
But Cristiano Ronaldo admitted they lack the same experience as the squad that claimed a first league and Champions League double for 59 years last season, whilst prolonged injuries to Dani Carvajal and Gareth Bale have also exposed their strength in depth.
“The players that have arrived have a lot of potential. Pepe, Morata, James made us stronger, but those that are here now are younger,” said Ronaldo. “We also miss Carvajal and Bale. It’s not a worse squad, it just doesn’t have the same experience and that is very important. -AFP