With both media scrutiny and fan grumblings intensifying, Real Madrid needed to snap out of their early-season daze and start hammering opponents. It’s not that they haven’t been creating chances, they just haven’t been finishing. (They haven’t looked exactly dominate in their matches so far either, and have been lucky that no team has gone up on a quick counter before throwing up a rigid defense.)
That started to turn with the game against Ajax, where Mourinho was heard to remark “One day, some poor team will pay for all these chances that we have missed,” and has culminated with Real’s 6-1 demolition of Deportivo de La Coruña. Ronaldo was responsible for the first goal, joined by the cast you’d want in support: Ozil (his first for the club), Di maria, Higuain, and Ronaldo again. Yes, Ronaldo in fact supports himself. Do you doubt this?
This after a week when Jose Mourinho locked the doors on the practice facility to outsiders, and severely limited press access and interviews. A special touch from the special one, creating a “bunker mentality”, the us-against-the-world connection among his team that he’s instilled at every one of the clubs he’s managed. His only messages out of the stronghold have been in support of his players, serving to boost their confidence while giving them some breathing room away from the Spanish media’s intense eye.
Real Madrid are now sitting in third place, above Barça, with no losses and a +10 in the goals column. An easy opponent seems just what they needed to find their flow. Will they be able to continue the trajectory against mid-table side Malaga?