The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in the summer was always set to become quite the void to fill, however given the first half of the 2018/19 La Liga campaign, few could perhaps have expected such a downturn in the fortunes of Los Blancos after their unprecedented three-year UEFA Champions League reign.
With the halfway mark in the campaign signaled this weekend, Madrid lie ten points behind defending champions Barcelona, having lost six games thus far this term – a third of all their games played.
Ronaldo however, was not the only cavernous hole left to fill, after Zinedine Zidane’s unexpected departure from the club last summer.
Having already seen a turnover of two separate coaches after Julen Lopetegui’s tenure was ended prematurely following a disastrous spell in the Bernabeu dugout, caretaker boss Santiago Solari has also seen performances greatly fluctuate.
Club President Florentino Perez continues to oversee the club from his lofty perch in the rafters, but after a continued period of transition, it seems Los Blancos’ head honcho could now have led his club down a murky path.
Perez’s Real Madrid dynasty
The man who has led Real Madrid since the turn of the millennium when he won his first term, has been one of football’s most ruthless and unflinching board members across Europe in the last twenty years of football.
As the man with perhaps the most high-pressure job in the game however, the 71-year-old has led with somewhat of an iron fist.
Now, alas for Los Blancos, Perez’s sins could arguably be seen as something of a dose of karma, given his penchant to pull the trigger on his many and varied managerial personnel.
Perhaps it would be ignorant to accuse Perez of ruling Real Madrid from a position far exceeding his presidential status, but regardless, Real Madrid are now undoubtedly in the midst of a difficult period.
Since the departure of Vicente Del Bosque to manage Spain, Madrid have had no less than 15 different stewards and since 2010 a total of seven different coaches.
Perez has not shirked the responsibilities of his post, but has swung the sword of damocles more times than a swordsman of greater battle-hardened jousting.
Between 2006 and 2008, both Fabio Capello and Bernd Schuster were given less than 12 months in the job despite bringing La Liga titles with respectively.
Given the current plight of the club where silverware appears distant to say the least, Perez’s liking to continually rotate underlines that his choices of the past may now finally be coming home to roost.
The likes of Jose Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini may have brought continued success, but Zidane broke records that few expected – not least his remarkable feat of winning two European Cups.
It should be said that few Real Madrid coaches have worked in harmony with Perez, but Zidane’s decision to walk off into the sunset at the top of the game has left Los Blancos in a big black hole it would seem.
With a Champions League knockout stage against a rising Ajax to come in February, the pressure on Solari to emerge victorious against die Godenzonen will be fervent.
Should the Madrid club fall to the Dutch however, Solari could very well be left out in the cold in his caretaker duties, but it is Perez where the buck should stop.
Real Madrid were always the most reliable of sides to out-score their opponents, but even in this haywire domestic season, last weekend’s defeat to Real Sociedad could be the sign of things to come. The mighty, may have fallen.