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Kroos, on a different wavelength from Benítez

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 15/12/2015 sportyou
Kroos tampoco comulga con Benítez © Getty Images Kroos tampoco comulga con Benítez

"He is the coach who combines all the best conditions for success: tactics and the human factor, which is not easy, especially at Real Madrid. When he left, everyone was sad, even those who did not play very much. I don’t have a bad word to say about him. He is the best at studying opponents, preparing for games and finding solutions." Toni Kroos was quite clear when talking about Carlo Ancelotti a few days ago in an interview he gave to the German weekly 'Die Zeit'.

This was not a throwaway comment, but a reflection of his mood. Kroos is not on the same wavelength as Benítez and misses the Italian coach, a feeling that is shared by possibly most of the Real Madrid players. Kroos has gone from having a leading role to being a bench warmer in recent games. At El Madrigal, him being among the substitutes surprised everyone except the German himself. He knows that, football-wise, he is a long way from sharing the way of thinking of his coach. He has changed his position several times, to the point of playing as a lone central midfielder, as part of a double pivot, inside right and in an attacking midfield role behind the forwards. Kroos is a player who is suited to playing the ball rather than hoofing it, being the one who follows up or rigid tactics.

This mess has had consequences. Kroos has let Benítez know this and the coach has chosen to leave him on the bench, to Casemiro's benefit. This decision may be interpreted as another conflict for the manager. If he didn't already have problems, Benítez is now facing a stand-off with a player who has a very strong character.

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