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Singled out under Benítez, singled out under Zidane

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 01/03/2016 sportyou
Real Madrid: de señalados por Benítez a señalados por Zidane © Getty Images Real Madrid: de señalados por Benítez a señalados por Zidane

As happens every time there is a crisis, Real Madrid took the initiative after the defeat to Atlético de Madrid. With sectors of the fans pointing the finger at the president, Florentino Pérez set up his classic crisis cabinet with the aim of getting his name off the front pages in return for offering up other heads. Those singled out to explain the team's poor performance are James Rodríguez, Isco Alarcón and Jesé Rodríguez.

According to sources from within the club, Zinedine Zidane was not happy with these three players' performances, and two of them had been assigned leading roles in the game plan. Coincidentally, those singled out by the new manager are the same ones that Rafa Benítez singled out during his short-lived reign at the helm of the club. The most chastised of the three is the Colombian. The Bernabéu has pointed the finger at him as being under suspicion, and let him know that loudly and clearly during the match against Atlético. When Zidane replaced him the fans booed and whistled him in no uncertain terms.

Isco was also hauled off, but the fans did not take out their ire on him. Criticism of him is more forceful from the upper echelons of the club and the message has changed in a matter of a couple of weeks from "Isco rescued by Zidane" to "Isco is still off the rails" and his future at the club now looks uncertain. The player has not been a favourite up in the offices for some time now and, far from him getting backing in these difficult times, he is being blamed as one of those responsible for the problems.

Jesé is also on what might be called the blacklist. The forward continues to blow hot and cold. Zidane says he is happy with the Canary Islander's contributions while within the club they are unceasingly accumulating documentary evidence concerning his off-field behaviour.

Cristiano Ronaldo's remarks in the mixed zone after Saturday's derby defeat are a sign of the misrule that pervades the club right now. Nobody from within the institution has come out and contested the ill-timed comments the Portuguese forward made concerning his team-mates when the president did exactly that when the press put a date on Benítez's sacking, based on information that he himself had leaked to several media outlets. The double standards, when it comes to normal players and the 'president's boys', as they are known in the dressing room, still prevail at the club.

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