Real Madrid Sack Julen Lopetegui
On June 12th when Julen Lopetegui was announced as the manager of Real Madrid, he must have expected glory. So too did Florentino Perez when he hijacked the Spain national team manager to make him his own. But after four months of bland football, Perez has had enough. With the Camp Nou as his axe, Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Real Madrid manager.
The former goalkeeper at both Madrid and Barcelona had a rough few months in the job. It started with him being sacked by Spain one day after taking the job, and it’s actually gotten worse. His season got underway with a loss to Atletico Madrid. However, that loss was the only loss of his first seven games in charge. His luck ran out quickly, though. Madrid had one win in six going into El Clasico and we all know what happened next.
The loss on Sunday dropped Madrid to ninth position after ten games, with a goal difference of zero. But the significance of losing 5-1 at the Camp Nou cannot be overstated. Five goals scored is a particularly thorny scoreline for the fans of both sides, but the Camp Nou certainly loved it. A 5-1 loss to the bitterest of rivals is always a disaster.
Lopetegui’s firing will fall at the feet of one damning statistic; his Real Madrid side just completed a scoreless streak of over seven hours on Saturday when they scored against Levante. That streak came in games against Espanyol, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Alaves, CSKA Moscow & Levante. Aside from Atletico, none of those teams are exactly defensive stalwarts.
Even after the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo, the idea of Real Madrid going seven hours without a goal is simply inexcusable. So too is the idea of losing El Clasico 5-1, especially when Barcelona are without Lionel Messi. Now Real Madrid are without a manager again, looking for someone to salvage their season.
Of the candidates to replace Lopetegui, some make more sense than others. Real Madrid have reportedly considered ex-players like Guti or Santi Solari. There was an initial idea that Antonio Conte would take the job. However, he was unable to agree to a contract before the firing of Lopetegui.
So instead, Madrid have named Santi Solari, the current manager of Real Madrid Castilla, as their ‘temporary boss’. During this time period, they will continue to search for someone to take the job full-time. While searching, Solari will have the opportunity to win the club over so that they make him the main man.