Why there are no easy answers for Real Madrid going forward

, SPAIN - JANUARY 10: coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Real Madrid v Numancia on January 10, 2018 (Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images)
, SPAIN - JANUARY 10: coach Zinedine Zidane of Real Madrid during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Real Madrid v Numancia on January 10, 2018 (Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Squad Rotations

, SPAIN – JANUARY 10: Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid celebrates 1-0 with Dani Ceballos of Real Madrid during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Real Madrid v Numancia on January 10, 2018 (Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images)
, SPAIN – JANUARY 10: Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid celebrates 1-0 with Dani Ceballos of Real Madrid during the Spanish Copa del Rey match between Real Madrid v Numancia on January 10, 2018 (Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

The Real Champs’ Ben Sundock made a great point in an article a while back: Zidane has largely failed to adequately use the squad that he has at his disposal. Real Madrid bought strong backup players to add depth to the roster chart last season. Namely: Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente, and Borja Mayoral.

Not only are these players not getting minutes, they’re often left out of the squad entirely. One solution Zidane could have moving forward is to use his squad more wisely. After all, the famed “B-Team” worked wonders for Madrid last season, helping Zidane keep his powder dry for the late stages of the Champions League.

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The problem is, our current B-team is nothing like the backup squad from last season. Keep in mind, last season, Zidane’s “B-Team” had a substantial number of Galacticos and Galacticos-in-the-making in it. When your “B-Team” often consisted of Alvaro Morata, James Rodriguez, Isco Alarcon, and Marco Asensio, it’s hard to really call them a “B-team.”

Even when they have been given opportunities, the squad players have not been up to snuff. Achraf Hakimi, the B-team player who has gotten the best opportunity to prove himself this season, still seems rough around the edges. Marcos Llorente has done fine, and could potentially be a replacement for under-performing Casemiro, but it’s not like a center defensive midfielder is going to turn our season around. Theo Hernandez has added a bit of speed, but is still not up to the quality that Marcelo offers when he is in form.

The player most Madrid fans would like to see more of is Dani Ceballos. The midfielder lit up La Liga with Real Betis last season, and earned Player of the Tournament honors at the Under-21 Euros with Spain. He has rarely earned the trust of Zidane this season, and rumors suggest that Ceballos may be on the verge of a move to Liverpool.

It’s true that Ceballos deserves more minutes. It’s also true that Ceballos offers something different for Madrid going forward. But Ceballos, along with Real Madrid’s other squad players, have not done much with the opportunities granted them. As Marca report, Ceballos, Theo, Achraf and Llorente all failed to meet expectations against Fuenlabrada in the Copa del Rey. Similarly, Madrid’s heavily rotated squad underperformed against Numancia in the second leg of the next round of the Copa del Rey, falling prey to some of the same problems the first team have had all season.

Real Madrid’s squad players deserve more opportunities than they’ve been granted thus far. But we shouldn’t pretend as if the B-Team is going to ride in and pull Madrid out of the deep hole they’ve dug for themselves thus far.