Real Madrid: 5 burning questions after horrid loss to Valencia

Real Madrid (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Real Madrid (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Marcelo
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid’s struggles at the Mestalla continued on Matchday 9 of La Liga with a 4-1 loss to Valencia. Once again, Real have serious questions to answer.

Cadiz. Shakhtar Donetsk. The first half against Borussia Monchengladbach. The second half against Inter Milan. Real Madrid’s Fall of the 2020-2021 season has been anything but steady, but at times, they have looked brilliant in spite of the tough losses and the injuries. Few things top beating Barcelona 3-1 at the Camp Nou, after all.

However, Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Valencia at the Mestalla was a reminder of how far Real Madrid need to go before they can confirm themselves as the best team in La Liga or even begin to consider themselves threats at the Champions League level.

Here are five burning questions for Los Blancos after a bizarre blowout loss to the Bats.

What should Real Madrid do with Marcelo?

Zinedine Zidane has two left backs to work with. In Ferland Mendy, he has arguably the best defensive fullback in world football. And in Marcelo, he has a player who basically gives up a goal per game through an individual mistake, as he did against Valencia.

Last season, Marcelo’s defensive issues were noticeable and hurt the team, but they weren’t costly. And Real could justify starting him on the strength of his attacking influence, as his creativity and crossing accuracy were assets to the attack.

Now, though, Marcelo isn’t really helping Real Madrid’s attack. So he is a liability in both phases of the game, though calling him a liability defensively is an understatement. Starting Marcelo is as good as playing with 10 men.

Fans were rooting for Marcelo to turn it around at the Mestalla, but all he did was prove that he shouldn’t be on the pitch in big games. Zidane has to rotate him in, but how can he find the right balance so that Marcelo doesn’t keep costing the team?