Real Madrid: Zinedine Zidane says all the right things after Valencia loss

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid need the right response after an awful 4-1 loss to Valencia at the Mestalla, and Zinedine Zidane’s words are a good first step.

Accountability. That is what Real Madrid need to show after another dreadful defeat early in the 2020-2021 season. Their 4-1 loss at the Mestalla was blighted by injury, absences due to COVID-19, and three penalty goals in a loss that felt fluky. But the intensity and quality were lacking from Real yet again, as the club played like they did in their earlier defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk.

There have been highs in 2020-2021 for Los Blancos, such as the impressive 3-1 win at the Camp Nou in El Clasico. But count this loss at the Mestalla as one of the lows. Real Madrid looked dysfunctional defensively and uninventive in the attack. Players of the old guard like Marcelo and Isco were horrible, whereas young stars like Vinicius Junior and Marco Asensio failed to truly seize the moment again.

The man who must show the most accountability, though, is the manager. And to his credit, Zinedine Zidane took it upon himself to take the blame for the loss by claiming responsibility.

Here is the quote from his post-match press conference, via MARCA’s Juan Ignacio Garcia-Ochoa:

"“Everything happened to us, to be fair. It’s difficult to understand our game. “I don’t think Valencia were better than us tactically. But I’m the one responsible because I have to find solutions.“There are no excuses. After the first goal, we dropped our guard. Everything piled up today. It’s true that we weren’t how we were before at the back.”"

Zinedine Zidane is right, Real Madrid have no excuses

He is absolutely right. We have seen lesser managers go on social media and complain about the referees after a big loss. (Yes, that is a direct shot at Ronald Koeman.) But the officials and VAR got it right. Real Madrid unlucky? A little bit. At the end of the day, though, they were the architects of their own misfortune through poor transition defense, sloppy giveaways, and even sloppier defending in their own box.

They only have themselves to blame. In Zidane’s words, “no excuses”. None. Real Madrid may be transitioning and waiting to sign the players they truly need, such as Kylian Mbappe and Eduardo Camavinga, after a tough summer with zero signings.

We get it. But at a club of Real’s stature, a specific standard of play is expected, no matter the circumstances. That is a standard Zidane’s side has fallen well short of in 2020-2021 for several games this season, the loss at the Mestalla included.

dark. Next. Real Madrid burning questions after loss to Valencia

Admitting the issue and taking responsibility is a good first step from Zidane. Let’s see what follows and if the team does the same. Because at the end of the day, these losses are more on the team than Zidane.