Real Madrid: 4 ways the defense can improve for the rest of the season

Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Raphael Varane of Real Madrid (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Real Madrid, Marcelo
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Avoid playing Marcelo as much as possible

As writers, we have a responsibility to be truthful, even when the truth hurts. Marcelo is a Real Madrid legend. At this peak, he was the best left back in the world, and nobody can ever take that away from him. His creativity, leadership, and all-around game made him one of the most feared wide players in world football in his prime.

But Marcelo is past his prime. He was still effective last season despite showing signs of slowing down, as his performance against Barcelona earlier this year showed.

This season, though, Marcelo has hit the wall. He has become a massive liability whenever he is in the starting XI, and it is especially disheartening to see how he almost gives up on plays defensively because he knows he doesn’t have the athleticism to get to the play in time.

Marcelo has been sloppy in possession. He’s given up goals single-handedly via either poor marking or simply not getting back defensively quickly enoguh. And he hasn’t done nearly enough offensively to make up for these massive defensive errors.

Since Real Madrid signed Ferland Mendy, they have never lost a single game in La Liga. Mendy is the world’s best defensive left back and maybe the best left back overall. He is incredible.

On the other hand, Marcelo has started in the three nightmare losses to Shakhtar Donetsk, Cadiz, and Valencia. He has allowed a goal in all of them via defensive error.

That should be enough of a sign to Zinedine Zidane that Marcelo can no longer be a starter.