Real Madrid: 5 burning questions from a dream win over Gladbach

Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Karim Benzema (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid, Vinicius Junior (Photo by Alejandro Rios/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

4. How patient can Real Madrid continue to be with Vinicius Junior?

I love Vinicius Junior and firmly believe he will develop into a star at the Champions League level, but he’s in such a difficult situation. Because of Eden Hazard’s frequent injuries, Vinicius has to start more games than what Real Madrid would like, because being a right-footed starting left winger for Los Blancos carries a massive weight of expectations. A player at that position is expected to produce and make minimal mistakes.

Vinicius is an exciting 20-year-old who has a lot to offer in terms of effort and passion, but he also makes a lot of mistakes. His weak foot appears to be non-existent, because there are so many great chances he passes up on that would require a hard left-footed finish. He had another one of those plays vs. Gladbach, as he decided to unconfidently square up for Karim Benzema as opposed to taking the shot, which crushed the attack.

But Vini doesn’t just make mistakes when attacking or shooting. He hurts the team when he drops deep to help Real Madrid build out of the back.

Let me give you two recent examples to illustrate my point. At Sevilla, Vinicius gave the opposition a great chance because he tried to single-handedly dribble the ball past three people near his own box. You just don’t do that. And then against Gladbach, instead of coming short to take a safe pass from Toni Kroos, he suddenly ran up the pitch, which led to a loss of possession. And Kroos had some words with Vini, telling him that they need to play safe passes out of the back.

These are simple mistakes that Real Madrid can’t afford a starting player to consistently make, especially when this player is losing the ball frequently and not contributing to enough goals to make up for the negatives.

Vinicius needs to have room to fail, and he needs to have the full confidence of an organization. Borussia Dortmund develops so many great talents because of this, but Dortmund doesn’t have the same pressure from the fans or higher-ups as Real Madrid. And that’s what makes me worried about Vinicius.