Real Madrid Femenino: 5 things we have learned from the 2020-21 season thus far

Real Madrid Femenino, Kosovare Asllani (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid Femenino, Kosovare Asllani (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid Femenino, Thaisa
Real Madrid Femenino, Thaisa (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Midfield conundrum

Real Madrid have fielded a total of six midfield combinations but have yet to find one coherent unit that can be classed as the best. They have experimented with a double pivot and a midfield 3. Las Blancas have tried the following combinations so far in the season.

Kaci-Maite-Teresa (x5) (4W, 1L)
Kaci-Maite-Thaisa (x2) (1W, 1L)
Kaci-Maite (x2) (1W (Rayo Vallecano), 1D (Valencia))
Kaci-Teresa (x2) (2W Deportivo and Betis)
Thaisa-Teresa (x1) (1L, UDG Tenerife)
Thaisa-Kaci (x1) (W, Eibar)

Kaci has been a mainstay in the midfield for the team, having not made the starting XI just once in 13 games (coming on as a substitute against Granadilla Tenerife). She has amassed the 2nd most mins in the squad only behind Misa. Maite is the 2nd most used midfielder, starting 9 games despite her injury this season. Teresa comes in at 3rd followed by Thaisa, who has struggled with fitness so far this season.

Real Madrid have fielded the same midfield in consecutive games just once this season, this is partly down to fitness issues in the midfield with both Maite and Thaisa having had problems. The midfield 3 of Kaci-Maite-Teresa have started together 5 times & Real Madrid has won 4 out of those 5 games against (Huelva, Espanyol, Sevilla & Athletic Club).

The Kaci-Maite-Thaisa duo on the other hand has played together twice & won 1(vs Levante) and lost 1 (against Atletico Madrid). The other combinations have had their share of successes but we have to keep in mind the opposition.

The Kaci-Teresa-Maite midfield seems to be a sensible option going forward but having Thaisa back in the mix is something to consider as well. Thaisa has struggled with her form since returning but getting her back to form will be important as she can be crucial for the side as she can provide the defensive cover to the backline while managing to pull the strings from behind, so far none of it has been on display though.

With Maite and Teresa in the midfield, Real Madrid often circulate the ball a tad bit better but defensive cover from the midfield is lacking at times given how both of them like to join the side in the attacking end. Even with those players, Real Madrid has failed to assert themselves in possession often leading to sloppy sequences in possession giving the ball away.

It’s something Real Madrid & Aznar will have to find a balance between fast enough and decide on how they want to approach the midfield conundrum. Finding solutions to how Real Madrid can deal with the opposition press as a unit when they have press-resistant players like Maite and Teresa should be training ground homework.

Going forward and against big sides, the battle of midfield is decisive for the result of the game. The midfield issue is particularly important in bringing out the best from their Swedish star, Asllani, as playing a midfield 3 would largely mean Asllani having to function as a lone striker. It’s a delicate balance that Real Madrid might need to strike.