Real Madrid: 3 takeaways from a dull draw with Osasuna

Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy
Real Madrid, Ferland Mendy (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

An issue with Ferland Mendy

Ferland Mendy is one of the best fullbacks in the world, and his defensive quality is a huge asset to Real Madrid. I can scarcely think of a better defensive fullback than the 25-year-old. However, Mendy is starting to show Madridistas why a better alternative is needed than Marcelo, since Mendy’s work in the final third still leaves something to be desired.

According to, Mendy completed just over 90 percent of his passes on Matchday 18, including two key passes. But those passing stats flatter Mendy. He had a few crosses that gave his teammates zero chance of putting a shot on target, and that’s become a common theme. For every great cross, Mendy has a handful of attempts that veer wildly.

There was one play near the end of the match that frustrated Madridistas, too. Mendy went for a right-footed (his weak foot) shot that sailed well over the bar, when he could have left it for a much more accurate shooter in Toni Kroos. You could point out that Kroos would have had to use his weak foot, too, but I think we can all reasonably agree that Kroos’ weak foot is better than Mendy’s.

I’ve seen Mendy go for shots outside the box with his weaker foot, and it never works out. Again, he’ll have one attempt that kind of comes close but then five that are clear let-offs. Those attempts are frustrating from the perspective of his teammates. They waste possession and are poor decisions that are also, quite frankly, selfish, especially when you consider there are better attacking options in front of goal than a weak-footed shot from distance by a defensive fullback.

But I will close things off by saying that Mendy was, again, excellent defensively and did better than usual when playing out of the back. I just wish he would work on this aspect of his game offensively, since it is vital for Real Madrid against these weaker, low-block-heavy sides.