Real Madrid: Should Miguel Gutierrez start over Marcelo?

Real Madrid, Miguel Gutierrez (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Miguel Gutierrez (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid dropped points again in a tightly packed league race in Spain. Before starting the game against Sevilla, the title’s destiny was in the hands of the Champions. But, as things stand right now, they’ll have to wait for a slip-up from their city-rivals Los Rojiblancos.

Several players have enticed fans while few have only raised eyebrows around pundits. However, one complimentary discussion often finding its way in, is the splashes of bright display from Miguel Gutierrez, a Castilla prodigy. And inversely, Marcelo’s questionable run of displays.

A standing question thus is should the young, full of potential Miguel Gutierrez start in place of a much more experienced veteran, Marcelo? In the very first look, it may be too soon to consider this replacement.

The young Castilla left back has had only three appearances so far. No doubt, he has looked bright handling the responsibility but isn’t three appearances too less to generalize?

Marcelo’s poor run of matches

The answer to the question inversely may also be found through Marcelo’s performances. How bad has he been for Los Blancos? Firstly, a clear indicator, Marcelo hasn’t reached the 90% passing accuracy mark since his appearance in El Clasico, at times, dropping as low as 70% in the 3-0 away win at Cadiz, per WhoScored.

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The foreign player with the second-highest club appearances is just not what he was at his prime, and that is something both fans and the club management should admit. The audacity of Marcelo’s play remains. He pulls off unimaginable flicks and skills at times but his pass completion and weary handling are pulling him down.

Furthermore, Marcelo just isn’t playing positional. It’s not clear if it’s an instruction from the bench or a personal issue. He is brought as the left-back. But, for most of the match-time, Kroos drops to become a part of the backline while Marcelo tries his luck up wide, again, without results.

An opposing opinion can be Marcelo’s crossing and inch-perfect ball delivering and if that is a fair price to pay if dropping him means a little less threat of inswingers from down left?

Here, however, Gutierrez comes to play. A certain 2-0 home victory against Osasuna comes to mind when the young left-back over his limited 26 minutes game time had a decent collection of in swingers into the box.

Per WhoScored, Gutierrez ended the match with a 100% passing accuracy and 2 completed longballs, and one key pass. And, remember that’s a defender we are talking about not an attacking midfielder. Defensively, Gutierrez has been bright though he had fairly fewer chores to do. But whenever on the ball, he has looked precise with his passing and very comfortable in clearing off opponents.

The case for why Miguel Gutierrez should start over Marcelo

Hence, the biggest question remains, should he start? In my opinion YES, he should. He should because Real Madrid has only three matches remaining in the league and they aren’t controlling its destiny. Even if, they manage to go on a winning run from here on, they’d have to look for Atletico Madrid to slip up for the league crown. And well and truly, this is the time to play all the cards for Los Blancos. Miguel Gutierrez surely can be one.

Real play Granada, Athletic Club, and Villarreal in the remaining matchdays in that exact order. Granada upset Barcelona, Athletic Club defeated a visiting Rojiblancos team and Villarreal have reached the finals of the Europa League. Just a reminder to let all Madridistas know what these clubs have in their ranks. They are stubborn defenses who look to counter and counter dangerously on the break.

As such, playing Marcelo who would look to advance more often than not and someone like Kroos having to drop back can be disastrous. Playing Miguel would mean Kroos can stay focused on his play-making duties where the German excels. A solid two CB pairing in Eder Militao and Nacho and a – advancing and dropping per need – set of LB and RB in Miguel and Alvaro Odriozola is the way forward for Real Madrid.

Considering that Zinedine Zidane and his Real Madrid side are going to put in everything they have for the three remaining matches; in doing so they attempt to defend their title. The playing style is going to be similar to what we saw against Sevilla. The substitution of Marcelo allowed for Kroos to move up and Fede Valverde to play much more centrally, and we saw an instant impact. Such impacts could be made regular and dropping Marcelo is what can make it happen.

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It’s a hard pill to swallow but our world-class left-back just isn’t the same player he used to be in his prime. It is difficult to see such great players for the club struggle so much on the pitch and in the end becoming a reason for lost points. So in my opinion, it’s time to be a little shellfish in quest of the title and let the young prodigy a chance over the aging veteran.