Real Madrid vs. Barcelona: 5 burning questions after an unacceptable loss

Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Jovic, Carlo Ancelotti
Real Madrid, Luka Jovic, Carlo Ancelotti (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Why does Carlo Ancelotti hate Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic?

OK, I don’t actually know if Carlo Ancelotti hates these two players, or if he hates Gareth Bale, too, and that’s why he wasn’t in the squad at all for this match.

But I am baffled that Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic continue to play no sort of role for Real Madrid, even when they could make an impact off the bench.

In the case of Jovic, he really should have been starting. Even Hazard would have been a better option as a false nine than Luka Modric. There is no doubt that Modric is a world-class player who should start just about every match he can, but a false nine? Why did Carlo Ancelotti choose this experiment in El Clasico? Did he really think this would work?

Jovic was great against Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid the last time he got chances when Karim Benzema was injured. I am not going to pretend like he and Hazard are world-beaters or have shown any sort of consistency this season, but you cannot tell me that they offer zero to this team. They do offer something.

There is no doubt that Jovic is the best backup striker in the squad to Benzema. He is better than these failed false nine experiments and absolutely better than Mariano. We can debate about fit and whatever or babble uselessly about “pressing” (as if Real Madrid are ever good at pressing anyway), or we can state the truth. Jovic is a better striker than Mariano and a better fit up top than Modric or Isco.

Why he is phased out in this way is beyond me, but it also seems quite disrespectful. It is not as if either Jovic or Hazard behave unprofessionally, though they would have every right to display public discontent at being cast aside to rot on the bench.