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The seven sins of Ancelotti's Real Madrid

Are Real Madrid in a crisis or is it just a bump in the road? Why have they crashed after such a bright start to the season under Carlo Ancelotti?

Some of the problems that had existed under Zinedine Zidane have now returned having been briefly forgotten, while others have stemmed directly from some of Ancelotti's own odd decisions.

The best midfield in the world?

Ancelotti has said time and again that he has the world's best midfield at Real Madrid. He has a lot of options and competition, but the usual core have not been quite at their best this season. Casemiro is off form, Toni Kroos is just back from injury, and Luka Modric can't control it all himself.

Fede Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and even Marco Asensio have shown some positive signs when they've played.

A new problem of imbalance

This one is new. Zidane was clear about the squad he had, but Ancelotti has wanted to make changes. They're scoring goals, but they're also conceding and they can't get the ball back from opponents as quickly as the Italian would like them to.

Goal problems

Los Blancos were scoring for fun earlier in the season, but they've had problems of late against Villarreal, Sheriff and Espanyol. They're over-reliant on Karim Benzema to make things happen, with his support acts having slowed down again.

Injuries persist

Zidane's Real Madrid had 50 injuries last season, a long way more than anybody else competing for the title. Those concerns have continued and Ferland Mendy is still to make an appearance this season, while Dani Carvajal, Marcelo, Dani Ceballos and others have had worries. Even Isco, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz have too.

Continuous changes

Ancelotti keeps making changes to his team, and that has led to a little confusion. Camavinga has played in various positions, Kroos has taken Casemiro's role, and David Alaba has played in a handful of places already as well.

Nacho Fernandez is another who has been moved around, as have Lucas Vazquez and even Fede Valverde.

Hazard hasn't stepped up

One of Ancelotti's goals was to get the best out of Eden Hazard, but it hasn't happened yet. He has had his best start to a season at the club, but he is yet to force his way into the XI and lock down a place. Ancelotti has been clear that the No.7 needs a big performance to build his confidence.

Attitude or focus?

Ancelotti's side have conceded goals because of mistakes at times this season, and that was seen against Sheriff as well. He said that his players weren't aggressive enough, but questions have to be asked of the players' focus.

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