When Real Madrid lost back-to-back matches in La Liga (vs Sociedad and Atletico) shortly after losing the Supercopa 2-1 on aggregate (to Atletico) and narrowly beating recently-promoted Cordoba 2-0 in La Liga’s first match, many predicted that this season might turn into catastrophic one for Ancelotti’s men. However, what happened next was something not even the most optimistic Madridista could’ve imagined. Real embarked on a record-breaking winning streak that is still ongoing with 22 wins under the belt. Real Madrid have broken the Spanish record for most conseuctive wins, most wins in a year, and most goals scored in a year. On top of that the team has lifted 2 of the 3 titles it has contested for in the first half of the season as they defeated Sevilla 2-0 in August and another 2-0 win vs San lorenzo in late December gave them their first ever Club World Cup title.
The following are rating for each position of the team based on their collective performance throughout the first half of the season:
Goalkeepers – 7.5/10
Perhaps the most talked about position before the season or at least in the very beginning of it. Iker Casillas’s form was a big talking point and wether Keylor Navas should replace him was a question many fans asked. However, with Ancelotti’s faith in hand and Iker regaining his form quickly, the ‘goalkeeping debate’ as it was known in Spain has been widely shut down with Casillas doing superbly (including saving 2 penalties in his last 3 games) and Navas getting sufficient playing time to keep him in match shape should he be called upon.
Defenders – 8/10
Real Madrid started La Liga by keeping just 1 clean sheet in their first 5 matches, that however quickly changed as Ancelotti’s men kept 6 clean sheets in the next 9 matches. Real Madrid also started the Champions League with 2 goals conceded in the first 2 matches before racking up 4 consecutive clean sheets in the next 4 matches as they finished the group stage with just 2 goals conceded making them the second strongest defence in the entire tournament this season. With Pepe, Ramos, and Varane; Real Madrid have an embarrassment of riches in terms of quality CBs as any of these 3 would easily make it into the starting line-ups of most of the big European teams.
Midfielders – 9/10
When Carlo Ancelotti took charge of Real Madrid he emphasised the need for a few things, mainly balance and proactivity. It can be said that he has achieved both of these things in the year and a half since taking over thanks largely in part to his midfield. With a midfield that saw the departures of both Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso, it must be said that Modric, Kroos, Isco, and James have done more than enough to prove that Real Madrid are more than 1 or 2 players leaving. The midfield now presses for loose balls more often than perhaps any Real Madrid team in recent memory. It also acts as a bridge between the defence and attack more clearly now than before as we saw how the midfield was mainly source of through balls for the attack while neglecting some defensive duties. A thing that we have seen Modric, Kroos, and James/Isco do incredibly well this season.
Forwards – 10/10
Rarely any football fans would argue against Real madrid being the team with the strongest attack in Europe right now. That may be largely in part to Ancelotti’s men scoring 55 goals in just 15 Liga rounds, a feat that is so impressive especially when you consider that no team in Europe has scored more league goals than Real Madrid this season. When you consider all competitions Real reign supreme as well as the team has scored an astonishing 89 goals in just 28 matches at a rate of 3.18 goals per game. To further put it into perspective, Real madrid’s famed BBC [Bale-Benzema-Cristiano] have scored 57 goals by themselves, more than any full team has managed so far this season. Needless to say, Real madrid pose a scary prospect to any team’s defence at the moment.
Carlo Ancelotti – 9.5/10
The only man who stayed calm and believed that things can be changed when Real Madrid managed only 2 wins from the first 6 matches in all competitions in 2014/15, Carlo Ancelotti promised better results after the Atletico loss at the Bernabeu and he delivered big time as the team won each of their next 22 matches in all competitions. Ancelotti also became the first manager ever to win 51 matches in a calendar year with a Spanish team while also setting the record for most goals scored with a Spanish team in a calendar year (178 goals). Ancelotti also became the first manager in Real’s history to guide the club to 4 titles in 1 year. That makes him the quickest coach in the club;s history to reach 4 titles, as he needed just 88 games.