In the 270 minutes of League that Isco has played this season, he has made 8 dribbles. They may seem many or few, but there is only one teammate who surpasses him: Marco Asensio, who has 10, but with almost 400 more minutes of play. Maybe that serves to explain something of the monotony of the game of Madrid before the League took a break.
There are stops that cut the streak of some teams and that they feel bad because they change their mood and there are stops that, however, help to reflect on what is being done and recover the players who were touched, which is what what has happened to Real Madrid.
In this last week Lopetegui has been able to train at last with Marcelo and Isco, perhaps the two casualties that his team has noticed the worst in the worst days of the coach in charge of the white bench. It was after the defeat in Vitoria when Julen repeatedly spoke of the injuries to try to explain the scoring crisis. The Madrid, without overflowing or depth, returned to be a flat team, with a lot of possession that did not lead anywhere. And although the coach, until then, had avoided all the excuses, he considered then that the absences were affecting him negatively. Without Isco, the player who has the most capacity to overflow in the one against one; and without Marcelo, the side that opens the field, joined to the low of Carvajal, had been without their best weapons to change the way of playing and try other things when the games were twisted and the opponent was locked. Thus, without his most destabilizing players, despite dominating the matches, he was not capable of harming the opponent in any way.
Marcelo has been exercising all week with his teammates under equal conditions, already recovered from his injury in the soleus, while Isco has been doing it in recent days, already forgotten the appendicitis. For that reason, in Madrid they begin to see things differently. With them in the field, Lopetegui hopes that the team will be able to take advantage of the Andalusian's overflow to hurt inside and not die at the edge of the area and that Marcelo's attacking ability will open Madrid a way to reach the end. With Nacho, the team gains defensive security, but loses presence in attack. Benzema, who finished playing is also prepared. And with Bale you will have patience.
Only Carvajal will be missing, but the Basque coach knows that he needs a reaction to stop being in the spotlight because the patience of the club has reached its limit. During these two weeks he has been saved from burning and now everything depends on his ability to recover the image of the match against Roma. That is the example that is constantly put on the level that Real Madrid can achieve and the further away from that model, the more frustrating it is for the fans.
The Levante this Saturday is the first step and then the Viktoria Plzen, in the Champions League, two teams that would not have to give any problem to a Madrid full of faculties. But the team needs, rather than win, to regain the self-esteem that has been left on the road after four games without goals and the next two appointments will give the measure of the team before reaching the Camp Nou on Sunday October 28 .
The initial plan was that both Isco and Marcelo were having minutes to get more or less fully to the match against Barcelona, but the Brazilian can start from the beginning against Levante. Lopetegui has to choose what he does with Isco. You must decide if you give minutes or if you are a starter right away. If you need it already, urgently, or if you can keep the letter for Barcelona in what will be much more than a classic.