A file photo of Real Madrid's Gareth Bale. Photograph:( Reuters )
Bale needs to step up and prove that he is capable of living up to the huge expectations of the club.
The current European Champions Real Madrid have been dealing with several 'real' problems of the club footballing world since the start of the 2018-19 season as their performance graph has dropped to an unexpected level.
The exit of Real's former coach Zinedine Zidane might have left the Madristas hanging by a thread. But the departure of Madrid talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to the Italian giant Juventus left a huge void in the squad.
Zidane's replacement, Julen Lopetegui, did not even lost halfway through the season before he was fired while not finding an appropriate replacement for Ronaldo further compounded the problems.
Due to the club's poor performances, especially after a 5-1 mauling by arch-rivals Barcelona in El Clasico, Lopetegui was sacked and former player and reserve team boss Santiago Solari was appointed as the interim coach.
During Lopetegui's 10 La Liga games in charge, Real won four, drew two and lost four.
Currently, the club is languishing at 6th place but they definitely have adequate time to bounce back and mount a serious challenge for the title and book a berth in next year's Champions League.
The problems are evident and the solution or the 'instant remedy' lies on a player who lived under the shadows of Cristiano -- Gareth Bale.
In addition to that, a proper management will do the trick.
Bale is a player whom Zidane has repeatedly misused and left out of the starting line-up in a majority of games in his last season as manager. Bale spent 2,362 minutes on the field and scored 21 goals, few decisive ones in the last season.
So far in this season, Bale has played 1,089 minutes and scored five goals for the club.
The strained relationship between Bale and Zidane may have led to the Welshman looking for an exit but the latest trends suggest that this is the best opportunity for Bale to emerge as the hero leave a lasting impression.
The 29-year-old can show-off his creativity for which he is popular among the millennials, while Dani Carvajal, Marcelo and Raphael Varane are struggling with injuries while Luka Modric, who was magnificent during Croatia's World Cup campaign is yet to recover from fatigue.
Apart from much-criticised goal-scoring problems, which resulted in the club's downfall this season, the defence has been exposed which resulted in club conceding many goals.
Amid the coach-controversy, inexperienced Alvaro Odriozola, in for Dani Carvajal at right-back and Sergio Ramos' performances have escaped criticism.
However, Bale's efforts will never be enough to clinch the title. The huge void that Ronaldo left can be filled during the winter transfer by bringing in a cutting-edge finisher like the Portuguese.
If Real wants to sail through this difficult phase, Bale needs to step up and prove that he is capable of living up to the huge expectations of the club as he did in the in the last year Champions League final to beat Liverpool 3-1 by scoring twice.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)