Real Madrid C.F. Don't Want Goalkeeper Debate This Season
Slammed for letting Atletico Madrid score freely, Iker Casillas has been under some pressure but coach Carlo Ancelotti says there is no debate about who should guard the goal in La Liga and Champions League.
Real Madrid C.F. coach Carlo Ancelotti made it clear that he does not want the current season to be dominated by a debate over who should be his side's first choice goalkeeper.
Last season saw the debate rage over whether Iker Casillas or Diego Lopez should be first choice for the club, a debate Ancelottti managed by playing Lopez in the Spanish Primera Liga and Casillas in the Champions League and King's Cup, reports Xinhua. (Also read: Real Madrid C.F. Face Basel in Champions League)
Lopez was sold to AC Milan this summer, but far from dying down, the debate has intensified following the signing of Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Navas has so far only made one appearance for Real Madrid and Ancelotti has put faith in Casillas, but the poor form of the club captain and rumours about him being the source of leaks to the press have turned a sector of the fans against him.
A loud ring of boos echoed at the Santiago Bernabeu every time Casillas touched the ball during Madrid's 1-2 home defeat to neighbours Atletico Saturday night.
Polls in both of Madrid's pro-Real newspapers show the majority of fans want to see Navas get his chance against Basel when Real Madrid open the defence of their Champions League title Tuesday night, but speaking in his official press conference, Ancelotti made it clear he is sick of the debate.
"For me the matter is closed. I have made myself clear. I'm not going to fuel a debate that doesn't exist within the squad. I will not speak about the goalkeepers this season," said the coach, who believes Casillas can take the criticism.
"Casillas has a lot of experience, he understands the situation very well and I will sort it out without any problems," continued Ancelotti, who said criticism from the ever-demanding Real Madrid fans was to be expected.
"The fans follow what is happening on the pitch. If we play well they get behind us. If we are not playing well it's normal that they demand more from us."
Real have had a poor start to the season with just two wins and three defeats from six competitive games this season, a statistic which has set alarm bells ringing, but Ancelotti believes he just needs time.
"I have a very good, very competitive squad and the players feel the same. None of our players have any doubts and they are all very happy to be here. The quality in this squad is among the best in Europe."
"We have to get used to new players and try to play with more spontaneity. We have players who didn't arrive until the end of August and we haven't had much time to train with them. They need time," he insisted.