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Carlo Ancelotti speaks ahead of Las Palmas clash; Xabi Alonso, injury report and criticisms




Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media ahead of the 2023/2024 La Liga EA Sports matchday seven.

Real Madrid will welcome fifteenth placed Las Palmas to the Santiago Bernabéu on Wednesday night.

Regarding team news, only goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militão are out with long term injuries. At the time of the press conference, the injury to Arda Güler was not yet confirmed.

To begin with, the Italian manager spoke about the game on Wednesday night: “Each team has its characteristics and Las Palmas play well. They have quality. We think about winning again, reacting quickly after Sunday.”

Following the defeat to city rivals Atletico Madrid, there have been numerous criticisms from all angles. Ancelotti noted: “Critics are part of my position, of the coach’s work. When you go to Madrid and things don’t go well, they bloom. Logical. It doesn’t affect me. That said, I must evaluate the things that we are not doing well, which are few, but we have to work on them. My evaluation is different from that of many people. So far we have done well and we have to continue.”

Questions have been raised over the 4-4-2 diamond formation used this season. Carlo Ancelotti responded: “Each system has its weakness: the diamond is not perfect, but neither is the 4-3-3. Each formation has its weakness. The diamond allows us to press higher, be more energetic, but we can be misplaced. We are working on this. The problem is evident and can be fixed.”

Team news (before Arda’s injury)

“Carvajal, Güler and Vinicius? They are available, it’s very good news. Great sign. Tomorrow they will be ready, but I will evaluate the minutes to give them.”

On a renewal with the club

“I’m very happy here, everyone knows it. But it’s not the time for this.”

Five of the six goals conceded have been in the first 20′ minutes… How can a coach work on this? What can be done?

Ancelotti: “Pointing out that it is something that has happened too many times, pointing it out. We have to change the attitude of the first minutes, we know.”

On critics after defeat

“The public can give their opinion and say whatever they want. All ideas are respectful. But I can’t get into this. I have to evaluate things with more balance and, fortunately, I have it in my blood. I am a calm person, with the ability to evaluate things. Questioning a team that has won six games out of seven… seems too much to me.”

Will Arda play tomorrow?

“He is available. He’s missing minutes, a little physical condition, getting used to the team’s game, but that’s enough. In this time he has shown that he has an extraordinary talent and that is genetic.”

Why did you change so many pieces in the derby?

“Modrić could play in that position without problems and from Bellingham, I only changed the defensive idea, because in attack I had to do the same. I don’t think I changed so many pieces.”

Have you spoken with the defenders?

“We have seen the videos of the goals conceded and we know that we had to be more forceful.”

“It’s not true that I don’t dare to leave Modrić and Kroos on the bench. Here all the matches are important. If I have to answer all the criticism… pufff… I would spend a lot of time here (in the press room).”

“A lot of criticisms? Give me a summary of all the ones I’ve fallen for. Nothing bothers me, nothing, nothing. This is my job, as I said before.”

On the team’s weakness…

“It’s hard for us to control the bands, especially in our field. We must work on it. It’s something we saw in pre-season, but in the league we were working: only three goals conceded until Sunday. But there, we forgot what to do.”

Have you watched the derby again?

“Actually, what I said. From the goals, everything got more complicated. We were very close to equalizing, a lot. The summary is that we made some mistakes that cost us too much.”

Is the position of Vini and Rodrygo harming them?

“The mistakes that young coaches make is that they give too much information, in the ball game, to the players. And I, who am from the old school, give more freedom to creativity. Without the ball, everything has to be sacrifice and concentration. But with the ball there must be creativity. If they want to open up and attack by bands, I’m never going to tell them anything. I don’t want to diminish everyone’s creativity.”

Xabi Alonso coaching Madrid in the future

“I know him, I had him as a player. He has a huge football knowledge, doing great at Leverkusen. I wish him, like Raúl or Arbeloa, one day to coach Real Madrid. Because it’s the best. I love them very much. Hopefully one day they can coach this club.”

Does the diamond harm Kroos and Modrić because they are less physical?

“No. They can play on any system in the world. Because of the quality, knowledge and experience they have, they would have no problems playing in any scheme.”

When there are criticisms, in Spain they say “there is no puppet with a head left.” How are you seeing Kepa?

Ancelotti: “How? What does it say? Puppet with a head? [Laughs] I didn’t know. Well, Kepa has my total confidence, he is a very good goalkeeper and is doing excellently. The three goals conceded at the Metropolitano were everyone’s fault. I don’t like to point out anyone, let alone Kepa, who couldn’t do anything.”

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