One-third of respondents to a poll by AS want Real Madrid to drop Cristiano Ronaldo. In another, simultaneous finding, one-third of respondents are idiots.
To be fair, Ronaldo did go a whole three matches without scoring in February, dropping his record to a lackluster 41 goals in 39 games for club and country this season. All-time in La Liga, he’s only scored 207 goals in 171 appearances. Maybe the fans are right, maybe El Real can find someone better. Why not just clone Isco and play him up front as well? They’d like that.
So far this month, Real drew 1-1 at home to Villarreal and then lost 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, ceding top spot in the standings to Celta Vigo. Hah! Just kidding. To Barcelona, obviously. And Marca freaked out just a tad, which may have aided in helping whip fans up into a frenzy.
Madridista memories of the 4-0 loss to Atlético a month ago are understandably fresh, especially since Ronaldo did not spend the aftermath of the match at home crying uncontrollably, but at his 30th birthday party crooning uncontrollably with a Colombian singer called Kevin.
To judge from the poll results (unless they’ve been hijacked by Barcelona fans –always a possibility with these things), Real fans haven’t forgotten that supposed Cristiano PR gaffe.
Really, though, Real’s players are being victimized by their fans for making the season up to this point look too easy. It is true that the team’s results have dipped in 2015 and that the attack is looking less sprightly than it did a couple of months ago. This is called the normal course of a season. If it were easy all the time, it would be boring. If human beings were consistent all the time, they would be robots.
Now it’s up to coach Carlo Ancelotti to tinker and get the freshness back, but dropping the world’s best player would be a perverse way of trying to do that.
More likely if Ancelotti reverts from his Fab Three to a 4-4-2, of course, is that Gareth Bale will get the ax, because he’s Not Isco. And that would sit well with the voters, as he came top of the poll with 46% of the vote. Yet Karim Benzema (five goals in the past three months) was the most popular of the forwards, getting only 21%.
But drop Ronaldo for briefly failing to live up to his own standards, which are so high that no one else on the planet has equaled them?
Did the Beatles put Paul McCartney on hiatus in 1966 because Eleanor Rigby only charted as high as number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100? Did John, George and Ringo sidle up to McCartney after a gig and say, “Look, Paul, you’ve done great work, Yesterday was a chart-topping instant classic, but we kind of feel that you’ve gone off the boil lately. Why not take a break, recharge the batteries. We’ve asked Pete Best to come back for a few weeks.”
No, they did not.