Normal service resumed.
Zinedine Zidane returned to the Real Madrid hotseat after leaving in the summer with a win against Celta Vigo.
With beautiful narrative reinstated Isco scored the first goal of his second reign before Gareth Bale wrapped up all three points.
While most of the squad were enjoying the manager who brought them a Champions League three-peat returning to his stomping ground, it could be very bad news for man.
Thibaut Courtois hasn’t really been able to win over the notoriously prickly Real Madrid fans since he was bought from Chelsea for £35m in the summer.
And what would be Zidane’s first move since retaking the reins? To drop Courtois in favour of Keylor Navas, who ended up keeping a clean sheet against Celta.
It won’t come as much of a suprise to many Madrid fans as Navas was the man Zidane trusted between the sticks to bring home three consecutvie European titles.
If anything the Real Madrid legend may have thought his Costa Rican shotstopper was being treated unfairly being dumped for the more glamorous Courtois.
However, the Belgian has been derided as a liability on several occassions this season, essentially because he isn’t David De Gea, but his stats reveal just how difficult he has found life in Spain this time round.
In the league Courtois has conceded 30 goals in 24 league games and kept just eight clean sheets.
He is way behind the league leader and direct rival Jan Oblak who has completed 15 shutouts in 27 games and only conceded 19 goals in total.
Real Madrid have a lowly 28.6% win ratio when Courtois is in the team this season which shoots up to 60% without him in all competitions.
He is in the worst form of his career at Real – conceding an average of 1.32 goals per game or a goal every 68 minutes, way up on his averages at Chelsea (0.98 goals per game) or Atletico (0.81).
Courtois hasn’t kept a clean sheet since the beginning of February and in the last few weeks he’s two at home to Girona, lost to Barcelona and then let four past him against Ajax in the Champions League.
To be honest, we are not sure why Solari didn’t drop him for Navas sooner.
But with Zidane back in charge it looks like Courtois’ position in the squad could be in real trouble already.
“Thibaut has shown he is a great keeper but I want Keylor to feel important too,” Zidane said after the match yesterday.
“I don’t forget what he has done. He has played less but he has to play.”
In addition to being dropped for Navas, the rumour mill is already into overdrive about Real making De Gea a priority for the summer.
According to The Mirror Zidane is a huge admirer of the Spain no.1 and is prepared to splash some of his new transfer kitty on the Man United man.
So whether it is being dropped for La Liga games or being replaced by a mega-signing at the end of the season, Courtois could slip to third choice keeper while Zidane is in charge.
Many Atletico and Chelsea fans will think it as just desserts.
READ MORE FROM DREAM TEAM:
- Jose Mourinho’s notes on Barcelona from the 2005/06 season are tactical porn
- If Virgil van Dijk doesn’t win Player of the Year then what hope do defenders have?
- Thibaut Courtois’ horrific blunder rescued by a Champions League debut for VAR
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