So one of our favorite columnists over at AS, Elena Muñoz, just published a new column about some eye-opening statistics that reflect Madrid's play in the Auxerre match. She extrapolates that the results of her survey suggest that in Mou's 4-3-3, with the Lass-Xabi-Khedira "trident," Madrid controls the possession and flow of the game more, but also has much less offensive profundity.
Here are the comparisons broken down into a chart:
RMCF v. AJAX || RMCF v. AUXERRE
Poss. 59% || 64%
Shots(OG) 35(15) || 16(6)
Fouls 7 || 20
While the midfield "trident" is certainly effective at keeping the ball, it seems to sacrifice when it comes to offensive efficiency, which has always been a staple of los blancos' play. A midfield trident--or a 4-3-3 if we want to refer to formations (which is a concept that we here at Managing Madrid don't like)--is also the staple of the Barcelona teams of Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola.
The formation is perfectly suited for a high-possession, pick-your-spots type of game, but does it line up well with Madrid's culture? Are we ready to sacrifice our quick-strike, vertical game for a more possession-oriented style of play?
I don't think so, and I say that for two reasons: first, Madrid was better against Ajax than we were against Auxerre--we created more chances, and could have won 5 or 6 nothing. Second, we need to develop our own identity, not poach off of Barça's approach: our most successful teams have played with a vertical, fast-paced offense--that's the Real Madrid way.
But we're not sold on this necessarily, and would love to know what you think!