How can Carlo Ancelotti fix Real Madrid’s offensive struggles?

By: Amir Elrafie

Gone are the times when Real Madrid were European football’s main attacking powerhouse. Explosive transitions, lightning-fast counter-attacks, and expansive football made Real Madrid into a fearsome attacking unit that instilled fear in the eyes of their rivals. Much credit can be given to former Real Madrid manager José Mourinho for giving Los Blancos this fiery attacking identity, as well as Cristiano Ronaldo being a significant source of the majority of Real Madrid’s goals. However, it’s clear that Real Madrid hasn’t been able to live up to the prominent attacking heights we were used to seeing from them. 

While the following ideas aren’t necessarily the “be-all and end-all,” they are certainly ways in which Carlo Ancelotti can revive Real Madrid’s attack and give them that fiery edge that they are lacking – or have been for some time now.  

A change of system 

While all eyes certainly point towards Real Madrid’s continuation of the 4-3-3 in the upcoming season, a change of formation could do justice in improving the team’s offensive struggles. Not to be harsh, but it’s clear that Real Madrid’s current wingers have not been providing enough, and playing more centrally could help fix this dilemma. 

With a shift to a formation such as the 4-1-2-1-2 diamond (as used in the 16/17 season), this would allow for more central play and would see players such as Martin Ødegaard, Isco, and even Eden Hazard play a free role with more responsibility to aid in the build-up phase. The presence of a free-roaming number 10 could do wonders for the attack as having that creative spark could be the missing piece to the puzzle.  

Healthy rotation 

For the past couple of seasons, Real Madrid’s main attacking threat has come from Karim Benzema. While he has been providing at the right moments, there have been times where this overreliance has cost Real Madrid. There needs to be a healthy continuum where all of Real Madrid’s attacking options can be counted upon, not just solely relying upon the efforts of Benzema. 

If you’re looking for some examples, look towards Real Madrid’s sporadic use of Gonzalo Higuaín and Benzema, as well as Álvaro Morata’s impact in the 16/17 season. In both cases, Higuaín and Morata were players that provided rotation and competition for Karim Benzema. This ensured that Real Madrid did not heavily rely upon one player as the source of their goals, but it made the club confident in having consistent attacking options to rotate with. 

Similarly, if Luka Jović gets a good spell in the starting eleven, and is rotated consistently with Benzema, this could prove beneficial for Real Madrid as they would have another striking option to rely upon.   

A superstar signing

This one may seem a bit farfetched as today’s economic climate of football is making it difficult to sign just about anyone. However, signing a world-class attacker could solve Real Madrid’s attacking struggles. Players that have been heavily linked with Real Madrid have been Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland – both would be welcome additions to the current squad. 

Despite reports suggesting that it’s virtually impossible for Real Madrid to sign one of these two players this summer, Real Madrid will seemingly not give up in their pursuit of signing a superstar player, and it could ultimately be key in fixing the club’s attacking struggles. Whether it’s this season or next, Real Madrid must sign a superstar player for their attack. 


Fixing Real Madrid’s attacking struggles has to be Ancelotti’s main concern moving into the upcoming season. Changing the system to suit central play, having a healthy amount of attacking rotation, and signing a superstar player are just some of the ways that Ancelotti can fix Real Madrid’s offensive issues. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how the current manager will tackle this problem, but we hope to see Real Madrid return to being a fearsome attacking unit once more. 

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