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Real Madrid Set To Sack Julen Lopetegui

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Julen Lopetegui

At Real Madrid, one thing which is most certain is the sack of Julen Lopetegui. The coach has seen the club suffering some of its worst defeat in its history.

According to reports, the change at the helm is imminent, as a result of results from the last few weeks have been far from pretty.

Madrid has gone five matches without a win across all competitions, four of those losses. They suffered through a club-record 481-minute scoreless streak, which ended on Saturday in a 2-1 loss to Levante.

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According to Spanish outlet Marca,  Lopetegui is on thin ice, as they maintain that he will be fired soon, “if it is not today, it will be tomorrow, or in the next week, or after El Clasico.”

However, the coach is feigning that he is not aware of his job insecurity. Lopetegui maintained his safe mindset after the Levante loss, telling reporters, “Right now that is the last thing that I’m thinking about. I feel more encouraged than ever to continue because the team gave their heart and soul on the pitch. Sooner or later we will come out of this. The dressing room was sad but the players are keen to lift themselves up and look to the next game. The players gave everything and we will get out of this situation.”

However, there was a Lopetegui quote following the loss to Levante that may reveal a little more about his current mindset. Lopetegui said, “Football will give back everything it has taken from us,” or, in other words, Lopetegui believes that Real Madrid’s performance will advance back to the mean. He clearly believes what is happening at Real Madrid does not need fixing, and if he continues to plow forward eventually things will correct themselves. While that may or may not be true, the points Madrid has lost in the La Liga table, and the positioning it has lost in Champions League play, cannot be recovered. There is serious ground to be made up in league play now with Barcelona four points ahead of Madrid, plus three other teams between the two sides in the standings.

While it was always going to take time to adjust for the loss of star player Cristiano Ronaldo, that alone is not the reason why Madrid has failed to put the ball in the back of the net. There is some bad luck involved as Lopetegui mentioned, considering they put up 3.26 expected goals and hit the woodwork three times in the loss to Levante, but they also had less than stellar performances against Alaves and Atletico Madrid, and they were soundly beaten by Sevilla.

 Lopetegui joined Madrid this summer having dumped the Spanish national team less than 48 hours before the start of the World Cup. Following his assumption of the job, he lost his opening match in charge, falling to Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in extra time.

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