Carlo Ancelotti, Gareth Bale 'need time'
ESPN FC Extra Time
Former Real Madrid boss Fabio Capello says the club's current coach Carlo Ancelotti needs time to get things right at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
• Train: Madrid crisis talk premature
Saturday's 1-0 Primera Division home defeat to city rivals Atletico Madrid has set the alarm bells ringing at the Bernabeu -- with the Spanish press on Monday compiling a long list of things which had gone wrong during Ancelotti's first 100 days in charge.
Blancos captains Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas then reportedly convened a long ‘clear the air' meeting between the full squad and coaching staff at the club's Valdebebas training ground on Monday morning. That evening club president Florentino Perez and director general Jose Angel Sanchez had dinner with Ancelotti in upmarket Madrid restaurant Zalacain, while letting the media know the board was fully behind its beleaguered coach.
Amid the maelstrom the current Russia national manager told Al Primer Toque that some perspective and patience was required to allow Ancelotti and his new squad to become familiar with each other.
"The players are getting used to the change in the system of play," Capello said. "Carlo needs time. He has a great team. For me they are the biggest favourites to win the Champions League. There is no team with players like this."
Fans and pundits should also be patient with new €100 million signing Gareth Bale, Capello said.
"[Bale] is a great player, but we must give him time, so that he understands the style of football which Ancelotti wants," he said. "And that he gets fully fit, because he needs that. The pace he has, the shot he has, he needs to be 100 percent physically."
The Italian, who was in charge at the Bernabeu for the 1996-97 and 2006-07 seasons, said he like Ancelotti had had problems choosing between goalkeepers Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez.
"They have two great keepers," Capello said. "I know them very well because they started with me in 2007. The two are very good and I also found it difficult to choose between them. I picked Iker as he has been a great keeper. I am happy because Diego Lopez is showing an extraordinary level."
However, it was difficult to see the sense in the current coach's idea of playing Lopez in La Liga and Casillas in the Champions League, Capello said.
"It is difficult to understand that one plays in Champions League and the other in La Liga," he said. "You cannot change your goalkeeper as if he were a midfielder. It is a very delicate position."
The former England manager said he also did not understand why Madrid had let Mesut Ozil leave for Arsenal.
"I do not know that has happened there, I think [Ozil] is and has been a very important player for Madrid," he said. "A really top player. They made a mistake in letting him go."
Madrid fans who whistle Karim Benzema for a supposed lack of effort did not care so much when the France international was scoring goals, Capello maintained.
"[Benzema] is a player who gets the ball and sticks it in the net," he said. "He must be in front of goal, he is a quality player, a goal scorer. I believe people criticise him for not moving, because he is not scoring goals."