How does Mourinho solve his striker conundrum?


Real Madrid have had the fortune even during unfortunate times to always having at least one striker who is on fire, figuratively speaking. Last season it was Higuaín, this season it is Benzema. Benzema who only was given a chance because of Higuaín’s injury last season. Now it’s the other way around.  Having met Espanyol on away soil, where Higuaín scored a hattrick, the team is starting to find itself, or at least the team’s attackers are doing so.

There has been heavy criticism directed at the midfield and defence this season, as things just haven’t looked solid. But it’s goals that football are about, and if Benzema misses a match because of a nagging injury, then dear Gonzalo needed to take his chance and as chance would have it, he surely has.

Another fact is that Higuaín has scored almost everytime he’s been  in a white shirt this season and it’s for this reason that Mourinho will have to wonder about who to pick. Higuaín may sit on the bench but everytime he has played this season he’s had an immediate impact on the games, something Mourinho will surely be aware about.

And yet it is strange that he has not tested playing them both at the same time, especially when Özil and di María have had below par performances on numerous occassions this season. Surely there must be place for both in a starting eleven sometime when the team are chasing a goal? But we also know that Benzema does not like it when playing on the wing. But for the ultimate Real Madrid, this season, we need to see both playing together.

With Real Madrid playing the 4-2-3-1 there is only a need for two strikers in the troop, yet those around the club always speculate as to when Neymar dos Santos will join them. Of course that ridiculous transfer story is a whole different matter. Higuaín says that he has suffered a lot to perform this comeback and that he needed a game like this. Now it’s all in Mourinhos hands, whether he will rely on Benzema, based on previous form or if Higuaín’s rebirth is what the club needed.

The way i see it, playing Benz or Gonzalo depends on who is going to play just behind the attacker. If it’s di María then I’d go for Higuaín, and if it´s Kaká then Benzema. Then of course the team always have spaces open for Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Özil.

Higuaín further points out that this team is going to win titles and beating Espanyol with 4-0 away from home is a first step. There have been reports that the team has been split these past few weeks, despite a Barbecue gathering lead by Mourinho being the image the club wanted to show the world this week.

But these kind of events are only made for the media to take some pictures and then state: “Everything is ok now” when in fact it is widely known that some players do not see eye to eye with each other. This is probably an affect of  Mourinho’s dynamic way of coaching a team. Mourinho loves competition for places within his club, but  he will still need to prefer one over the other in the long term. The same goes for the dynamics within the group.

Ultimately, I think Benzema has done enough to be given the chance, ahead of Higuaín. A hat-trick is a big achievement, especially being away against Espanyol, but it won’t necessarily land you a starting place in the eleven. Mou has been quite clear this season that this is Benzema’s time.

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