Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas must be looking over his shoulder with increased frequency at present. Each mistake is being debated, dissected and pored over like never before.
The latest has seen his removal as number one from the Spanish national team, with Manchester United’s David de Gea replacing the international record appearance holder. A short, sharp shock may well be what’s needed for Iker to get his mojo back, but in the meantime, various media outlets are awash with the news that Florentino Perez wants de Gea to join the ranks in Madrid.
Evolution - at the managers behest
If Carlo Ancelotti feels that Casillas might benefit from some time out of the firing line, then Madrid have a ready-made replacement in Keylor Navas, signed to take the place of Diego Lopez in the summer window.
That in itself was another strange decision, given that Lopez had done little wrong to justify being shown the exit door. Real, of course, will always be in the market for the world's best players and perhaps if we are beginning to see the demise of one of Madrid’s best ever servants, then it’s entirely understandable the club will eventually look elsewhere.
Every career comes to an end at some point and the team evolves accordingly - but surely the decision on whom to buy and when is that of the manager? Indeed, the Italian has already fired a warning shot across the bows saying if any president picks the team for him, he will leave.
Navas would have to be first choice so why on earth would De Gea consider leaving Manchester United to become a reserve elsewhere at this point, thereby curtailing his own international career?
In the lead up to El Clasico, this is certainly a headache that Ancelotti can do without. Does the Italian leave out a clearly struggling Casillas for the biggest game of the season and give Navas the most difficult of debuts?
Or stick with his tried and tested custodian hoping, yes hoping, that he comes good again at the right time? Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t quite frankly.
Booing and whistling
The actions of those paying their hard-earned cash isn’t helping matters either. Continued whistling and booing of a player that has served you well for over 12 seasons is a shameful way to treat one of your own, but this is the conundrum that Madrid find themselves in at the moment.
How Ancelotti would love to have a goalkeeping situation similar to his opposite number on Saturday.
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