Now that the 2014/15 season is over, Real Madrid can begin to reflect on what exactly went wrong during the campaign.
Despite investing heavily in new players such as Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, the team weren't able to find the formula to continue their good work from the previous, "La Decima" winning season.
Ending up with nothing but the Spanish Supercup and the Club World Cup was never going to be good enough to see Carlo Ancelotti keep his place as manager, and it was no surprise when his sacking was confirmed just a couple of days after the season ended.
Article continues below
Let's take a look at three reasons why Real had a particular poor nine months...
When Real were on their epic 22-game winning streak no one was questioning the fact that Carlo Ancelotti was picking the same XI week-in and week-out.
Article continues below
Confidence was sky high and why change a winning team right? Over in Barcelona, Luis Enrique was being lambasted for rotation on an almost weekly basis, but who has had the last laugh.
Winding down into the business end of the season, Barca have looked fresh and lively whereas Real have run out of steam in some matches. Kroos has done particularly well given that he has played the most out of everyone and had the least amount of rest after a stunning World Cup victory.
Gareth Bale's lethargy has probably been the most notable.
Whistling of Casillas
Quite what the Santiago Bernabeu faithful have been thinking when whistling, cat-calling and booing Iker Casillas is anyone's guess.
A player that has served them so well for so long deserves better treatment that he has received at various stages throughout the season.
We saw in the last few games of the season that it had finally got to him, and it's entirely fair to assume that his confidence will have been affected well before the last couple of matches, leading to elementary mistakes. If he decides to ply his trade elsewhere on the back of such ill treatment, then frankly the supporters only have themselves to blame.
Bale's second season woes
This time last season Gareth Bale could do no wrong. After a stuttering start to his Madrid career, the Welshman quickly go into his stride and his near €100 million transfer wasn't even a discussion point by Christmas.
He went on to become one of Madrid's most important players. Fast forward 12 months and Bale has been nothing like the player we know he is. Utterly devoid of confidence, his runs forward are no longer incisive or decisive, and his shooting has been particularly wayward.
We've seen fleeting glimpses of the speed and energy that Bale can provide when on top of his game, but that will never be good enough for Florentino Perez et al. If he is to say in Madrid, then he needs to capture his debut season form quickly.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms