Özil's sale to Arsenal has caused a lot more bother than Florentino would have expected.The squad, lead by vice-captain Sergio Ramos, and the fans have all made their displeasure felt. In our survey, 66.3% of fans said they disagreed with the move. The discontent will only grow with the news (which the club, lying through their teeth, tried to deny on Monday) that they rejected an offer for Khedira. Khedira is a good, efficient player, but no-one is pleased he is staying. For him, Madrid could have got the money they ended up earning from the sale of Özil (the club needed the money after breaking the bank to sign Bale). The decision is like selling a violin and holding onto a drum.
Ancelotti's move made sense in a way. The squad he has fits together well, with two players for each position: Khedira and Casemiro in defensive midfield, Xabi Alonso and Illarramendi ahead of them, with Isco and Modric the attacking midfielders. On the wings on one side there's Di María and Bale and on the other Cristiano and Jesé. Every position in defence is well covered, and let's not even talk about the goalkeeper situation. Up front, we have Benzema and Morata. That's quite a team. But the departure of Özil still hurts, you can tell. This is a player who the fans loved. And Cristiano saw him as his perfect partner on the pitch. Therefore, the arrival of Bale has left a stain.
Florentino made an ugly gesture during Bale's presentation, putting his finger to his mouth, to silence fans chanting Özil's name (it was the most watched video on As.com yesterday), a sign that something wasn't right. Perhaps Özil's place in the team was threatened more by Isco than by Bale, and maybe it's true that sometimes Özil gives up on the pitch. But given the offer for Khedira was for the same amount, Madrid could have still made the money and held onto Özil. Watching Modric play in a deeper role this season, the one he was used to at Tottenham, many fans envisage a pairing of Xabi Alonso-Modric. Viewed that way, keeping Khedira instead of Özil, preferring the violin to the drum, has grated with many people. And they are not hiding it.