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A New Year must bring more consistency for Real Madrid

Since winning the La Liga title last season, Real Madrid have undergone a drastic change in fortunes with the capital side now 16 points behind league leaders Barcelona and all sorts of dressing room drama causing uproar.

21 April in Barcelona, Real Madrid arrived in full command of La Liga knowing that a win would all but seal title and put and end to Barcelona's dominant reign in Spain.

Jose Mourinho's side had not won at Camp Nou since 2007 which made their task all the more harder but a 17 minute opener from Sami Khedira and Cristiano Ronaldo's 72nd minute winner gave Los Blancos a superb win.

They returned to Madrid with their heads held high and despite a Champions League exit to Bayern Munich the capital side would celebrate their title victory like no other. It was a sign to Barcelona that times were changing.

Over in Catalonia it was summer of change as Pep Guardiola was replaced by Tito Vilanova, the man who was famously poked in the eye by Mourinho during the previous year's Spanish super cup.

In Madrid, much stayed the same and Los Blancos would soon be celebrating another victory over Barca, winning the Super Cup on away goals but things soon started to change.

An opening day draw to Valencia in September was followed by a shock 2-1 defeat to Getafe and from that moment, Mourinho has been unable to recapture the scincillating form his side showed last season.

Another loss to Sevilla and a draw with Barcelona saw them off the pace as the Catalans and city neighbours Atletico Madrid took control of La Liga but a five-game winning run saw Real get some much needed points.

However, that would soon count for very little as Real Betis would prove too good for a tired and jaded looking Ronaldo and co.

As the winter break approached all sorts of talk surrounded Mourinho and his position at the club, which ultimately saw results on the field take and even deeper turn for the worse.

A draw with perhaps La Liga's worst side this season, Espanyol, and a loss to Malaga has left Spain's most successful side battling for a Champions League place rather than the title.

Jose Mourinho has given his side very little time off over the holiday's in a bid to work on current problems that are hurting the team.

Defensively they have struggled with Pepe and Sergio Ramos struggling to understand which of them drops back and goes forward, plus at either side of those two, Real have no certain starters.

Alvaro Arbeloa, Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao, Michael Essien, Jose Callejon and Denis Cheryshev have all tried and failed to hold down a starting place.

Up-front, Ronaldo has looked the worst we have seen him in a very long time and it seems if the other eleven players are not performing then he has no will to either.

Mourinho certainly has alot to work on but their is no guarentee he will be coach when they return after president Florentino Perez took his decision to drop Iker Casillas against Malaga poorly, as you would imagine.

They return to action against Real Sociedad, a team who have infact put together a nice run of form this season before meeting Osasuna who are struggling for their lives.

Consistency is now key for Real Madrid if they are at least to make themselves a known element of the 2012/2013 La Liga season but they cannot afford to drop points as on the 3rd of March, guess what, they face Barcelona.

image: © cogocogo

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