Xabi Alonso discussed Carlo Ancelotti's demands, which could have led to decision to axe Mesut Ozil.
Mesut Ozil's sale from Real Madrid was a decision which shocked the entire football world at the time.
From Arsenal's players to Real Madrid's none of them could quite believe manager Carlo Ancelotti had sanctioned the switch, with even Cristiano Ronaldo speaking out to express his displeasure.
A snapshot of this particular moment in time shows Madrid, rather than Arsenal are looking the best for it - top of La Liga and a Champions League quarter-final place assured, while the Gunners sit third in the Premier League and Ozil is drastically out of form.
Ancelotti explained in October that he decided to sell Ozil because he felt Di Maria more important to the team as a unit.
"It's true, that maybe Di Maria has less quality than Ozil but on a profile of dynamism, character and help to the team I preferred Di Maria.
"With the arrival of Bale it was better to have Di Maria than Ozil."
Words from former Liverpool man Xabi Alonso in an interview have hinted at a more uncompromising Ancelotti, who does not accept poor performances or lack of team spirit.
Alonso told Mundo Deportivo: "He has a personality that lets him manage your dressing room with talent and enjoys talking with players. He combines all this with great authority.
"When there is need for demand, he does so. Ancelotti is much more than your image of a quiet man. Whoever does not gives one hundred percent is punished, I can assure you."
It's with that where memories of Ozil's last display for Real Madrid are evoked. Unhappy at being played on the right, he was substituted against Granada and stormed off down the tunnel. Days later Ancelotti sold him.
Such sulky body language has become a theme of Ozil at Arsenal in games they have been badly beaten, losses to Liverpool, Manchester City and Bayern Munich cases in point.
It makes you wonder whether Ancelotti had sussed out Ozil in just a few weeks and felt he was a bad fit either for his system or his management style, gladly passing his enigma onto Arsene Wenger to try to unlock.
Ancelotti's ruthless streak he displayed with the German was a warning served to all of the Real Madrid players, and while a huge gamble, so far it's one he is winning.
image: © Jan S0L0