No coach is indispensable at Real Madrid, Santillana warns Ancelotti

The former Spain striker hopes the Italian can turn the side's season around, but admits he will be under pressure if he cannot get the best out a talented group

EXCLUSIVE
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

Real Madrid legend Santillana has warned Carlo Ancelotti that no coach is indispensable at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid won the Copa del Rey and the Champions League in Ancelotti's first season in charge, but he has overseen a shaky start to the 2014-15 campaign, with three defeats in the last four games.

The first of those saw Madrid miss out on the Supercopa de Espana against Atletico, while back-to-back Liga defeats at Real Sociedad and then at home to Atleti again have seen the Blancos slip to 12th in the Primera Division, already six points adrift of fierce rivals Barcelona.

Santillana, who won 15 trophies in a 17-year spell at Real between 1971 and 1988 and scored 290 times for the Spanish side, believes Ancelotti has enough quality in his squad to turn the team's season around - despite the summer sales of Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso.

"Ancelotti has a tremendous squad," the 62-year-old told Goal. "Even though Madrid may miss Alonso and Di Maria, there is sufficient quality in that squad for the coach to work with. He needs to be patient, find a way of putting the players in the positions which best suit the team and build a compact side.

"I hope he can turn it around, but nobody is indispensable at Real Madrid."

Meanwhile, the former Spain striker suggests the club need a better balance in terms of their signing policy.

"We all know about the strategy of [Madrid president] Florentino Perez," he said. "He wants to bring in the best players in the world and there's a lot of marketing involved. They are great players, but that's not always a guarantee of success. You could recruit all of the best architects, but that wouldn't mean they would necessarily construct better buildings.

"Look at Atletico, for example. They have an inferior squad [to Real], but Diego Simeone transmits his message to the team and gets 200 per cent out of those players. They are humble and each one works for his team-mate.

"At Madrid, the best thing would be to have a signing strategy that's 50-50 - half about business and half thinking about players who will fit into the team and improve the side."