Time running out for Schuster

Valladolid 1 Real Madrid 0

The Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster will be given one match to save his job when club directors meet today, after being beaten 1-0 by modest Valladolid on Saturday – the current champions' third loss in four games.

"The defeats have come in different competitions," Schuster said afterwards as if that meant the run did not count. In the eyes of some Bernabeu power-brokers the fact that Real Madrid have spread their poor form across three tournaments only makes matters worse.

They are now out of the Spanish Cup after losing in midweek to a third division team and they have complicated their Champions League qualification by losing at home to Juventus. Not since Vicente Del Bosque, who took the job in 1999 and left in 2003, has a coach survived into his third season and Schuster looks unlikely to buck that trend. Since Del Bosque, six coaches have come and gone in five years and Schuster (right), having won the league in his first season, now appears to be on borrowed time in his second. "I don't deserve to be asked that," he said after being questioned whether he was capable of turning Madrid around.

His supporters argue that his league win last season means he deserves time. But his detractors say he only won the Spanish title on the coat-tails of now-England manager Fabio Capello, who won it the previous season. If Schuster loses next week's home match with Recreativo de Huelva his critics will get their way and he will be gone. Successors are already being lined-up. Juande Ramos might be damaged goods after his failure at Tottenham but his success at Seville means his stock is still high in Spain and he has supporters inside the club.

Others favour promoting the technical secretary Miguel Angel Portugal who played for the club and is the former youth team manager. The youth team coach and former Spain winger Michel also has his supporters.

"We are content with Schuster and we have full confidence in the coaching team," said captain Raul after the game but on the pitch the players failed their coach when he needed them most. They huffed and puffed against a side that only last week were hit for six by Barcelona but they failed to score in a league match for the first time this season. As a result Nestor Canobbio's second-half strike was enough to win the game although a point-blank save from the outstanding Sergio Asenjo to deny Raul was still needed before the home fans could celebrate a famous victory.

The former Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze added to Real's misery by getting himself sent off with three minutes left and afterwards he did little to talk up dressing room harmony. He said: "I am just upset about the defeat. I would rather not talk about the things that are being said about the coach. There is no questioning the effort and the application of the players but nothing is going our way."

Schuster's greatest defence as he hangs on to his job might turn out to be the Cristiano Ronaldo saga. The German coach warned in August against spending too long trying to tempt one player at the expense of a viable Plan B. After the Ronaldo snub, Real made late bids for Valencia striker David Villa and Villarreal winger Santi Cazorla but both turned down the move.

Now with the winger Arjen Robben missing and the striker Ruud van Nistelrooy out for the season those failings are beginning to take their toll.

Last week Madrid enquired after the out-of-favour Internazionale striker Hernan Crespo with a view to a January move. But Jose Mourinho has suggested he will not aid a potential Champions League rival saying: "If Crespo is important for Real Madrid, then he is also important for us. The winter transfer window is nearly always for those teams who did not do their work properly in the summer."

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
videoWatch Lynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 pose for Children in Need 2001
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
books

Review: Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London