Real Madrid fans believe that their team is in a weaker position to challenge for the La Liga title this season, despite spending an estimated 117.5 million euros on new players this summer, according to the results of a poll in Spanish sports daily AS.
The Los Blancos board brought in James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas following their impressive performances at the World Cup, while they also negotiated a deadline day loan move for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez.
However, the departures of Angel Di Maria to Manchester United and Xabi Alonso to Bayern Munich, players who were influential to the Spanish club's "Decima" [10th] Champions League triumph last season, have left fans puzzled and disconcerted.
An emphatic 79 percent of respondents voted "no" when asked by AS on Monday: "Does Real Madrid have a better or worse template than last season?"
Cristiano Ronaldo has suggested that he does not completely agree with the transfer business done by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez this summer and that sentiment seems to have rubbed off on the club's supporters, who have been disappointed by the start to the new season.
Real Madrid lost the Spanish supercopa to city rivals Atletico, while they surrendered a two-goal lead at the weekend to suffer their first league loss of the season at the hands of Real Sociedad.
The reaction of the club's fanbase represents a huge contrast to last summer when fans applauded the arrival of Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti and the subsequent signings of eight players, including Gareth Bale and European under-21 champions Asier Illarramendi, Isco and Daniel Carvajal.
Ancelotti has admitted that he is under pressure to turn things around quickly at the Santiago Bernabeu, especially with the impending visit of Atletico after the international break.
"Something must change and will change," he said. "It's my responsibility."