Florentino Perez continues to keep a close eye on the coaching market following the departure of Julen Lopetegui, yet Santiago Solarihas earned the right to coach Real Madrid until Christmas.Having initially been intended as a stop-gap whilst Perez pursued alternative options, most notably Antonio Conte, Solari has stepped up from his post as Castilla coach with the utmost confidence and poise.
After the disaster in the Clasico, Los Blancos have needed to build themselves back up gradually with a run of three successive victories in al competitions, scoring 11 goals in the process.
It’s this last statistic which is the biggest cause for positivity around the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu with Lopetegui having presided over a club record goal drought, one which lasted approximately 482 minutes.Melilla, Real Valladolid and Viktoria Plzen aren’t opposition of the highest calibre, yet confidence was so low at Valdebebas that these results weren’t necessarily a given had the former Porto coach remained in charge.
Solari was given the task of firefighting, he needed to stop the bleeding Los Blancos’ had suffered whilst all trophies on the table were still realistically winnable.
It remains to be seen how the LaLiga Santander table will eventually shape up, especially with Barcelona sitting comfortably atop the pile right now, however the Argentine coach has steered the team to the cusp of the knockout phase of the Champions League.
Now the objectives change, the sole focus is now on closing the gap between Real Madrid and Barcelona domestically and it’s likely Solari will be given until the winter to do that.
One of the reasons why a new coach hasn’t been appointed externally is that those in power at Los Blancos are aware that this recent upturn in form could quickly change, and there may need to be a boost injected by the appointment of a stellar name.
Dani Carvajal says sacked Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui was the best coach he’s ever had. pic.twitter.com/Cxs2xDIPg5
— Coral (@Coral) November 5, 2018
Despite his obviously pleasing start, Solari’s position isn’t solid as yet with it widely accepted that a complete repeat of the exact process which led to Zinedine Zidane going from Castilla to winning multiple Champions League would be one step beyond implausible. As is becoming an annual tradition for the Spanish giants, the Club World Cup in December is another opportunity to lift a reputable trophy, although failure in Abu Dhabi could further damage Solari’s hopes of securing the job on a permanent basis.
The players are generally supportive of the 42-year-old as has been made clear by multiple interviews following recent victories.
“We’re working as if Solari were to stay with us for the entire season,” Nacho confirmed following the win against Melilla.”Why would he [Solari] not continue until the end of the season?” asked Karim Benzema in the aftermath of the 5-0 demolition of Viktoria Plzen.
For the moment this is an issue which moves to the backburner for Los Merengues with the Club World Cup and LaLiga Santander being the focus, and for as long as results and the atmosphere around Valdebebas improve Solari can count on his job for a little while longer.