Back to the drawing board

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courtois

Eibar 3-0 Real Madrid. No injustices, no injuries. No plan, no idea. Madrid were not only beaten against Eibar, they were humiliated. Nobody expected this.

With the result, Santiago Solari suffered his first defeat as Real Madrid head coach and dropped his first points. It was the first game since he signed a contract to become full-time successor to Julen Lopetegui. What a way to come crashing back down to earth.

It was, undoubtedly, Madrid’s worst performance of the season. Worse than anything endured under Lopetegui but while some may say the damage will take time to be fixed, the result shows one thing: the dressing room cannot simply be ‘massaged’ into playing well.

That was the suggestion captain Sergio Ramos put forward following the 5-1 thrashing at Barcelona in the wake of reports suggesting Antonio Conte was set to replace Lopetegui. That a figure similar to Zidane would come in, manage the dressing room and the players would do the rest. Solari was meant to be that man.

He may still be that man. Just like with the four-match winning streak Solari watched over, this one match should not open a sea of criticism. There should, however, be plenty of concerns.

Casemiro aside, the players out on the Ipurúa pitch were all regular first team players. Solari fielded what he believed to be his first choice XI, with Dani Carvajal also returning and both Isco and Vinicius Jr. coming on from the bench. Madrid were devoid of ideas and could not find the answers to Eibar’s play.

It will be a wake-up call for Solari and his players. Roma awaits in the Champions League on Tuesday and after this result the Italians will be licking their lips. It could also act as the perfect response for Solari and co., however.

This Madrid team needs plenty of work.

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