Santiago Solari has largely halted Real Madrid’s faltering season since succeeding Julen Lopetegui as head coach but not everything has been plain sailing in his month in charge.
Los Blancos have won five of Solari’s six games at the helm, with a 3-0 loss at Eibar the only blot on the Argentine’s copybook so far.
But although a 2-0 win at Roma secured Madrid’s progression through to the knockout stages of the Champions League as group winners, Solari still has things to fix at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Those fixes are numerous but the only that stands out right now is the absence of Isco – not only from the starting XI but from the match day squad itself.
The former Malaga man had been absent as he recovered from appendicitis but Solari has dropped the Spain international recently, with reports suggesting a ‘lack of respect’ has been the reason for Isco’s absence.
Solari confirmed the absence was not due to fitness following the midweek win in Rome and subsequent reports suggest poor form in training and a failure to shake Solari’s hand following the defeat in Eibar, a match which Isco did not start, are the reasons behind the decision of the head coach.
Madrid return to LaLiga action on Saturday night when Valencia visit the Spanish capital and all eyes will be on whether the midfield maestro makes Solari’s team, a decision which could be made following Isco’s performances in training on Thursday and Friday.
It is not the first time a player and coach have clashed and although the full details remain behind closed doors, Madrid fans should stick with the coach as he looks to lay down the law to his charges.
With the right attitude, Isco is simply too good to leave out of the squad and on the bench for there majority of the time and when he returns his performance will be key to his future at the Bernabéu.