The first day that Santiago Solari He crossed the door of the dressing room of the first team of Real Madrid, his figure was not visualized by its members as that of a strange element. The Argentine, confirmed on Tuesday as Madrid coach until 2021, was a character who could be considered as an acquaintance among the staff, especially by the group of players who regularly exercised in Valdebebas during the stoppages of selections. Those weeks, some of his current pupils already trained at his orders part-time and even complete, in the days that Zinedine Zidane was also absent.
His recent arrival in the ecosystem of the first team has caused a sensation similar to that generated by the French in 2016. Although the players insist that they were committed to the idea of Julen Lopetegui, Solari has recovered some of the habits that most pondered Zidane and that move away to some extent from the figure of the Basque, a coach more strategist. They say wardrobe sources that maintain certain similarities in the background and in the form. They argue that, with the Argentine, as happened with the French, they are not forced to have to decipher continuously, as on occasions they did with Rafa Benítez or Lopetegui himself. Solari is observed as a former player who not long ago had to face situations similar to those that are now going through them and point out that there is a high degree of reciprocity between all parties: they see how the Rosario understands them easily at the same time. group does not have problems to understand him.
His football and work method is in the range of similarities observed by players. The libretto defended by Solari is closer to that of the French than to the one that Lopetegui tried to inculcate. The players who have coincided with them, either in the subsidiary or in the first team, point out that, unlike the Basque and in accordance with Zizou, Solari does not emphasize the strategy or the preparation of the matches. In the staff indicate that, so far, the planning has been based on brief talks, never exceeding quarter of an hour, in which the technician focused on giving some instructions and warn of the dangers, virtues and scheme of the rival of turn.
The perception of the template also extends to the communicative field. The regularity of the messages and orders that they have seen Solari give these two weeks is less than that posed by Lopetegui. The Argentine is not the type of coach prone to give instructions permanently. There are players in the quarry who are quite concise in their indications and who do not usually overwhelm with explanations or interrupt the sessions regularly to correct defects or warn of errors.
On the blackboard, he has already intuited concepts that he applied in Castilla. The main one, that its favorite game system is the 4-2-3-1, and that in some positions it requires specific qualities and functions. The sides, for example, have to be deep in attack, that's why had no hesitation in placing Reguilón instead of turning to Nacho. In the middle, escort the figure of the playmaker with two pivots to which he asks to keep the position and apply in the coverages and defensive tasks; and above, it does not bother him not to have the figure of a pure nine, but he prioritizes that of two extremes with overflow and imbalance. So far, he has relocated Bale on the left and has prioritized Lucas on the right ahead of Asensio or Isco, his most committed decision along with that of separating Keylor Navas from the Champions League.
The impression they have of Solari in the first template coincides in certain points with the personal radiography made by him of some of the young people who were under his orders in the quarry. They describe him as a man of humor, something unpredictable, but calm and correct in the deal. They assure that he is a reserved, even timid type, who used to interject suddenly the closeness with the coldness in the coexistence of the day to day. At work he was observed as an applied employee. It was usually evident that he obeyed orders from club and Zidane officials.
They also point out that it has a marked formative vocation and they do not hide that until the end of last season they had serious doubts that they would continue to lead the Castilla. A part of the group that made up the staff of the subsidiary and the first youth do not hide in private his predilection for Guti, coach of the Division of Honor until this summer and the only man who altered the always tempered mood of Solari.
The movements made by the Real Madrid squad between January and May, when the status of coach of Castilla was attributed, provoked the Argentine's indignation. Soon after, he was puzzled when he saw his excompañero announce on television that would leave the Madrid if they did not give him the bench of Castilla. Neither of them sensed then that the one chosen by the leaders for the subsidiary would only take three months to promote the first team.
The fate was for Solari, whose arrival, waiting for tactical solutions and role designation, is appreciated as a deja vu of Zidane's landing.