The new Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari discussed the strengths of his squad after registering his debut win in LaLiga against Real Valladolid.
Published By: Nirbhay Singh
Real Madrid are back to their winning ways after registering their first LaLiga win in past 5 games. The Los Blancos marked a 2-0 victory against the visitors, Real Valladolid. The goals came from Vinicius Jr whose shot was deflected twice to find the back of the net and the club captain Sergio Ramos who converted the penalty with yet another panenka.
The coach Santiago Solari who as of now is the caretaker in charge of the first team is content with the results and performances of the team. In his post-match press conference, the former Real Madrid player turned coach analyzed his squad strength and performance.
“Real Madrid needed the win. In a tough moment, it can be hard to win well and the game was a real challenge, tight, and scrappy, with a lot of counters. The group did fantastically well, they showed patience, managed the game well, did not lose shape and persevered to win.”
This was the first home game at Santiago Bernabeu for the newly promoted Spaniard. The coach expressed his feelings of managing the club in the same stadium where he once defended the badge on the pitch.
“I am used to this stadium but it is true that this is an important job with real responsibility. I have spent 11 years at the club in different roles so this feels natural to me.”
The game was in favor of Real Madrid who created several chances but could only settle for two goals. They narrowly escaped conceding as Real Valladolid hit the crossbar twice after beating the Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. Solari claims to know the sport well which doesn’t allow you to win every match with a greater difference.
“I want to be positive, not negative. I’d love to win every game 7-0 but I know how football is: it is tough and there are moments when the dynamics are better, times when things are delicate and require order, commitment, focus and competitive desire. Football is all about state of mind, emotions, self-confidence. After the goal, the game changed and things began to flow on the pitch. It was crucial that we got the goal and kept a clean sheet.”
Real Valladolid entered the pitch with stats in their favor. If last 5 LaLiga games were to be considered then they were the table leaders while the mighty merengues were at the last spot. Valladolid also came with the reputation of second-best defense in Spain according to the figures.
“Valladolid were a very tough nut to crack, as their position in the table shows. They cause damage whenever you leave gaps and it was a bit of a banana skin fixture because we needed all three points.”
Solari who managed Vinicius jr with Castilla offered him some minutes with the first team. The coach was proven to be right by the Brazilian wonder kid after he scored the winner just 10 minutes after coming in at 73rd minute of the game.
“I’ve told Vinicius to be bold, to take people on defend doggedly, he knows all of this and he doesn’t need me to tell him. He’s got his whole career ahead of him and any assessment will have to be made in twenty years’ time.”
While he gave some advice to Vinicius Jr, Solari also defended his other misfiring forwards such as Bale and Benzema who were booed by the fans in the stadium for lacking to finish the chances.
“People lose their heads quickly. If Bale scores a goal tomorrow, everyone will be celebrating. He can play in any position because he has so many good qualities. I’m not going to discover anything about Benzema at this stage. He’s a one-off in his position, he’s exquisite, very technically gifted, and doesn’t only do the work required by a number nine, but also drops deep and gets the best out of his teammates.”
So far the sample size to judge Solari is limited to only 2 games. However, many of the Madridistas feel that he is reminiscent to Zinedine Zidane. In terms of their poor record with Castilla, calm personality, man-management, mid-season caretaking appointment, player to manager shift, and most of all the debut record. It is not highly unlikely for Solari to continue for the rest of the season as no other coach whom Real Madrid want seems to be available.