By 90Min
October 30, 2018

Interim Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari, who has temporarily stepped into the void following the expected dismissal of Julen Lopetegui on Monday night, may struggle to win over the players in Los Blancos' squad as he is not necessarily a popular choice.

That is the opinion of Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda, expressed during an appearance on El Chiringuito following the appointment of the Argentine.

Inda suggest that Real players 'do not have much sympathy for Solari', which could make it difficult for him to have a positive impact on results while the search for a permanent coach continues.

Solari has been promoted from being in charge of Real's Castilla team. It has already been pointed out that his record with the B team has hardly been outstanding after an 11th place finish in Segunda B (third tier) his first season in 2016/17 and 8th in his second season last term.

The fact that Castilla are currently 5th in the standings suggests things were improving, though.

The Spanish Football Podcast tweeted that Solari is a 'popular figure', although in what context is unclear. That appears to oppose what Inda claimed. Equally, it is feasible that he could be popular with some at the club and not others, or a likeable character but not a respected coach.

While there are similarities between Solari and former Real coach Zinedine Zidane in the sense that both were handed the first team reins after leading the B team, a BBC analysis from Spanish football writer Andy West has detailed where Solari is likely to experience problems.

Unlike Zidane, Solari has not previously been 'earmarked' as a first team boss. He also doesn't come into the job with a storied Bernabeu playing career behind after joining the club from city rivals Atletico in 2000 and making 148 appearances in five years, often as a substitute.

Before taking charge of Castilla, Zidane had been an assistant coach/adviser in the first team setup, something which Solari has never done, at Real or any club. It is also noted that his Atletico past and his praise of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, with whom he shares a hometown in Argentina, serve to make the 42-year-old 'something of an outsider'.

TORU YAMANAKA/GettyImages

It had been expected that former Chelsea and Juventus boss Antonio Conte would be the appointment to replace Lopetegui, but it is widely believed that Real president Florentino Perez is yet to agree personal terms with the Italian.

A further issue for Real is that the Spanish federation (RFEF) dictates that interim coaches can only be in place for a maximum of two weeks. If Real have not found a successor by the middle of next month they face having to appoint Solari permanently or find another stop-gap.

Real are next in action against lower league Melilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night, followed by games against Real Valladolid, Viktoria Plzen and Celta Vigo before the November international break when it is crunch time for Perez.

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