Former Spain and Real Madrid head coach Vincente del Bosque believes Isco must show “exemplary” behavior when he is left out of the team.
The talented attacker has seen his fortunes ebb and flow since arriving at Madrid in the summer of 2013, sometimes looking a key piece to the club and at other times stuck on the periphery.
This campaign saw Isco begin as an important fixture under new coach Julen Lopetegui, scoring two goals and adding an assist across La Liga and the Champions League.
But the situation has changed after Lopetegui’s dismissal following Madrid’s heavy 5-1 defeat to Barcelona, as new coach Santiago Solari has not valued Isco as much.
The attacker has yet to start a match under Solari, making just three substitute appearances, including a 27-minute stint in the shock 3-0 loss to Eibar last weekend.
Then Isco was left out of the team entirely for Madrid’s 2-0 midweek victory over Roma in the Champions League, with reports suggesting a rift between he and Solari, though the manager has denied it.
Del Bosque has now weighed in on the matter, telling El Larguero de la Cadena SER that while it falls on both coach and player to make a relationship work, Isco must not turn sour when he does not find his name on the teamsheet.
"Isco? The coach must do his homework and the player must know when he is playing and when he does not play, he must know how to behave in an exemplary manner within a group,” Del Bosque said.
Lopetegui’s short tenure have left Madrid in a difficult situation, with the club sitting in sixth place, six points off Sevilla at the top of the league and five behind Barcelona in second.
Solari not only has to salvage this campaign, but do so with the spectre of uncertainty surrounding him and the club.
Del Bosque is not a fan of the midseason change, claiming it undermines the overall position of the manager within the club.
“For all clubs, when they have to put a new coach is one of the more delicate things. There’s always disorder," Del Bosque added. "Either [Lopetegui or Solari] can lead the team, but this is very bad because it is a lack of belief in the coach."
Madrid look to follow up their victory over Roma when they host Valencia on Saturday.