Blogs & Opinion


Guillem Balague:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Cem Takaci on Making his mark

"Hi Guillem, all of this hype sourounding jose mourinho and the saying that the wave is swinging for real madrid right now. But once Jose leaves and it does seem that he will if not this... " View all comments

Siyavuya Zamxaka on Awesome foursome

"wonderfull column as always...I think Madrid have a better chance of winning the Cup game in all of these 4 games. This is because Mourinho can play any system and not worry about how ... " View all comments

False profit

Guillem pens part two of his Euro 2012 diary...

Guillem Balague - Guillem Balague Posted 6th June 2012 view comments

Guillem Balague will be bringing us the inside track from the 2012 European Championships in the Ukraine and Poland with his tournament diary.

The Spaniard will be watching his countrymen defend their title of Euro kings under Vicente Del Bosque and will bring Sky Sports the exclusive lowdown on his experiences at this year's big football event.

Silva: the Man City man has been in better goalscoring form than his nation's centre-forwards

Silva: the Man City man has been in better goalscoring form than his nation's centre-forwards

In his second entry, Guillem looks at the pressure on Spain to replicate their wins at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup, as well as the strength of Del Bosque's squad...

Part Two

Over the last few days, some key players from the Spain team have been coming together to remind their fellow countrymen, especially the headline writers, that this group has more than paid off the historical debt, and they feel perhaps now it's time to cut them some slack.

Two successful international tournaments in a row means the Spanish might deserve to be able to relax and enjoy the ride, rather than being weighed down by demand and expectation. If glory comes, it comes.

However, the co-ordinated effort by the players to reduce the pressure on them will fail - and should fail. In my opinion, it would be hugely disappointing, and a betrayal of those players' talents, if Spain were to aim for and accept anything other than a tournament win.

If they cannot accept the pressure that comes with the territory, of existing in that solitary place at the top of the tree where everybody wants to beat you and emulate you, then there is something wrong.

The absences of David Villa and Carles Puyol serve to remind us of their importance (Puyol has been invited to accompany the team for part of the tournament as a guest) and also highlights our weaknesses at the back (Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Piqué and Jordi Alba don't sound bad as a combo but unfortunately there are no replacements of similar quality or experience).

And up front (David Silva has scored more goals than the three strikers, Fernando Llorente, Fernando Torres and Alvaro Negredo, managed between them during the qualifiers). The solution? Keep the ball as far away from Iker Casillas and the goal as possible - and perhaps use a false striker in Silva, the most in form player.

Xavi is suffering with injuries, while Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso will have to improve their synchronisation and understanding. On the bright side, the alternatives on the bench are perhaps more complete than ever.

Whatever the injury situation or recent form may say: the fact is, we've got used to winning - we are the reigning world and European champions so learn to live with it; because like it or not guys, Spain expects you to deliver.

Guillem Balague's Euro Diary will become, along with added entries and interviews, an eBook at the end of the tournament.

For more info, check www.guillembalague.com

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jeff Stelling

Jeff: I haven't missed Balotelli

Jeff Stelling hasn't missed Mario Balotelli and ponders how Brendan Rodgers will fit him in the squad....

Peter Beagrie

Beagrie's blog

Forest's form, fears for Blackpool and Will Buckley's big move up for discussion in Peter Beagrie's Q&A....

Latest News RSS feeds

Mackay offers apology

Malky Mackay has issued an official apology for sending offensive text messages during his time as Cardiff manager.

Live transfer updates

The latest on Mario Balotelli's proposed move to Liverpool, as Blackburn battle to hang onto Hull target Jordan Rhodes.

Premier League preview

The second weekend of the season sees Everton face Arsenal, while Man Utd will hope to recover from an opening loss.

Saturday Football Live

Team news, goal updates, video and analysis... we bring you the ultimate live football blog.

Agent: No Balotelli clause

Mario Balotelli will join Liverpool next week, but won't have a good behaviour clause in his contract, his agent says.

Features

Time to shine

Time to shine

It started out as a rumour, quickly quashed and dismissed by most as nothing more than unfounded newspaper tittle-tattle.

The Premier League's top debutants rated

The Premier League's top debutants rated

It's fair to say that very few sides really set the world alight in the opening round of Premier League fixtures, with Chelsea - the favourites of many this season - arguably making the strongest start.

Soccer AM - Top 5 Ice Bucket Challenges

Soccer AM - Top 5 Ice Bucket Challenges

Soccer AM's Franky Fryer runs through his five favourite football Ice Bucket Challenges.