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

No Spain sailing

Part six - Guillem looks at media's take on Spain's efforts

Guillem Balague - Guillem Balague Posted 14th June 2012 view comments

The draw against Italy ended a 14-game consecutive winning streak in competitive games for Spain, some sort of record.

Unfortunately, a 15th win was denied us by the Italians, who Spain have never managed to overcome in an official competition. It seems clear to most of us that it was a difficult game and, being our opener at Euro 2012, it was vital to avoid defeat.

Del Bosque: annoyed reaction

Del Bosque: annoyed reaction

However, that draw is spreading doubts in the minds of the decision makers of the Spanish national team, not helped by the media debates that were triggered by the 1-1 scoreline.

Xabi and Busquets together? Cesc as a false striker? Start with a recognised striker or not? Arbeloa or Juanfran at right back? The Spanish media wonders why not only did Spain fail to win, but they played so poorly too.

What makes people think that Spain have some God-given right to beat anybody? It's 11 international pro footballers v 11 international pro footballers.

Guillem Balague
Quotes of the week

I would say what makes people think that Spain have some God-given right to beat anybody? It's 11 international pro footballers v 11 international pro footballers.

The opposition are also trying to win and giving it their all - and there has been very little mention of what Italy managed to do in that match, how well they set themselves up to combat Spain's strengths and how well they played on the day.

There is a need for the Spanish media to show a little more humility.

Option

However, I do not accept that playing without a striker is arrogant - it is an option. Why not?

Where does it say we cannot use a system that doesn't rely on having a player tied to the opposition penalty area, but prefers greater mobility and requires players to arrive in the box?

The reaction of Vicente del Bosque was clearly one of annoyance at what he considers artificial debates: that people's opinions depend upon what player is friend of what journalist and what team the journalist supports. He's also upset that views are totally based on the result, but not the performance.

But Del Bosque is patient and less dogmatic than most and accepts football criticism as part of the job. And the response has to come on the pitch.

In training and before the Ireland game on Thursday, there have been no clues as to what he is going to do next -most think that he will use a number nine, but others, close to him, assure me that he is stubborn and might persist with that 'false nine' system - but with different players (perhaps no Cesc and Pedro drafted in). We will see.

But I hope nobody has forgotten amidst all the media debates about Spain's formation and self-absorption, that they must beat Ireland: 11 professionals with an experienced manager who possess more than a couple of the weapons that have hurt this Spanish side in the past and have unnerved the world champions: pace up front, a threat from set pieces, aerial ability, direct football.

It will be a good test for a Spain side that I am convinced, will improve.

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

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Okun Omokhudu (Manchester United fan) says...

spain make football pleasing to the eye, just like arsenal and barcelona. if they get their tactics right and are patient, they can still emerge the champions. however they need to strengthen the spine of the team and make the full backs mobile to join the attack. Teams know that spain play thruough the middle, so they need to change and get some width. that way the middle will open up and they can then

Posted 15:30 14th June 2012

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Redknapp

Jamie questions Remy move

Jamie Redknapp says Loic Remy will get nowhere near the Chelsea first team with Diego Costa around....

Gary Neville

Neville: Arsenal must sign a striker

Arsenal must sign a replacement for injured Olivier Giroud if they want to win the title, says Gary Neville....

Jamie Carragher

Carra: Top four in sight for Spurs

Spurs can make the top four, says Carra, depending on how seriously they take their European duties....

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League round-up

Swansea, then Chelsea, move to the top of the Premier League, Stoke stun poor Manchester City and still no win for Louis van Gaal.

Live transfer updates

Arsenal and Chelsea battle for Loic Remy's signature, West Ham sign Alex Song and Man Utd agree deal for Daley Blind.

Chelsea hit Everton for six

Chelsea hit Everton for six in a goal-filled Premier League extravaganza at Goodison Park which finally ended 6-3.

Arsenal enter race for Remy

​Arsenal have joined Chelsea in triggering Loic Remy's release clause, according to some Sky sources.

Tottenham v Liverpool preview

Tottenham have enjoyed a faultless start to the season but face their toughest test to date against Liverpool on Sunday.

Features

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

Mario Balotelli's track record on the pitch makes him a gamble worth taking for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool

When it comes to the art of signing players, few did it better than Brian Clough and Peter Taylor. In the latter’s book With Clough by Taylor he explained some of the science behind it in detailing how Nottingham Forest actively sought to buy players they perceived to have personal problems.

Christian Eriksen masterclass

Christian Eriksen masterclass

Type ‘Christian Eriksen free-kicks’ into your internet search engine and you will not be disappointed.

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Tottenham's Erik Lamela ready for Premier League lift off

Everyone agreed that Tottenham had acquired some fine players in the summer of 2013, but the notorious line that Spurs sold Elvis to buy the Beatles soon became a source of embarrassment. Not least because that cast young Erik Lamela as John Lennon, the most celebrated of the lot.