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

World Cup 2014: Spain's Iker Casillas is not in confident frame of mind, says Guillem Balague

Guillem Balague - Guillem Balague Posted 14th June 2014 view comments

The World Cup was stunned to its core on Friday evening as defending champions Spain were not just beaten by Netherlands but crushed.

Spain conquered the Dutch in the 2010 final in South Africa courtesy of an extra-time strike from Andres Iniesta, but the tables turned in dramatic style in Salvador.

Netherlands recovered from slipping a goal down to thump their Group B rivals 5-1, with Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben each netting a brace and Spain ‘keeper Iker Casillas having a night to forget.

Casillas has struggled to hit peak form since he was left out of the Real side by Mourinho, says Guillem

Casillas has struggled to hit peak form since he was left out of the Real side by Mourinho, says Guillem

There have been plenty of sound bites from both camps since the eye-catching result in Brazil’s north east – and, in Guillem Balague, we have the perfect man to analyse them.

The Revista expert is in South America for this summer’s big footballing shindig and will blog regularly on what the key individuals are telling the media.

And in his second column of the World Cup, Guillem dissects the words of countrymen Vicente del Bosque, Sergio Ramos and Casillas, as well as a gleeful Louis van Gaal…

VICENTE DEL BOSQUE

HE SAID: I feel sick, ill at ease, but with the courage a defeat must not sink us. It is not a happy moment, but first of all I want to congratulate the Dutch team, who were superior to us. We have been overwhelmed. We are a team of good professionals and good lads - everyone hurts. There will be time to talk."

GUILLEM’S ASSESSMENT: Spain did talk in the changing room. What did they say? Look into yourselves, don’t use any kind of excuses (and that was a player looking at the other players). Del Bosque insisted in that conversation post-game that there was still lots to do in this World Cup. The recovery started 10 minutes after the game. Sign of a mature team. But those are words. On the pitch, they showed the end of an era is near. For certain players, not for the style, which requires evolution.

SERGIO RAMOS

HE SAID: "Our mindset was negative from the moment we fell behind. You start thinking things you shouldn't and that was reflected in the final scoreline. But this team has experience and has been through some bad times. It's been able to come back from setbacks like this and that's what makes it great. We can't sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. We need to start thinking right now about beating Chile."

GUILLEM’S ASSESSMENT: How is it possible to have a negative mindset just after falling behind? I propose an answer: a full belly (of success). When that happens, the hills to climb look much bigger. They are a proud team, and will bounce back, but like Barcelona in the last two seasons, their talent will appear in fists. I did think they were competitive. And they still are. But clearly not in every game and not under any circumstances. Shame.

IKER CASILLAS

HE SAID: "I didn't do things like I should have, especially to start a World Cup. It wasn't one of my best games."

GUILLEM’S ASSESSMENT: And Diego Maradona goes and says that Jose Mourinho was right when he left him out! Talk about an opportunist comment. Casillas, who was not doing badly but not greatly either, felt the confidence of his coach vanish. Then he stopped playing regularly. He cannot be in the best frame of mind. So shouldn’t we say that Mourinho is responsible for that poor form?

LOUIS VAN GAAL

HE SAID: “If I played with three attackers, my wingers would have chased down the Spain backs too much, that would be a waste. I played this system because I believe that we are not good enough to beat Spain with our normal 4-3-3 formation. If Van Persie wouldn't have scored the 1-1 before half-time, I would've switched back to the 4-3-3 formation, but with strikers like Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder things can happen.”

GUILLEM’S ASSESSMENT: Van Gaal, a genius. Loved the way he managed to have two forwards versus two centre-backs. The two Dutch full-backs, without pressure, managed to pass the ball around or cross without pressure from Spanish midfielders, covering only central areas. There was no help from the midfield to the Spanish full-backs whom were often in inferiority.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Gary Neville

Nev: Consistency key for Danny

Gary Neville says Arsene Wenger can turn Danny Welbeck into a great striker, as he did with Thierry Henry....

Graeme Souness

Souness: 'Liverpool lightweight'

Graeme Souness says Liverpool’s defeat in Basel proves that the current side is a shadow of their former selves....

Peter Beagrie

Beagrie: Vardy deserves cap

An England call-up would be rich reward for all of Jamie Vardy's hard work, says Peter Beagrie....

Latest News RSS feeds

Gerrard blasts 'soft' Liverpool

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard accused his side of being "soft all over the pitch" in their 1-0 defeat at FC Basel.

Wenger hails electric Welbeck

Arsene Wenger says hat-trick hero Danny Welbeck showed the "instinct of a goalscorer" in Arsenal's win over Galatasaray.

Welbeck fires Arsenal to win

Danny Welbeck's hat-trick helped 10-man Arsenal ease to a 4-1 Champions League win over Galatasaray at the Emirates.

Liverpool slump to Basel defeat

Liverpool paid the price for a disjointed performance as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League.

Nev: Consistency key for Danny

Gary Neville says Arsene Wenger can turn Danny Welbeck into a great striker, as he did with Thierry Henry.

Features

Midfield master

Midfield master

Match-winner Nemanja Matic is now an integral part of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team, says Roberto di Matteo.

Manuel Pellegrini is still struggling to bring the best out of Manchester City after Champions League draw with Roma

Manuel Pellegrini is still struggling to bring the best out of Manchester City after Champions League draw with Roma

"I am absolutely sure that Manchester City will eventually win the Champions League," said Manuel Pellegrini before City's 1-1 draw with Roma. The key word being 'eventually'. On this evidence, City's date with destiny still lies far in the future.

Champions League: Andre Villas Boas has made a strong start to his time in charge of Zenit St Petersburg

Champions League: Andre Villas Boas has made a strong start to his time in charge of Zenit St Petersburg

“If we win all nine matches, Zenit will be champions.” The words of Andre Villas Boas upon being named Zenit St Petersburg manager in March seemed wildly optimistic given the circumstances.