Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Redknapp:

Most Popular Posts:

Spain sailing

Spanish not on top form, but will still make the semis

Jamie Redknapp Posted 2nd July 2010 view comments

It's amazing. Here are Spain on the verge of a semi-final spot and you have to say, they haven't really got going.

Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso and certainly Fernando Torres, really haven't leapt out in any of the games so far. But they have got a formation that works very well and in David Villa, they have one of the players of the tournament so far.

Villa: has been on fire so far

Villa: has been on fire so far

The lad has been unbelievable. I think it's fair to say they would have struggled without him. It's not just his goals either - as good as they've been - he just looks so confident, so sharp. I can only think of Mesut Ozil and Lionel Messi who have been as good.

Bet on Paraguay v Spain now

It worrying to think Spain have barely got going. If you were writing their school report it would be satisfactory, but could do better. And that might be bad news for Paraguay.

Jamie Redknapp
Quotes of the week

Villa's form could not be a greater contrast to Torres - and maybe the Liverpool striker's form is one of the reasons he is looking so good. I am sure it is all down to that knee op he had at the end of the season. It's not like he's not getting into positions, or getting chances and he certainly doesn't look as frustrated and out-of-sorts as someone like Wayne Rooney has done.

Torres' touch just isn't there yet. He's getting into positions but balls that usually stick are bouncing off. That just looks to me like he needs more time; we have seen it with Liverpool where he takes a few games back to get into his rhythm and I do think he will come good before these finals are over.

Spain as a side have pretty much stuttered along in general. Alonso and Sergio Busquets haven't looked brilliant in that midfield, I still have my doubts defensively about Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas has not looked his most comfortable.

Villa and Xavi both to score - 11/1

But quite how Paraguay go out and exploit any of those weaknesses is a tough question; if I knew the answer to stopping Spain I would be out in South Africa right now.

In Paraguay's favour they are compact and they do defend well. They don't give away many chances, never mind goals, so I do see them keeping this one tight. But I just have a feeling that after an hour or so, they will tire and then you would expect Spain to really make them pay.

Stifle

Quite what Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino does, I'm not sure. We saw what happened to Portugal when they tried to stifle Spain and if they are going to spring a major surprise, the Paraguayans are going to need to show a lot more going forward.

Before the tournament we were led to believe they would be bold and attack sides, but I haven't seen any of that. The fact that Roque Santa Cruz, Lucas Barrios and Nelson Valdez, their three strikers, have not got a goal between them, says it all.

Who will win the Golden Boot - Villa 11/8

But they are hard to beat and they will make difficult for a side I tipped to win it a few weeks ago. I've got to say if you were to ask me to back a side halfway through the tournament, I would probably go for Brazil or Argentina first, but that's not to say Spain can't - and won't - win it.

It only takes a moment of magic from someone for it all to click in place and then we all know what they're capable of.

And it is worrying to think they have barely got going. If you were writing their school report it would be satisfactory, but could do better. And that might be bad news for Paraguay.

Jamie's Judgement

Spain win - I do think this will be tight, simply because of the way Paraguay line up. But Spain are so patient, they will pass anyone to death and if you back off them, it plays right into their hands. And when they are passing, passing, passing, it tires the opposition out so while I can see this staying close for an hour or so, I do expect Spain's class to tell. I'd go for the draw at half-time, Spain full-time.

Jamie's Gem

Fernando Torres - I know I kept backing Rooney to come good, but Torres is different. He just needs minutes on the pitch, although Vincente del Bosque seems to think tiredness is a problem - as coaches have tended to do with all the Premier League players. But I am sure it will all fall into place for Torres before long.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Strikers must step up

Jamie Carragher says the pressure is on Liverpool's misfiring strikers after Daniel Sturridge's latest injury blow....

Latest News RSS feeds

Premier League preview

Arsenal and Man Utd clash while Chelsea aim to stretch their lead

Premier League preview

Arsenal and Manchester United meet on Saturday Night Football while leaders Chelsea host West Brom earlier in the day.

'Defences costing rivals'

Arsenal and Man Utd must address defensive problems to return to the top, says Jamie Redknapp.

Blades: 'Mob' forced our hand

Sheffield United co-chairman Jim Phipps says 'mob-like behaviour' forced the club to reverse their decision on Ched Evans.

Van Gaal: Welbeck deal right

Louis van Gaal is confident his decision to let Danny Welbeck leave Manchester United will prove correct.

Features

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: Our scout looks at which players you should consider signing this weekend

Sky Sports Fantasy Football: Our scout looks at which players you should consider signing this weekend

Our scout looks at whether the game's new top scorer is worth selecting and offers up four other in-form options.

Manchester United's Robin van Persie must be more decisive in front of goal to get back to his very best

Manchester United's Robin van Persie must be more decisive in front of goal to get back to his very best

Manchester United finished the first day of last season’s Premier League at the top of the table following a 4-1 win at Swansea in which Robin van Persie scored twice to make it a perfect start for David Moyes.

Premier League: Liverpool still struggling to learn the lessons from their 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace in May

Premier League: Liverpool still struggling to learn the lessons from their 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace in May

If Liverpool’s limp attempts to claw their way back onto level terms against Chelsea saw them sleepwalking to second spot, the implosion at Selhurst Park was the moment they woke from the dream.