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Guillem Balague defends Vicente Del Bosque's decision to face Italy with no striker.Back to story
Brilliant article, as per usual, Guillem. Just a few gripes though... Firstly, it was clear to see that the formation simply did not work for Spain. Whilst the style of passing mirrored that of Barcelona's, there was no target man, or 'main man' to look to. Italy allowed them no space and as we saw in the Barca-Chelsea and Chelsea-Bayern games, the 'attacking' teams were reduced to side passing and waiting for a moment of inspiration. Secondly, as I understand it, both teams have to agree to the pitch being watered pre game. Italy had every right to say no as they understood that such a move would make the game more difficult, as the fast moving pitch would suit the Spanish a lot more than themselves. Yes it would have benefited the 'spectacle' ie the viewer, but not Italy. A spectacle was not important for Italy, a result was, and that they got.
Posted 18:29 12th June 2012
It did not work for Barcelona against Chelsea, and they have Messi ! Spain were much more threatening after Torres came on.
Posted 12:04 12th June 2012
The problem is not playing without a number 9, I agree with Guillem. I think the real problem is that to play like that you need spaces and having Ramos on the right wing is the difference between previous Euros and World Cup and this Euro. Both full backs need to go forward in order to create space for "los jugones". Javi Martinez or even Albiol? And Ramos on the right. Non of them are as good as Ramos-Pique as centre-halves but overall the balance for the team would be better I think.
Posted 11:54 12th June 2012
Regarding the grass, surely it being watered predominantly favours the Spanish and their short intricate passing game and not the Italians more direct, not particularly long-ball but certainly more direct, football. Therefore asking the Polish groundsman as an arbiter would make sense as he appears to be relatively neutral and has specialist knowledge of the pitch. Therefore blaming the pitch is a poor excuse for a team as talented as Spain.
Posted 01:16 12th June 2012
I think one of Spain's problems was De Rossi's form who was immense in defence and played for the other 2 central defenders. I think if early in the second half Del Bosque decided to put Ilorente upfront for reference and to keep De Rossi occupied it could have been easier to attack especially on Bonucci's side who was quite lost. And with Iniesta needing 3/4 players to stop him and Ilorente imposing himself in the box it could have been a different story.
Posted 22:27 11th June 2012
Scotland were absolutely murdered i the press for playing the same tactics against the Czech Rep in the qualifying groups for the Euro's. The diiference is that it was Craig Leveins first game in charge of the national team and the squad available to him at the time was very very poor. why is this deemed acceptable to the world chapmions with the players at his disposal. I personally do not see how it can be a positive move as if you are being pressed for a period of time then it becomes impossible to find an out ball, somebody to hit long and hold the ball up for support. Why are some teams villified and others praised for the same tactics ?
Posted 21:02 11th June 2012
why do u select strickers in yr 23 man squard if you dont want to play them
Posted 16:45 11th June 2012
a good craftsman doesnt blame his tools. saying that spain were severely disadvantaged by the pitch not being watered is bordering on ridiculous....it actually sounds like something us english would come up with!! it may have been a slight advantage to italy but it just sounds like clutching at straws to me
Posted 16:00 11th June 2012