Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ding dong the king is dead - Spain get trounced at World Cup

Okay not so fast...Spain took a severe correction yesterday at the World Cup, losing the rematch, 5-1, from the finals 4 years ago to Holland. Too bad Robben wasn't able to finish 4 years ago. If he had maybe it would have been the Dutch with a star on their crest. So I guess we can start writing Spain's obituary...or maybe not.

Granted I have never seen Spain play so poorly since the Spanish Armada met Francis Drake. Spain looked completely out of sorts. Their back line was terrible at best. There was no pace, no positioning and frankly no fight. Ramos and Pique were constantly torched by Robben in the second half. Casillas looked like a back up keeper, one that hasn't played
Don't they know we are defending World Cup Champs??
much all season. And the usual Spanish possession didn't have the same effect it normally does. Oh and Costa looked like a donkey. The Brazilian striker, who plays for Spain, looked like a round peg in a hexagonal hole. It felt as if Del Bosque started the striker because he had to, not because it fit his system.

I am not ready to write off the Spanish just yet. They face Chile in the next game, and after watching the South Americans against Australia, I am not ready to crown them as others have. Spain can and should win that match. As long as Del Bosque makes some changes. Then Spain will play Australia in the last game. Assuming Spain get, at worst, a draw against Chile, they have every chance to go through in second place if they can defeat the Wallabies and pad their goal differential.

Some changes Del Bosque should make -

  • Have one holding midfielder rather than the "double pivot" I would bench Busquets. He has not looked good lately, other than in his diving and complaining. Keep Alonso as cover in front of the back 4. 
  • Speaking of the back 4...get a center back that knows how to defend. Or remind Ramos that he is not Beckenbauer and to hold his position. Also don't be afraid to knock down a striker when they are 40 yards from goal...you don't have the speed to shut them down if they get a step.
  • Bring more speed to the wings. Get that gadfly Pedro more time out on the wings.  Put Silva on the other wing, and go back to your false 9. This ensures you get your best players, aka Cesc and Pedro, on the pitch.
  • Oh and when chasing a goal or goals, not sure Torres should be your #1 choice. His time has past...about 3 years ago.
  • Not sure he would but I might consider sitting Casillas as well...De Gea's time has come.
Spain can still do some damage. This might be the wake up call they needed for one last run. And before we crown Holland, let's not forget that in the 2008 Euro they steam rolled, including a similar thrashing of France, through the group stages...and then got dropped by Russia in the knock outs.

I will say a great start to the tournament regardless.

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