After a bold team selection that angered most of the Spanish media, it was inevitable for the pressure to surge on manager Luis Enrique after Spain’s 0-0 draw against Sweden. The result leaves them behind Slovakia, creating a less than ideal start in Group E. After the final whistle went off, the hosts were whistled by several supporters and the players left the field while discussing how to ‘shut up’ their critics. Is Spain in trouble for the remainder of Euro 2020 or will they find a way to surprise us?
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Is Striking the Underlining Issue for Spain?
Spain dominated against Sweden with 85% possession throughout the match along with an incredible 917 passes. These figures are the highest in a European Championship game since 1980, stretching back as far as Opta’s records. However, for all their fine efforts on the pitch, they lacked the ability to score.
During the first half, Dani Olmo witnessed a header tipping away, while Koke sliced a brilliant effort past the goal post. Even the number 9, Alvaro Morata, side-footed wide after gaining access on goal after a defensive mistake. One of the manager’s key dilemmas was selecting Morata over Gerard Moreno who scored 30 goals in the previous season. It clearly didn’t pay off during the match against Sweden.
If a goal was scored by Spain for every 10 passes, how far ahead would they have been in the match? Everyone keeps thinking about Romelu Lukaku and Belgium. A red-hot number 9 is the only thing missing for Spain at the moment. They have everything except for a decent center forward. Spain can only blame themselves after creating more than enough chances to take the lead. The only reason they didn’t score was because of their lack in finishing.
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Whistling Fans Could Cause Problems
Spain might remember that they had an extremely slow start to a tournament before and managed to turn things around at the end. At the 2010 World Cup, they were defeated 1-0 by Switzerland and went on to win the World Cup. This time around they play all three group matches in Seville and the squad hopes to have more support from their home supporters in their remaining two games against Slovakia and Poland.
Marcos Llorente stated that if the crowd whistles, they wouldn’t be nervous but he wishes that they wouldn’t. They’ve got two games remaining and the support would help a great deal to claim victories in their upcoming matches. The defender also mentioned that the team feels horrible after their effort, especially with the chances they created. However, he believes that the squad will do better going forward and was pleased with the support they received even though they suffered an unexpected loss again Sweden.
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This is Not the End…
Cesc Fábregas was part of the World Cup squad in 2010 and believes that Spain will comfortably get out of the group stage in Euro 2020. He informed BookiePro that it doesn’t matter how you start, it matters how you finish. Spain has more than enough quality to make it through the group stage. The squad needs to analyze the first half because they delivered some exceptional football against Sweden. The only problem was the lack of finishing after creating several chances.
BookiePro also had an interview with Guillem Balague, a Spanish football expert, who stated that Spain will not change their approach going forward. Spain did a lot of wonderful things during the game. There were incredible triangles out wide and in midfield, but when it came to the last pass, Spain was unable to deliver. The manager added that the squad will do everything in their power to win Group E. However, only time will tell whether the team can improve before it’s too late.