Spain’s flaws were laid bare vs. England; now it’s up to Luis Enrique to set things straight

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During Spain’s 3-2 defeat to England in Sevilla on Monday night, there were a couple of things missing compared to their last home game, the 6-0 thrashing of Croatia. Namely an opponent that surrendered and the aggressive, “all for one” spirit that Luis Enrique loved so much when the World Cup finalists were dismantled in September.

In fact, that this match only finished 3-2 to England is a welcome distraction from some of the major issues that were glaringly obvious. So was the fact that Sergio Ramos could make such a fuss about a penalty decision that should probably have been given in Spain’s favour, would have brought a red card for England’s keeper and would, in all likelihood, have changed the nfl jerseys cheap paypal

The fuss was a handy distraction — it covered the front page of Diario AS, too — because while it was fair to argue that the referee was probably in the wrong, it had no chance of obscuring Spain’s woeful deficiencies even if it had been given and scored.7

I see zero credibility in the school of football analysis that tries to get away with “Everything’s wonderful!” one week and then “They really aren’t any good!” a couple of weeks later. So don’t get the impression either that Spain were utterly hopeless here, or that the impact of their creative/attacking play against England, Croatia or Wales in their previous three games (aggregate score: 12-4) was blown out of proportion.

With Dani Ceballos on the pitch and a greater pride in their performance in the second half, Spain once again demonstrated their potency. They are quick, technical, free-scoring and dangerous if the opposition can’t play counterattacking football effectively. But in Sevilla, his team left Luis Enrique with numerous problems to address.

First and foremost: Why, and how, did Spain go out against England patently suffering from the delusion that “We’ll thump this lot easily”? It was a detectable attitude, whether conscious or subconscious, and it was ruinous. The number of unforced, basic errors Spain committed, both positionally and in their use of the ball, was stunning to behold.

The most clamorous mistake came when, already 2-0 down and with regular warnings that further disaster was looming, Sergio Ramos and then Sergio Busquets gifted England cheap possession within about 20 seconds of each other around their own penalty box. Infantile. For England’s second goal, how can two of their forwards, Kane and Sterling, give six Spain players the runaround while taking down a long boot from the keeper and score? It was simply inexplicable.