Monday, 2 July 2012

Viva Espana

A fantastic match last night as the best side in the world went through the gears and made their Italian opponents look very ordinary. Before the game I thought we might be in for a nil-nil and penalties but David Silva's opener after 14 minutes signalled the Spanish intent to avoid the lottery and they, quite literally, ran away with it after that.

I really don't like Mario Ballotelli and am left wondering whether or not he is for real. At times last night he looked like a vulnerable pouting drag queen peering out from inside someone else's body. He was as unhappy as any of his colleagues at being on the losing side but the strop he threw at the end in brushing past his management team looked very theatrical to me and he was left bubbling on the pitch long after the rest of the team had managed to shake hands with their worthy opponents, just like all those Premier League Saddo's who sit in their seats crying fully twenty minutes after their team has been walloped in the hope they will be spotted by tear-cam  and given 15 seconds of ridicule by the rest of the nation.

I thought the BCC commentators were a trifle over-the-top too. Hanson said Spain were the best team the world has ever seen and Alan Shearer wasn't far behind with his praise. They are a fine side but the Brazil 1970 team were exceptional and played with a swagger we have never seen since, even from Iniesta and Company. They may well be a match for the German World Champions of 1974 although Maier, Beckenbauer, Hoeness, Breitner, Muller, Vogts and Bonhoff trip off the tongue nearly forty years later. Probably too soon to judge on either account. These things take time.

What was different was the fact that the Spaniards rely upon a host of outfield players who are all very similar in that they have beautiful balance, are comfortable with both feet and can play their way through defences with the aid of one team mate. They don't waste training routines on five lunks charging in on a corner or a free-kick looking to get a touch or committing players to the opposition box hoping for a knock-down or a rebound. 

All-in-all, it's been a pretty successful European Championships and just a pity we didn't have more to cheer from a home side in the latter stages. I'd like to think lessons can be learnt for next time but these need fundamental changes in our FA's and the Turkeys' don't vote for Christmas. We keep hearing about the coaching revolution in youth football but something goes wrong when our players enter the international set-ups.


Hungry Ted said...

"At times last night he looked like a vulnerable pouting drag queen peering out from inside someone else's body"


Confidential Rick said...

Thanks for the report Dave. Whether or not one likes Ballotelli you have to admit he's a character. How about when he took his shirt off and posed after scoring? Does anybody remember the Kraken in Jason and the Argonauts?