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Discussion Starter #1
If no Forum Manager is against it, I think we could use this thread to post and discuss any news or articles about La Seleccion.
It's better than opening a new post every time.
 

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Take it with a pinch of salt, since it's Goal.com

World Cup Debate: Solid Spain Need To Be Flexible

La Furia Roja might have won ten games on the spin but after their narrow victory over Turkey, do they need to change for the return leg on Wednesday evening?


Spain’s win over Turkey on Saturday evening might have had the statisticians frothing at the mouth, but it certainly didn’t have the football purists jumping for joy. Consecutive win number ten maintained the undefeated record spanning over a year, but vintage Spain, it was not. Turkey came to the Bernabeu with a game plan, and they stuck to it, not giving the home side any space to play their free-flowing football, and not allowing Fernando Torres or David Villa a sniff at goal.

Whilst their discipline and control was ultimately unrewarded in defeat, it gave Vicente Del Bosque plenty to think about for the return leg this week. In south-east Europe it is not only likely to be a very different atmosphere from the fiesta in Madrid, but it is also likely to be a very different game in terms of tactics. In the Spanish capital, Turkey could afford to simply contain their hosts, trying to play on the counter and sitting back. However, at home, they will have to be more adventurous.

Spanish Speed

That in turn may play into Spain’s hands, and if reports in the press are to be believed, Del Bosque will be shuffling his pack for the match. Gone will be the solid, patient Spain that laboured to break down the Turks at home, and in will be La Furia Roja with some much needed pace on the flanks. David Silva and Albert Riera are set to start the match on the wings and this will more than likely mean that Villa finds himself sitting on the bench.

Whilst this change in formation might be considered a minor victory for Fatih Terim and Turkey, it is also what Spain need to do heading into this encounter. They might well be top of the group and almost assured of a place in South Africa already, but the last thing that they can afford to be is complacent, and to rest on their laurels. Winning the European Championships was a huge success
and boost for a Spanish side that had so often flattered to deceive, and whilst there is no denying this team is still one of the best in the world, they have to remain flexible.

Too many teams have lived for too long on the glories of becoming European or World Champions, and have paid the price in the end. France’s decline after their double crowning might have been about more than just living in the past, but there is no doubt that element did trouble Les Bleus, as it did Italy, who are still willing to stick with formations that worked back in 2006, just because they won a medal. Even the great Brazil have come unstuck for sticking to their guns and not being versatile enough, as have many other top footballing nations around the world.

Winning Mentality

It is interesting, and perhaps vital at this stage for Spain, that when teams usually look stagnant and too rigid, it is against opponents who are solid, and not always looking to beat them, but rather to contain them. Turkey are a perfect example of this kind of team, and kudos must go to the Spaniards for getting through that encounter at the Bernabeu with all three points, but now they have to realise how close they came to ending their winning run.

That is not to say that Del Bosque has to make any major changes after his side won by just the one goal, but rather that Spain have to be prepared to alter their side away from home this week. It would be easy to play the same eleven that won on Saturday and if they lose or draw to class it as a slip-up or a below-par performance. Once that happens though it can become a habit, and with the Confederations Cup coming up and then the World Cup, that is not something Spain want to get into.

Instead, they need to freshen up and go to Turkey with a different approach, against the team who, of all those they have played recently, have arguably given them most trouble. One man up front might seem negative but with the likes of Xavi playing in the centre of midfield and Silva on the wing, it is anything but. In fact, if Spain play the way that has been predicted on Wednesday evening they could offer an even greater attacking threat than on Saturday, and with the home side likely to attack, they should move a step closer to the World Cup, as long as they forget about past glories.

James Walker-Roberts, Goal.com
http://goal.com/en/news/12/spain/2009/03/31/1184455/world-cup-debate-solid-spain-need-to-be-flexible
 

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Forgive me if I didn't read the article thoroughly; but what makes us so good is our style of play. We don't need to change it, because it's the ideal style for any team to play. It can break defensive teams down, it can frustrate offensive teams, and is solid enough at the back.

And once we go 1-0 up, it's the perfect style to prevent the opponents from getting a sniff at the ball.

Having said that, I think Del Bosque is already making changes to the formation for the return game in Turkey (4-5-1).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Forgive me if I didn't read the article thoroughly; but what makes us so good is our style of play. We don't need to change it, because it's the ideal style for any team to play. It can break defensive teams down, it can frustrate offensive teams, and is solid enough at the back.

And once we go 1-0 up, it's the perfect style to prevent the opponents from getting a sniff at the ball.

Having said that, I think Del Bosque is already making changes to the formation for the return game in Turkey (4-5-1).
Agree. Spain would play 4-5-1 in the late EURO's qualifying games, mostly Xavi-Senna-Fabregas-Iniesta-Silva, but swapped to 4-4-2 to fit Villa and Torres.
It's just we can use both systems whenever we need it.
 

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http://goal.com/en/news/468/interna...-breaks-turkish-hearts-with-late-spain-winner
Albert Riera Breaks Turkish Hearts With Late Spain Winner
It is now six wins out of six for Spain in Group 5 as La Furia Roja came

A late, late Albert Riera strike gave European Champions Spain a vital 2-1 win over Turkey that almost assures their place at World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

Turkey had went in front through Semih Senturk, but the visitors fought back and clinched the win thanks to a Xabi Alonso penalty and Riera last-gasp tap in.

First Half

Turkey gave the European Champions one of their most difficult recent outings and were unfortunate to lose to a Gerard Pique goal on Saturday evening. There was undoubted optimism in the squad that they could give La Furia Roja another stern test, and went with Nihat Kahveci and Semih Senturk in their strike force.

Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque opted to leave the prolific David Villa on the bench and instead employed David Silva and Albert Riera in advanced roles behind front-man Fernando Torres, and in the cagey opening exchanges it was the dynamic Liverpool man who had the best opportunity.

Valencia winger Silva swung in a low cross, and as the ball bobbled around it broke to Torres with a clear sight of goal, but he was uncharacteristically weak with his shot and it was easily gathered by Volkan.

Chances were at a premium in the first-half, but the match exploded to life in the 26th minute when the Turks took a stunning lead.

Carlos Marchena attempted to let the ball run to Iker Casillas but Tuncay Sanli had anticipated the move getting the ball just in front of the goalkeeper. He swivelled on a sixpence and cut the ball across to Semih Senturk who gratefully accepted the gift and rolled the ball into the empty net.

The fireworks exploded, the smoke filled the stadium, and the partisan home support went ballistic. And just before half-time it was almost two. Semih was proving to be a real handful, and pulled the ball superbly out of the air at the edge of the area. He then slid the ball into the path of Nihat, who had time to compose himself but curled his effort just too high.

Second Half

Turkey were in a dream position going into the break, but they could be certain the Spaniards would emerge with more purpose to claw themselves back into the match. Initially though, Del Bosque’s side were wasteful in possession; Torres should have played in club mate Riera but was his pass was too heavy, and then the roles were reversed as Riera could only hit the first man with his delivery as Torres lurked in the area.

However, on the hour, Spain showed their resolve and drew level. Volkan flapped at a Xavi corner ad when the ball broke to Torres, his header was handled on the line by Uzulmez and referee Mike Riley had no choice but to point to the spot.

Xabi Alonso confidently stroked the penalty to make the score 1-1 and leave things perfectly poised for the closing stages.

Neither side were content with a point, particularly Turkey, and both had their chances to go in front. Semih came within inches of connecting with an Arda Turan delivery that skipped tantalisingly across the six yard area.

At the other end, Torres fired a snapshot at goal from the angle that Volkan instinctively tipped over, as the clock began to run down.

But in an incredible finish to the match, Spain snatched all three points as Turkey chased the winner. La Furia Roja broke quickly on the counter attack through substitute Daniel Guiza, who outpaced Gonul on the right before cutting the ball back to Riera who easily rolled the ball into the net. The crowd were silenced and left devastated by the bitterest of blows.

There was no time for a comeback for Turkey, who will feel aggrieved to have picked up nothing from their two encounters with the group leaders, but Spain have 18 points out of a possible 18 and move relentlessly onwards to World Cup Qualification.

Paul Macdonald, Goal.com
 
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