It has recently occurred to me that while everyone is through plaudits at Spain no one is mentioned the managers name directly.
Would Spain have won two European Championships and the World Cup with a different manager in charge? I don’t think so. Everyone seems so wrapped up in talking about the Real Madrid players and Barcelona players that have helped Spain win three major trophies, and although Spain have adopted a Barcelona style, Del Bosque has still had to make some big decisions, ones that many managers wouldn’t have dared to do, let alone though to do.
From Spain’s first game when Cesc Fabregas was playing up front in the now dubbed “False 9” position, many questioned Del Bosque’s judgement, and that carried on throughout the tournament with people starting to rebel again Spain calling them boring, anti-football for not playing a traditional striker and just passing the ball for the sake of it rather than for attacking purposes. Throughout the tournament people had cried out for Torres and Llorente to play upfront. More so calling for Llorente but in the end when Torres did come on he capitalized on a weakened defence to score three goals and help with an assist to claim the Golden Boot.
Seven players scored for Spain, scoring a total of 12 goals combined. The only team to have more goal scorers was Germany with eight different players scoring a total of 10 goals. As a team, Spain scored the most amount of goals in the tournament and conceded the least. One! Which came against Italy in the group stages. Amazingly Spain have only conceded 6 goals in three tournaments which is just remarkable! Del Bosque has a wealth of talent to choose from, but so to Holland and France, okay, maybe not as much depth, but still the manager needs to pick the right team and the right tactics for a team to win. The Netherlands played like a bunch of individuals and France yet again imploded on themselves, but Spain again were able to work as a unit and win.
If you watch El Clásico, and see how the tensions run high, you would think that when it comes to the national team there could be some division, but there isn’t, not from the outside looking in anyway.
Del Bosque has defended his tactics saying
“We have three fantastic forwards but Cesc is also a good forward,” “He has a lot of composure on the ball, he links up well with everyone and he gets into good scoring positions.”
The respect I have for him as a manager has hugely increased after this tournament, as he hasn’t bowed to public pressure and has stuck to his guns for the best. It is a different matter if his tactics were not working, but while they are then people need to keep quiet if they don’t like it. There was more than one manager whose tactics I didn’t agree with, and some of those managers are no longer at their post. How can you keep faith with a striker that has some many shots off target while a striker you sub him for scores? That was the case with Russia, if Kerzhakov wasn’t favoured over Pavlyuchenko, who knows maybe they would have gone through.
Anyway, I have veered slightly off topic so let me pull us back to my main point, Throughout the tournament people questioned Del Bosque as they wanted to see a traditional striker playing, rather than the False 9 but jump to the final and Spain start with the False 9 up front and end up winning the game is spectacular fashion humbling the Italians by beating them 4-0 with four different goals scorers.
Spain turned on style and showed just how effective this system can be without a Lionel Messi to play in it.
Yes the players deserve all the plaudits they get, Cesc had a great tournament, Jordi Alba has put him name out there for all to be talking about, and we will see a lot more of him now he is at Barça, David Silva, Iniesta, Pique and Ramos were all outstanding and not forgetting Alonso and Xavi also but surely Del Bosque is deserving more praise than what he has been receiving. I can only comment from Twitter and our press, as I don’t know what it is like in Spain. But even just talking people in this country, no one seems to mention him, but rather harp on about the players and Barcelona and Real Madrid, which I think is a huge disservice to Vicente Del Bosque.
If Spain are being hearlded as one the best Football teams the world has seen, then arguable Vicente Del Bosque has to be on the greatest managers the game has ever had!