Luis Enrique’s Spain is looking for a Piqué… and a Puyol

Daniel Olmo rescued Spain in a disappointing game that continues to leave many doubts behind. This selection of author that is the red from Luis Enrique presents a defensive vulnerability that raises many suspicions in the face of world from Taste next November. The Spaniard continues to bet on doubling the more ‘gamer’ profile in the pair of central defenders and Spain does not finish marking the rival’s territory defensively. The coach has discarded the formula of combining a center with a good foot with another with a hard leg. Formula that has been working for years in the selection with couples like Pique and Puyol or Pique and bouquets. Not to mention the lack of leadership and charisma that exists in the axis of defense today.

Without hard leg or hierarchy

Against Albania, the coach opted for Paul Torres and Eric Garcia, defenders with touch and anticipation who do not physically intimidate rival forwards. Something that was used in the game Broja. Pau plays in the Villarreal forming a pair with Albiolmore experienced, harsh and with hierarchy. Eric enters the rotation barca with Piquewhich provides output and hierarchy, or Araujo, more leathery and forceful. The result is that the Albanians generated, with 18% possession, seven frank arrivals to the Spanish area and in the only shot between the sticks they scored their goal, a play in which Eric García was not particularly forceful.

Spain misses the hierarchy of Pique in an axis behind in which before Albanian doubts were appreciated even in balls that were easy to defend, such as the long balls that the Albanian defense got rid of. Luis Enrique He maintains his idea of ​​the game and has no intention of changing it: “Football is played with the ball and from below. And when the rival plays, we will fight him as we have done until now. If we look at the numbers from the last European Championship, we are the team that has had the least chances. I have full confidence in them”.

To the world from Taste Four centrals will go and three seem fixed: Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia. The fourth place will be disputed Inigo Martinez, Diego Llorente, and who knows if someone who is out like Gerard Piqué. It does not seem that Luis Enrique is for the task of altering the ecosystem of this Selection in which he is the top star.

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But the truth is that only Íñigo Martínez meets that profile of a forceful central defender, a natural replacement for Sergio Ramos or Carles Puyol. A defender who intimidates opponents with his firmness. Sensation that is increased by having a midfield ahead where neither Busquets nor Rodri are harsh midfielders. This Spain does not make itself respected in that aspect and that is essential in football now and in the past.


Italy won last European Championship with bonucci and Chiellini, Brazil has a Casemiro sweeping past the defense, Belgium has rocky people like boyata or the experienced Vertonghen, Argentina ‘scratch’ with Otamendi and PezzelaFrance has Kimpembe, Koundé, Kante… And Spain misses that hard leg, those ‘break-in kicks’ that the Uruguayans talk about. Without that physical profile at the back, and with the loss of hierarchy caused by the departure of Piqué or Ramos, the sensation of vulnerability that the National Team showed in the RCDE Stadium Saturday. Spain has an Achilles heel. Luis Enrique must ‘sign’ hierarchy and roughness.

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