Thursday, 14 June 2012

Group C Spain v Ireland Post Match Analysis

Torres, 4, 70
Fabregas, 83

Spain start off in their 4-2-3-1 shape, starting 11:
GK: Casillas, LB: Alba, CB: Ramos, CB: pique, RB: Arbeloa, CM: Busquets, CM: Alonso , LAM: Iniesta, AM: Xavi, RAM: Silva, ST: Torress
SUBS USED: Alonso/ Javi Martinez 65 Torres/ Fabregas 74 Iniesta/Carzorla 80

Ireland start off in a 4-4-1-1 Starting 11:
GK Given LB: Ward  RB: O'Shea  CB; Dunne  CB; St Ledger  LM;Duff  CM;Andrews  CM; Whelan  RM; McGeady  ST;Keane  ST; Cox
SUBS USED: Cox/ Walters 46 Duff/McClean 76 Whelan/Green

A Little look:
The only change for Spain was the inclusion of Torres, this was to add depth to the attack although the Irish tend to sit deep and he likes balls in behind. Ireland will have two banks of four and the key tonight will be how they deal with the balls between their lines and how they proceed when they do get the ball back.


Spain made Ireland look poor today with their brilliance along with a helping hand from the Irish who didn't do anything well today. Knowing that you won't see much of the ball, it's how you use it that matters and on the rare occasion Spain gave it away Ireland were too tired from chasing down and they played silly little balls that got them into trouble. Another mistake that they made was to hit long diagonal balls to the left, expecting too much from Keane who was on his own for very large parts of the game. This meant the ball just came back which in turn meant more running: it was a vicious circle that they made themselves run around.

Spain showed Ireland how to play little neat passes along with the art of closing down. Busquets closed down higher than he normally does as there was no Irish to close down deeper. Alonso  sat deeper when on the attack and was always moving the ball, he picked up some good positions just behind the play. The wing backs (as they should be called for this game) gave Spain the width that added to them always having options, as Silva was always coming inside along with Iniesta, though the latter of the two stayed slightly wider. Arbeloa kept finding  himself in the box and was played in a few times. Alba on the other side linked up well and also made some very good runs which gave Iniesta and Silva the extra room you really shouldn't allow the the pair to have. They were fantastic and played very close to each other today, linking up together along with the whole Spanish side, playing little balls in the attacking third that dragged  Ireland all over the place, creating pockets for Spain to make intelligent runs into. The movement of  the pair was also great, they played most of the game within the width of the box as they knew they didn't have to worry about the Irish fall backs being used on the counter. Silva took his goal well today and will be pleased with his all-round game, along with being a part of both of Torres' goals. Xavi's passing under pressure was sublime again today, he was the man who kept finding Arbeloa in the box and was  always there to help his team-mates. Torres, who scored two goals today, didn't have a great game, he gave the ball up to easily at times and made some bad decisions while on the ball. Fabergas showed when he came on that he can do the same job and more. Torres' first goal was more down to a combination of bad defending from Ward -who was awful all game- and shabby goalkeeping. His second goal was a nice ball slip into his path by Silva after a rare attempt from Ireland to push up field in which they were caught all over the shop, leaving Torres a clean run at goal. He still had to put it away and it was the best thing he did all game; it was a lovely finish to the near post. The debate about the False 9 will rage on and I believe it is still their best option, although it seemed like Silva took this role on for parts of the game, leaving Torres to run the channels either side of him. I still believe Torres would be best suited coming off the bench once a team is chasing a game and tired from getting the run-around.

Full time
Ireland have one more marathon to run before they head home for some much-needed rest. The Spanish will feel that they are getting into their stride, along with feeling fresh as they rarely got out of third gear. Making 788 out of 860 passes is a new record for the Euros I believe, although the record they will care for most will be making three the magic number.

If you have enjoyed this article or any of the others here on TANEFBATL please pass it around,as I'm just starting out and I would like to make this my job many thanks and keep enjoying the Euro's

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