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Michael 84

Football

Everything you love about the beautiful game.

Football Is Back! First Day Of The Premier League!

Saturday, 8th August, 2015

football-predictions-logo

The football is back! We’ve been without footy since May, since there was no Euro’s or World Cup in the summer, there has been no competitive football since the last day of last season back in May, but now it’s back! As with part of last season, I will be doing the Super Six on the App, so I will be posting my predictions for each weeks matches; As I found out last season, it’s quite difficult! :mrgreen:

What’s happened since May?

  • Well Newcastle stayed up on the last day with a win against West Ham. Burnley QPR and Hull went down, with Norwich, Watford and Bournemouth coming up.
  • There’s been quite a large number of high profile transfers with a couple of players swapping clubs; Most notable Raheem Sterling’s switch from Liverpool to Man City for 44M (rising to 49M). Petr Cech has moved from Chelsea to Arsenal, Falcao who was at Man Utd on loan last season went back to Monaco and then back out on loan, this time to Chelsea.
  • Liverpool have spent a fortune and brought in Firmino, Milner, Ings, Clyne and Benteke; While Man Utd have splashed out on Depay, Romero, Darmain, Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin

First Half Season Predictions

So it’s a new season, I might as well make a few end of season predictions for how I see the season going with what’s happened in the transfer window so far.

  • Chelsea will win the league, with Man City coming second. The top 4 will be rounded off with Arsenal and Man Utd with Liverpool just missing out.
  • Norwich, Watford and Bournemouth will all go straight back down.
  • Newcastle will battle it out for a top 10 spot but will fall short and finish 11-12th.

This week’s predictions

(Predictions will be in italic with actual results under when available)

Man Utd 2 – 0 Spurs
Man Utd 1 – 0 Spurs

Bournemouth 2 – 1 Aston Villa
Bournemouth 0 – 1 Aston Villa

Everton 2 – 1 Watford
Everton 2 – 2 Watford

Leicester 2 – 0 Sunderland
Leicester 4 – 2 Sunderland

Norwich 2 – 2 Crystal Palace
Norwich 1 – 3 Crystal Palace

Chelsea 1 – 0 Swansea
Chelsea 2 – 2 Swansea

Sunday

Arsenal 2 – 0 West Ham
Arsenal 0 – 2 West Ham

Newcastle 2 – 2 Southampton
Newcastle 2 – 2 Southampton

Stoke 2 – 1 Liverpool
Stoke 0 – 1 Liverpool

Monday

West Brom 0 – 3 Man City


Champions League Final 2015 – Juve vs Barca

Saturday, 6th June, 2015

juventus-barca-2015-ucl-final

It’s the pinnicle of European club football, tonight it’s the final of the Champions League and last club game of this season. It is Juventus vs Barcelona, live from Berlin with a 19:45 kick off time. I am really looking forward to this game, it should be a good one!

The build up has put Barca as favourites, and their deadly MSN strikeforce…That’s Messi, Suarez and Neymar if you haven’t been keeping up with Spanish football 😉 I have actually fancied Juve to do well in this year’s competition for a long while, they have always been my dark horse. Italian football has not had a very good last 10 years or so, a shadow of what it was in the 90’s, but I think it’s starting to come good again. Juve have a lot of talent such as Pogba, Tevez and Morata, and I can’t forget my favourite Juve player who probably will not start but may feature, Fernando Llorente.

It’s also the game of the double winning sides looking to go for a treble; Both Juventus and Barcelona have done their respective domestic doubles, winning the league and national cups, so whoever wins will be completing a treble; I think that could be a first where we’ve seen two teams fighting for a treble.

The game itself will be interesting, I think it will largely depend on how Juventus will set out to play; Will they be a traditional defence minded Italian team, or will they take the fight to Barca who will attack?

I will go for a Barca win with only one goal in it; 2-1 ….But you never know we may see a 4-3 or something really spectacular, both teams have that in their locker 😉


The Biggest Premier League Football Teams According To Social Media

Thursday, 19th February, 2015

Premier League Social Media League Table

We all know who the best teams are in the league, we have an actual league system for that very thing. But what about popularity? How can you measure that? Crowd attendance could be one measure, but lots of people can’t go to games, but stadiums can only hold a certain number of people and many sell out week in, week out. What about social media following? This is a good measure because these days lots of people are on things like Facebook and Twitter, and fans love to follow their teams and keep on the pulse of what’s going on at their club. Not only that, social media is worldwide, so it can really show you what teams in the Premier League are really popular in the world, and the world of social media.

I was curious about this, so I got to work on making a list and finding out the followings of all the English Premier League football clubs, and their following. I decided that I would use the two biggest social media sites, Twitter and Facebook, and get a total for each team’s following, and the total of fans and followers combined.

The criteria is simple; How many people are following the official profiles of each club. It does not take into consideration fansites or fan run accounts, nor does it take into consideration language/location specific accounts (e.g. Man Utd have several official accounts for different territories, only their official English account is used in this).

As you would expect the top 5 accounts are Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City. The teams which have done the best, or had the most history in football. It shows that Chelsea and Arsenal both have more Twitter followers than Man Utd, but Man Utd’s strength in their Facebook numbers take them to the top of the league. I did find some surprising results. My team, Newcastle came in 9th, behind Everton and Aston Villa which I did not expect. Swansea and Hull both top 1 million followers, with Sunderland behind them with over 900k. Burnley are set adrift at the bottom with only 249k combine number of followers, around half that of 19th placed team Leicester City, with West Brom 3rd bottom on 650k followers.

All clubs combined pull in over 220 million followers, almost 200m of them from Facebook.


The End For Spain? Where Did It Go Wrong? – The End Of A Generation?

Thursday, 19th June, 2014

The End Of An Era For Spain? - World Cup 2014

The End For Spain? Where Did It Go Wrong? – The End Of A Generation?

These are the questions every Spanish fan is asking…Spain are out of the World Cup for the first time since 1998 at the group stage, losing their first two matches with one still to play. I think there were a lot of things to blame for Spain going out of the tournament so early.

The Diego Costa Experiment Did Not Work – Diego Costa, Experimento Fallido

Diego Costa had a brilliant season for Atlético Madrid, with 36 goals in all competition, helping them to get to the final of the Champions League and winning La Liga. However he was not fit, and has not played 90 minutes for a long time. He is also inexperienced with the national side, having only played twice before the World Cup, only playing 90 minutes for La Roja once, against Italy back in March. Playing Diego Costa also means a change in the Spanish system, a system which has worked for 6 years with success. Diego Costa was poor in the games he played, some may say he did not get the service, and they could be partly correct, Diego Costa does not belong in this Spain squad.

Unfit, Semi-Injured and Out Of Form Players Picked

The squad was littered with players who were either unfit or out of form. Pique, Diego Costa, Xabi Alonso were all injured coming into the tournament, Xabi Alonso being the fittest out of the three. Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, and Cesc, all out of form with their clubs, with Jordi Alba not putting in his best season with Barcelona either. Iker Casillas has not been playing regularly enough, but is usually dependable, however he was far from his best, with a poor defence in front of him.

Good In Form Players Dropped

Dani Carvajal, Fernando Llorente, Jesus Navas, Alvaro Negredo and even newcomer to the squad Gerard Deulofeu were players who could and should have made the final 23 for Spain. Carvajal has had an impressive season with Real Madrid, Fernando Llorente has the experience with the national team and has played a lot of football, scoring 16 goals in Serie A and helping Juventus to win the league. Jesus Navas had an injury but said he was fit enough, and could have featured as an impact sub if needed. The same could be said with Deulofeu, who is a young player who would play with no fear and run at defenders. Negredo has been out of form in the latter stages of the season, but started well, and has more Spain experience than Diego Costa.

The Good Players, Dependable Players Of Old Were Poor

Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Silva, Iniesta and Casillas were all very, very poor. Xabi Alonso and Busquets never dominated the midfield or protected the back four enough, they were poor in possession and could not get the ball back. The passing from Xavi and Iniesta was not very good either, both were shadows of their former selves. The defence was poor, Pique and Sergio Ramos looked like they had never played together and seemed tired, Pique was dropped and Martinez came in and was not as terrible, but not brilliant either. Jordi Alba and Azpilicueta could not get down the wings like Spain teams of old. David Silva was one of the stars of the Premier League last season, and one of the best players for Man City, but he did not turn up at this World Cup. Xavi and Iniesta could not make the killer passes they’ve shown to be capable of. Casillas was at fault for a few goals, although his defence did not cover themselves in glory either.

Spain just played poor – ¡Estrellados!

Sloppy passing, not enough being created, the defending was poor, not enough energy. Spain played poor in both games, and never really looked comfortable. In possession they gave the ball away too cheaply and were not passing like they usually do. The creative players were not getting in the game enough. The whole team looked tired.

The End For Spain? – What Now? – El fin de una generación única

Is this the end for this Spain team? With a few players over the age of 32, will they do what Alvaro Arbeloa has done and announce international retirement? Is it really time for them to step down after such a long reign of success? I think some of the core players should stay on, at least through qualifying, to help the new younger players who will undoubtedly come in to the squad for the next big tournament Euro 2016.

Casillas (33), Xavi (34), Xabi Alonso (32) and David Villa (32) are all over 32, with most now coming to an end of their career; Casillas is not a regular at Real Madrid, there’s talk of Xavi and Xabi Alonso no longer wanted at Barca and Real Madrid, and David Villa will be playing in Australia and USA next season.

Thank You – We’ll Never Forget The 6 Years of Dominance – Gracias!

Whatever happens in the future, nothing will ever take away what this group of players have achieved. The best EVER international team, the best EVER squad, winning an unprecedented three major competitions in a row which has never been done before. People talk about Brazil 1970, but this group of players have achieved so much more, in tougher, more competitive modern day football, They’ve done what nobody has ever done before them. Winning Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012, an amazing group of players playing football the right way.

There will never be another Spain

Gracias Siempre - Thank You Spain - Viva La Roja!


Is Not Spain Not Taking Navas And Llorente A Mistake?

Wednesday, 11th June, 2014

del bosque not taking navas and llorente to the World Cup is a mistake

The World Cup is almost here, and there has been a question on my mind since Vicente Del Bosque named his final 23 squad: Is Spain not taking Jesus Navas and Fernando Llorente a mistake?

Spain have taken David Villa and Fernando Torres, as well as a less than 100% fit Diego Costa to the World Cup, and omitted Jesus Navas who has also been getting over an injury, and the man in form Fernando Llorente.

Jesus Navas is a player who rarely starts for Spain, but when he’s called upon he usually delivers, and is an amazing impact player…Who can forget his amazing run which lead to the Iniesta goal in the World Cup final when Spain won the last World Cup. Since he probably would not start, it’s worth taking him as an impact player, even if he was struggling a little with fitness.

The same can not be said with Diego Costa, who’s had an injury for the past several weeks, and played an hour or so in Spain’s final warm up game last week. He’s probably going to start, but it could be a gamble on his fitness, he’ll have to hit the ground running, and if he doesn’t where will David Villa and Fernando Torres fit in? Will he be dropped for one of them, and how long do you give Diego Costa to prove himself?

Fernando Torres is a great player, however has not been in form for a long time. He has even been dropped from several Spain squads in the qualifiers, so it was quite a surprise to see him named in the final 23, ahead of Fernando Llorente. Fernando Llorente has a slow start to his Juventus career, but went on to become a regular starter, finished the season as a Serie A winner and scored 16 league goals in the process, only 3 behind his teammate Carlos Tevez.

David Villa is a player who’s been in and out the Atletico Madrid team, and is still an amazing player, but has been in and out the national team. He played last week and scored both goals against El Salvador, showing he can still do it at this level.

If Torres and/or Diego Costa don’t deliver, there’ll be questions whether Del Bosque got the squad selection right, and if Fernando Llorente or Jesus Navas should have been picked.

 


All The Home And Away Kits From The 2014 World Cup Teams

Tuesday, 10th June, 2014

The World Cup is almost here, and I am so excited! It’s only once every four years, so I love to make a big deal of it, in real life and on my blog too. If you don’t like football what’s wrong with you!??! 😉 Here is a graphic I have created with every kit which will be used at the World Cup, the home and away (and in some cases third) kits for each nation, as well as the opening group games.

The big kick off is on Thursday night with Brazil vs Croatia in the opening game. Here is the rundown of every kit for every team. Feel free to use this on your own blog or Twitter.

Every kit for the 2014 World Cup


Spain Squad Predictions For World Cup 2014

Monday, 12th May, 2014

Spain World Cup 2014 Squad Predictions

The World Cup is not far away! Love or hate football, most people enjoy watching the World Cup, and getting in the spirit of it. I love the World Cup, and always have done. My team is Spain, and has been for about 20 years, since I was a kid. People always ask me why, and I don’t have a real answer, I just always loved Spain since USA ’94.

The Spain squad is a difficult thing to pick, but I had fun guessing and predicting which players will be picked. The 30 man provisional squad will be named tomorrow, and it’s more of a question of who will miss out, will there be places for the young Spanish players, or will all the old tried and tested get their place in the squad. This is what I have gone for:

Goalkeepers – Iker Casillas, Reina, De Gea

Defenders – Albiol, Pique, Juanfran, Javi Martinez, Sergio Ramos, Azpilicueta, Jordi Alba, Carvajal, Iñigo

Midfielders – Iniesta, Xavi, Fabregas, Koke, Mata, Alonso, Busquets, Carzola, Silva, Navas, Thiago, Isco, Suarez

Forwards – Pedro, Diego Costa, Llorente, Negredo, David Villa

The squad will then be broken down into the final 23. Vicente Del Bosque may name 4 goalkeepers in the 30 and cut 1, if that is the case I would imagine Diego Lopez, but I could not find space for 4 keepers, I picked an extra outfield player :p It will be interesting to see not only what forwards get picked but how many; Del Bosque is famous for picked only 1 or 2 “number 9’s” even in an entire squad, whereas most will take 4 or even 5.

In my squad there is sadly no room for Torres, or players like Bartra, Alberto Moreno and Javi Garcia.


Spain Squad For Belarus And Georgia Games October 2013

Friday, 4th October, 2013

Spain will end their World Cup qualifying campaign in the coming weeks against Belarus (11th October) and Georgia (15th October) both games at home. Del Bosque has called up Alberto Moreno for the first time, with Juanfran, Juan Mata and Gerard Piqué getting recalls to the squad.

No place for Roberto Soldado, Fernando Torres or Diego Costa, who wants to play for Spain but FIFA and Brazil have intervened to put a block on that, at least for now. Negredo is called up as the one true “number 9” with in form David Villa also getting selected.

Spain Squad

Casillas, Valdés, Reina, Juanfran, Arbeloa, Piqué, Ramos, Albiol*, Alberto Moreno, Monreal, Busquets, Mario Suárez, KoKe, Xavi, Iniesta, Isco, Navas, Pedro, Cesc, Villa*, Negredo, Silva and Mata. Michu & Martinez called up.

UPDATE

With injuries to David Villa and Albiol, they have both been withdrawn. Called up in their place are Michu and Iñago Martinez.


The Summer Football Transfer Window 2013

Monday, 15th July, 2013

Here are the biggest and most notable transfers in football from the summer 2013 transfer window.

August 2013

Darren Bent [Aston Villa – Fulham] Loan

Nathan Delfouneso [Aston Villa – Blackpool] Loan

Luiz Gustavo [Bayern Munich – Wolfsburg] Undisclosed

Nile Ranger [Unattached – Swindon]

Adam Campbell [Newcastle – Carlisle] Loan

Etienne Capoue [Toulouse – Tottenham] Approx £9m

Esteban Granero [QPR – Real Sociedad] Loan

Franco Di Santo [Wigan – Werder Bremen] Free

Tom Huddlestone [Tottenham – Hull] £5m

Jake Livermore [Tottenham – Hull] Loan

Wallace [Chelsea – Inter Milan] Loan

Stewart Downing [Liverpool – West Ham] £5m

Matej Vydra [Udinese – West Brom] Loan

Marouane Chamakh [Arsenal – Crystal Palace] Undisclosed

Gary Medel [Sevilla – Cardiff] £11m

Kelvin Wilson [Celtic – Nottingham Forest] £2.5m

Bernard [Atletico Mineiro – Shakhtar Donetsk] £21.5m

Gervinho [Arsenal – Roma] £8m

Park Ji-Sung [QPR – PSV Eindhoven] Loan

Cristian Cuevas(external) [Chelsea – Vitesse Arnhem] Loan

Adel Taarabt [QPR – Fulham] Loan

Loic Remy [QPR – Newcastle] Loan

Roberto Soldado [Valencia – Tottenham] £26m

Clint Dempsey [Tottenham – Seattle Sounders] £6m

Marlon Harewood [Barnsley – Bristol City] Free

Jason Koumas [Unattached – Tranmere]

Diego Lugano [Paris St-Germain – West Brom] Free

Kamil Zayatte [Istanbul BB – Sheffield Wednesday] Free

Charlie Austin [Burnley – QPR] Undisclosed

Michael Richardson [Newcastle – Accrington] Loan

Ross Turnbull [Chelsea – Doncaster] Free

July 2013

Mehdi Abeid [Newcastle – Panathinaikos] Loan

Steven Caulker [Tottenham – Cardiff] £8m

Derk Boerrigter [Ajax – Celtic] £3m

Pepe Reina [Liverpool – Napoli] Loan

Gonzalo Higuain [Real Madrid – Napoli] £34.5m

Nacer Chadli [Twente – Tottenham] £7m

Gary Hooper [Celtic – Norwich] £5m

Cristian Cuevas [O’Higgins – Chelsea] £3m

Shane Ferguson [Newcastle – Birmingham] Loan

Kevin Phillips [Blackpool – Crystal Palace] Free

Andre Santos [Arsenal – Flamengo] Undisclosed

Danny Graham [Sunderland – Hull] Loan

Stevan Jovetic [Fiorentina – Manchester City] £22m

Marquinhos [Roma – Paris St-Germain] £27m

Alvaro Negredo [Sevilla – Manchester City] £20m

Jose Campana [Sevilla – Crystal Palace] Undisclosed

Rory Delap [Stoke – Burton] Free

Maicon [Manchester City – Roma] Undisclosed

Florent Malouda [Chelsea – Trabzonspor] Free

Jan Mucha [Everton – Krylia Sovetov Samara] Free

Edinson Cavani [Napoli – PSG] £55m

Thiago Alcantera [Barcelona – Bayern Munich] €25M (Euros)

Emanuele Giaccherini [Juventus – Sunderland]

Martín Demichelis [Malaga – Atletico Madrid]

Gio dos Santos [Mallorca – Villarreal]

David Villa [Barcelona – Atletico Madrid] €5.1M

Jérémy Toulalan [Malaga – Monaco] €5M

Bojan Krkić [Barcelona – Ajax] Loan

Marko Marin [Chelsea – Sevilla] Loan

Steve Harper [Newcastle United-Hull City] free

Richard Dunne [Aston Villa – QPR] Free

Asier Illarramendi [Real Sociedad – Real Madrid] €32.2m (Euros)

Oriel Romeu [Chelsea – Valencia] Loan

Suso [Liverpool – Almeria] Loan

Wilfried Bony [Vitesse Arnhem – Swansea] £12m

Roque Santa Cruz [Manchester City – Malaga] Free

Victor Wanyama [Celtic – Southampton] £12.5m

El Hadji Ba [Le Havre – Sunderland] Free

Gerard Deulofeu [Barcelona – Everton] Loan

Martin Olsson [Blackburn – Norwich] Free

Antolin Alcaraz [Wigan – Everton] Free

Jozy Altidore [AZ Alkmaar – Sunderland] Undisclosed

Henrikh Mkhitaryan [Shakhtar Donetsk – Borussia Dortmund] £24.4m

Goran Popov [Dynamo Kiev – West Brom] Loan

Mark Schwarzer [Fulham – Chelsea] Free

Eric Abidal [Barcelona – Monaco] Free

Arouna Kone [Wigan – Everton] £6m

Paulinho [Corinthians – Tottenham] £17m

Francis Coquelin [Arsenal – Freiburg] Loan

Johan Djourou [Arsenal – Hamburg] Loan

Marc-Antoine Fortune [West Brom – Wigan] Free

Christopher Samba [QPR – Anzhi Makhachkala] £12m

Marco van Ginkel [Vitesse Arnhem – Chelsea] £8m (reported)

Nicolas Anelka [Juventus – West Brom] Free

DJ Campbell [Queens Park Rangers – Blackburn] Free

Scott Carson [Bursaspor – Wigan] Undisclosed

Vito Mannone [Arsenal – Sunderland] Undisclosed

James Perch [Newcastle – Wigan] Undisclosed

Jonjo Shelvey [Liverpool – Swansea] £5m

Allan McGregor [Besiktas – Hull] £1.5m

Marc Muniesa [Barcelona – Stoke] Free

Kolo Toure [Manchester City – Liverpool] Free

Modibo Diakite [Lazio – Sunderland] Free

 

JUNE 2013

 

Yaya Sanogo [Auxerre – Arsenal] Free

Beñat Etxebarria [Betis – Athletic Bilbao]  €8M

Casemiro [Sao Paulo – Real Madrid] €6M

Jonathan de Guzman [Villarreal – Swansea] Loan

Ahmed Elmohamady [Sunderland – Hull] £2m

Erik Pieters [PSV Eindhoven – Stoke City] £3m

Jordi Amat [Espanyol – Swansea] £2.5m

Andrey Arshavin [Arsenal – Zenit St Petersburg] Free

Isco [Malaga – Real Madrid] £23m (reported)

Danny Simpson [Newcastle – QPR] Free

Jed Steer [Norwich – Aston Villa] Compensation yet to be agreed

Carlos Tevez [Manchester City – Juventus] £12m

Curtis Davies [Birmingham – Hull] £2.25m (reported)

Simon Mignolet [Sunderland – Liverpool] £9m

Andre Schurrle [Bayer Leverkusen – Chelsea] £18m

Iago Aspas [Celta Vigo – Liverpool] £7m

Luis Alberto [Sevilla – Liverpool] £6.8m (reported)

Thibaut Courtois [Chelsea – Atletico Madrid] Loan

Virgil van Dijk [FC Groningen – Celtic] £2.6m

Nicklas Helenius [Aalborg – Aston Villa] Fee which could rise to £2m (reported)

Dale Jennings [Bayern Munich – Barnsley] £250,000

Maynor Figueroa [Wigan – Hull] Free

Denilson [Arsenal – Sao Paolo] Free

Jesus Navas [Sevilla – Manchester City] £14.9m

Wayne Bridge [Manchester City – Reading] Free

Aleksandar Tonev [Lech Posnan – Aston Villa] Undisclosed

Guillermo Varela [Atletico Penarol – Manchester United] Undisclosed

Fernandinho [Shakhtar Donetsk – Manchester City] £30m

Maarten Stekelenburg [Roma – Fulham] Undisclosed

Neymar [Santos – Barcelona] £48.6m

 

May 2013

Radamel Falcao [Atletico Madrid – Monaco] Reported £50m

Ricardo Carvalho [Real Madrid – Monaco] Free

Cristián Zapata [Villarreal – Milan] €6M

Fernando Llorrente [Athletic Bilbao – Juventus] Free

Joao Moutinho [Porto – Monaco] £21.5m

James Rodriguez [Porto – Monaco] £38.5m

Derek Boateng [Dnipro – Fulham] Free

Fernando Amorebieta [Athletic Bilbao – Fulham] Free

Razvan Rat [Shakhtar Donetsk – West Ham] Free


Brazil 3 – 0 Spain – Brazil Win Confederations Cup 2013

Monday, 1st July, 2013

brazil3-spain0

Last night Brazil beat Spain 3-0 to win the Confederations Cup for the third time in a row.

It was a below par performance from Spain, and Brazil were good from the first minute. In fact they went 1-0 up after only 3 minutes with a scrappy goal from Fred. Neymar made it 2-0 a minute before half time smashing the ball past Casillas.

The second half started and Brazil got yet another early goal, Fred getting his 2nd goal of the game on 47 minutes, and Spain looked dead and buried.

Spain Chances

Spain did have their chances; Pedro was put through and almost scored, David Luiz made a great goal line clearance, that would have put the game at 1-1.

Navas came on after half time, Spain were 3-0 down but he won a penalty. Sergio Ramos stepped up but put the ball wide, it was not meant to be for Spain.

Spain Team

Casillas
Arbeloa (Off for Azpilicueta)
Pique (Sent Off)
Ramos
Jordi Alba
Busquets
Xavi
Pedro
Iniesta
Mata (Off for Navas)
Torres (Off for David Villa)

La Selección did not play well

Spain did not play well, as in the previous game against Italy. You could put some of the blame on the players being tired, they did not look themselves. The passing was very sloppy, and it seemed Andreas Iniesta was trying to do just a little bit too much. To add insult to the defeat, Pique got sent off, and Spain had to play the last 20 minutes with only 10 men.

Was the starting 11 the right 11?

It has been a strange time to see the Spain starting 11; There has been changes in the whole team for a variety of reasons; The team which beat Uruguay included Fabregas and Soldado who both did well; In the final neither played or even got on, instead Mata and Torres, who was the top goalscorer started. Fabregas/Mata/Silva looked to be fighting for that position, there was not a definitive starter.

Navas was probably one of the players of the tournament for Spain, but did not start any of the games; He was a big influence when he came on in each game.

It leaves you asking, what is the best Spain starting 11?

Is it the end of Spain?

Of course not! 😀 You hear the same thing whenever Spain do not look like they are playing great, or in this case when they lose. Like any team (Barca/Real/Spain) they have a bad performance in them, they lost to the USA in the previous Confeds Cup and lost the first game of the World Cup 2010 to Switzerland, and then went on to win the World Cup. They had terrible 4-1 and 4-0 defeats against Argentina and Portugal and went on to win Euro 2012.

The Confederations Cup has been good preperation for Spain for the World Cup, they now know what to expect in Brazil, which will put them at a slight advantage to the other teams.

Spain are still a very good team, and are the best team in the World.

Will Spain win the World Cup?

Who knows!


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