June 15, 2015 3:06:55 pm
Lack of potency in attack is making it difficult for Spain to live up to the expectations set by winning the World Cup and two European Championships in the recent golden spell for the country.
David Silva scored the only goal as they had a narrow 1-0 victory away to Belarus on Sunday and it is now becoming a familiar sight to see La Roja have plenty of the ball but little cutting edge.
They dominated the first half in particular but had few moments that really troubled Belarus while after the break they were dependent on under-fire keeper Iker Casillas to maintain their lead as he made a couple of fine blocks.
Spain won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships along with the World Cup in between, with forwards David Villa and Fernando Torres in their pomp but since then the goals have dried up.
Vicente del Bosque’s side are still well placed to qualify for Euro 2016 but more is expected of a side boasting so much talent. They lie three points behind leaders Slovakia in Group C with 15 points from six games.
The coach has freshened up his side with new players but they still play the possession game that also brought a lot of success to Barcelona and has become more predictable.
Tellingly Barca changed to a more direct approach this season with the arrival of Luis Suarez and went on to win the treble.
“The style comes from the players of both Barca and (Real) Madrid and is down to logic. If you have quick players who don’t sit back and look to counter then it is normal to play like this,” Del Bosque told El Pais.
“It would be good to know how to play and keep possession, know how to counter-attack and have the ability to make a killer pass. Sometimes it is bad to make a pass which is the safe option when you could have looked forward and tried to find an opening.”
Players like Silva and Cesc Fabregas, who were regular goal scorers for the national team, have lately failed to contribute consistently and perhaps the answer was to be more direct.
Forward Diego Costa is yet to make an impact on the international stage mainly due to injury but a style that suits his pace and strength could be the solution for Spain.
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