Connect with us

Interviews

World Cup 2014 Expert Interview: Discussing the Spanish midfield set-up & available options

As part of our World Cup coverage, we have interviewed journalists, correspondents, experts & writers representing each of the 32 countries to give you, the readers, a better understanding of the 32 nations participating in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Here are the list of interviewees.

Spain World Cup Interview

For this interview, focusing on Spain, we have interviewed David Cartlidge. He is a Spanish football expert at Mirror Football, Sports (Spain), FourFourTwo and WhoScored. He is also the online editor of beINSPORT (USA). Follow him on Twitter @davidjaca

Before getting right into it, given the records this Spanish side has set, is this the greatest national team of all time in the history of football?

I believe so, most certainly. I think the level of success and standard of football shown during this reign is proof enough for that. While I believe they already are the greatest, if they win in Brazil I don’t believe it can even be up for debate. Brazil 1970 is the only other national side to come close.

With the likes of Costa, Negredo in the squad, and last year’s failure to win the Confederations Cup, along with tiki-taka getting exposed a bit this season, will Spain make a proactive change to their style of play, or will it still be reactive?

The basic values will be there, but Del Bosque isn’t naive enough to play the same way overall. There has to be progression, otherwise Spain will fail. Spain did play a more expansive game under Luis Aragónes, then they went to control with Del Bosque. This has to be the next stage in progression. Teams know how Spain will setup now, so the likes of Diego Costa and Koke coming into the squad add a different dynamic.

Diego Costa’s decision to not play for the home country will certainly infuriate the supporters in Brazil. But if anyone, surely Costa will thrive in that atmosphere. What impact do you think he will have on the tournament

Initially he seemed like a starter but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense he’s an impact player. I think his energy, and different kind of output, could be lethal from the bench. Maybe he will play his way into contention, but Del Bosque is rarely radical with his changes. Instead, it will be more staggered.

MORE READING | Analysing Spain’s tactical approach, formation & set-up

Teams are pressing Spain in midfield, we saw Brazil do it very effectively last year. Does the aging of Xavi and Alonso have anything to do with that working well?

Most certainly. It’s going to be an added hurdle for Spain to navigate, facilitating for their evident decline. The players on the bench are there, to come in and impact. It could be, especially in Xavi’s case, someone else begins to pull the strings more. Even from a more advanced position. It’s such a shame Thiago won’t be there, despite the level of midfield talent still available, as he was probably the player to take Spain forward.

Sergio Busquets has been a fantastic servant for club and country, but the perception is that he offers little in the way of penetrating passing. Do you think sacrificing him to bring in a Pirlo style playmaker will compromise the defence?

I think the argument around dropping Sergio Busquets is over. It’s settled. The win in 2012 showed that, he’s needed. Busquets is one of the most special, intelligent and essential players to have come through in Spanish football. There are others who can penetrate in advanced areas, while still keeping Busquets in the team. Removing him would be a great mistake, but I know Del Bosque wouldn’t dream of doing it. If anything, he’d maybe like an XI of Busquets’!

2014 FIFA World Cup Group B

We at Outside of the Boot track the progress of youngsters under our Talent Radar feature. A couple of Spanish youngsters will be going to Brazil, none more deservedly than Koke. He even won our Talent Radar Player of the Season 2013-14 award. What role does he play in Del Bosque’s plans? Will he feature for the side

Koke’s one of those that could benefit from the fatigue of Xavi, and others. He could become a mainstay in the team sooner rather than later, something that Xavi has predicted himself in fact. We could see a midfield three of Busquets, Xabi Alonso and Iniesta, then Koke deployed from the left of an advanced three in his interior role. I think that could work wonderfully, and might well be the next step Spain takes as a team. Koke’s progression has been astonishing. People forget in 2011 he was on the verge of being bundled out on loan to Real Mallorca, until Diego Simeone came in.

Do you think the Spanish side has what it takes to go for an unprecedented fourth consecutive major trophy? What would be the bare minimum to label this tournament a success?

Spain has to win, it’s as simple as that. It’s the bare minimum. Expectations are that high and this is the last time this generation will be together. Carles Puyol already isn’t there, others will not be there at the next big tournament.  It’s their last chance, and I believe they can do it. They have what it takes. The replacement players for those not there or not at full fitness, are good enough, and this leads me to believe Spain can do it again. The resources are incredible. Experience too, will be significant. Fatigue is the only battle, but keeping the ball could negate that.

Read all our World Cup Interviews here, and all other WC2014 related content here.

100 to Watch

Latest

Talent Radar2 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #6: Luka Jovic, Anthony Martial and Reiss Nelson feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar3 months ago

Talent Radar: A-League’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Brian Bertie writes about the 10 young players to watch in this season’s A-League. Australia have made rapid strides forward...

Interviews3 months ago

Interview: Abneet Bharti on Indian footballers abroad

SU Sintrense defender, Abneet Bharti, the only Indian footballer to be plying his trade in Europe, talks to Kaustubh Pandey...

Talent Radar3 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #5: Matthias De Ligt & James Maddison feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions3 months ago

Borja Fernandez: The underappreciated genius of ISL’s infancy

On the eve of the latest edition of the ISL, Arinjay Ghosh pays a tribute to Borja Fernandez, an ISL...

Opinions3 months ago

Tactical Philosophy: Domenico Tedesco

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Tactical Analysis3 months ago

Liverpool 3-2 PSG: Liverpool edge deserved victory against dysfunctional PSG

Siyang Xu writes a detailed tactical analysis about the UEFA Champions League match that ended Liverpool 3-2 PSG. Liverpool faced...

Talent Radar3 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Matthias De Ligt & Ousmane Dembele feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions3 months ago

UEFA Champions League: The 5 hipster sides to follow this season

Gear up with your organic ginger ale and mystical moustache oil, as Richard Pike briefs us about 5 off beat...

Talent Radar4 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #3: Maxi Gomez & Marco Asensio feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions4 months ago

Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Miles Olusina writes about Maurizio Sarri and the approach he is likely to take at Chelsea. Despite a successful 2016/17...

Talent Radar4 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #2: Joe Gomez & Bertrand Traore feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Talent Radar4 months ago

2018-19 U-22 Young Players’ Team of the Week #1: Joe Gomez & Kylian Mbappe feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Opinions4 months ago

Julen Lopetegui at Real Madrid: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Aamer Aslam writes about what we can expect from European Champions Real Madrid after the arrival of Julen Lopetegui On...

Opinions4 months ago

Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli: Tactical Approach & Key Players

Charles Onwuakpa writes about Carlo Ancelotti and the approach he is likely to take on at Napoli. After three intense...

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Gonçalo Paciência | Eintracht’s exquisite forward

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Eintracht Frankfurt’s striker, Gonçalo Paciência. For those who have been attentively observing...

Talent Radar4 months ago

Talent Radar: Liga MX’s 10 Young Players to Watch in 2018-19

Thomas Harrison writes about the 10 players to watch out for in the Liga MX for this coming season. Mexico...

Talent Radar4 months ago

20 Key Young Players to Watch from 20 La Liga Teams

Tom Canton takes a look at they key young players to watch from each of the 20 La Liga teams....

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Alphonso Davies | Speedy Canadian winger

Griffin O’Neill writes a detailed scout report about Alphonso Davies, the Vancouver Whitecaps winger. While many still believe that the...

Scout Report4 months ago

Scout Report: Diogo Gonçalves | Benfica’s tricky winger

Jose Miguel Saraiva writes a detailed scout report about Benfica’s tricky winger, Diogo Goncalves Having been deprived of their biggest...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More on Outside of the Boot

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this