Fractious Spain Face Final Curtain

Spain haven't got a great deal to gain out of their final fixture against Australia. As Tim Stannard says, the post-mortem is already firmly underway...

Last Updated: 23/06/14 at 08:17 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Patience, Probing, But No Penetration For City...

Post comment

Francesco Totti's subtle finish showed Man City what they were missing on Tuesday as Manuel Pellegrini's side failed to find a winning goal against Roma...

#Usingfootballersnamesineverydaylife

Post comment

We have the last of these as well as mails on Liverpool, Wayne Rooney, QPR, Arsenal's injuries and more. It's a mailbox that's Alonso rather than Rafael, if you will...

All Articles

When it was time to head back to the team hotel after the debacle of the defeat to Chile, Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque apparently made the error of trying to board the coach of the conquering South American opponents.

'Apparently' is the word used in this context, as there must be a suspicion that Del Bosque was deliberately looking for a prison break, fully aware of the nature of the vitriol that was already heading west from the media and general boorish bloke-in-a-bar back home.

That criticism was fast and brutal in its arrival through the Brazilian airspace with even Del Bosque himself admitting to Spanish TV station, Cuatro, that some of it was most hurtful. "When I see on a Madrid website, or a website related to Madrid , that I am a puppet in the hands of the Barça players, that hurts me," said Del Bosque.

That accusation towards La Roja was just one of many theories to come pouring through as the reason for Spain's awful showing. The most popular theory was confirmed by Xabi Alonso, who admitted that the team was not physically and mentally ready for the World Cup and lacked hunger. It was this second comment that caused a bit of an uproar, even amidst the Spain camp, forcing the Real Madrid midfielder to backtrack by qualifying that it was competitive intensity which was missing.

The Spanish have gone through the usual motions of deciding who should be kicked out of the camp and never play for the country again, mimicking England's response. Nearly a quarter of a million voted in Marca's online survey and opined that Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, Raúl Albiol, Juanfran, Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernández, David Villa, Diego Costa and Fernando Torres should be sent into exile, along with the manager for good measure.

There was a little more hope for the future in AS with a poll on who should replace the fallen. Those results show why the Spanish should not get too downhearted as footballers with the quality and promise of Dani Carvajal, Jesé, Isco and Thiago Alcántara were listed as the new breed. Not a bad bunch really, considering players such as Pedro and David Silva are not exactly past their prime.

Of course, all this looking to the future does nothing to help Spain in the present, which is a rotten place to be. The wait for the Australia match was never ending. The weekend press was stuffed with a story over a tiff between Del Bosque and Cesc Fabregas, with the manager removing a bib from the Chelsea man, supposedly for being unenthusiastic in training. The battle reflected the cracks in a bedeviled and bewildered camp. "I think only about them, they only think about themselves," said Del Bosque in a rare critique over the attitude of his charges.

Monday's match against Australia could be an awful affair with the world champions. Rather than it being a return to form and a send-off for all the supporters that travelled across the Atlantic, the game could be a real low point for Del Bosque. The Spanish will be hoping that all the fight has gone out of an Australia outfit that fought so valiantly against Chile and the Netherlands, in a manner quite unlike the team's opponents on Monday evening.

The alternative is the Spanish manager finally succeeding in his mission after the clash. Not just getting on the Australian team bus, but the plane home Down Under. There may be one or two of his footballers following in his wake.

Tim Stannard - follow him on Twitter

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

put Ince in my fantasy football team, so it's no surprise at all really. I do that to players. Also responsible for De Jong and Upson being injured. Think I'll transfer in Di Maria just to ruin United....

megabrow (cufc)
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

L

ovren? £20m always seemed a touch on the expensive side, but I wasn't expecting him to be quite such a waste of money

stevenjameshyde
F365's Top Ten Surprise Strugglers

H

alf of our players have the physical presence of a 14 year old girl. I don't know why people are always shocked that they're injured.

TheWhiz
Wenger baffled by injuries

Latest Photos

Footer 365

PSG stun Barca, Bayern stay 100%

PSG edged to an entertaining 3-2 Champions League win over Barcelona, while Bayern Munich beat CSKA Moscow and BATE stunned Athletic Bilbao.

Champions League: Manchester City held to home draw by Roma

Manchester City endured yet another night of Champions League frustration as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Roma.

Champions League: Nemanja Matic earns three points for Chelsea against Sporting Lisbon in Group G

Nemanja Matic's header earned Chelsea three away points against Sporting Lisbon in UEFA Champions League Group G.

Mail Box

#Usingfootballersnamesineverydaylife

We have the last of these as well as mails on Liverpool, Wayne Rooney, QPR, Arsenal's injuries and more. It's a mailbox that's Alonso rather than Rafael, if you will...

How Much In 'Pounds Raheem Sterling'?

A whole lot of you use footballers' names in everyday life. And you hate yourselves for it. As you should. We also have mails on Newcastle, Rooney and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property