From: FF on
MH wrote:
> FF wrote:
> > milivella wrote:
> >> ...and, finally, Spain:
> >>
> >> Iker Casillas
> >> Pepe Reina
> >> * Victor Valdes
> >>
> >> Raul Albiol
> >> ** Alvaro Arbeloa - William
> >> Joan Capdevila
> >> Carlos Marchena
> >> ** Gerard Pique
> >> Carles Puyol
> >> Sergio Ramos
> >>
> >> Xabi Alonso
> >> ** Sergio Busquets - Enzo
> >> Cesc Fabregas
> >> Xavi Hernandez
> >> Andres Iniesta
> >> ** Javi Martinez - Michael H.
> >> ** Juan Mata - Michael H.
> >> ** Jesus Navas
> >> ** Pedro Rodriguez - Mattia
> >> David Silva
> >>
> >> ** Fernando Llorente - Enzp
> >> Fernando Torres
> >> David Villa
> >
> > The monster.
> > I don't think I remember any squad with so many world class players in
> > it. Brazil are pale in comparison, no other present team comes close.
> > Best keeper in the world, both reserves would fit into the first 3 in
> > any squad and would be first choice in most squads.
> > Del Bosque might not be the best coach but he has shown that he can
> > get results with a strong team. Which he now definitely has.
> > Do they have any weakness ? Too small overall maybe ?
> > Of course, being Spain they could always choke, but judging by what
> > they've shown at the Euro it won't happen.
> > Clear favorite if you ask me. (Hopefully the refs won't be too much
> > against them this time.)
> With Senna, Guiza, Negredo, etc. all being cut, we can look at this
> squad more clearly.
> I am less sanguine about their strengths than you are.

It may have sounded like I see them already winners, which I'm not.
They are however favorites by some margin IMO.

> The problems I
> see, in order of importance, are:
> 1) Not enough depth at forward. Pedro is still young,

I was quite impressed with Pedro as much as I saw him, which is not
very much. Especially in the tie against Inter, at times he seemed to
be the only Barca player who had some idea what to do with the ball.
Which is no small feat in a team with Messi and Xavi, and against the
rock defense of Inter. He might shine at the WCup. That said, the
final stages of the WCup are quite a different proposition (though not
necessarily harder than Mou's Inter), so it remains to be seen.

> Torres injury
> prone, and Villa picks up cards. Llorente has not yet been tested much.
> Both Iniesta and Frabregas still coming back from injury, not that they
> are forwards, but they are players that would allow Villa to play as a
> sole forward.

You may be right, but I think an attack with Torres, Villa and Pedro,
supported by Xavi, Iniesta, Silva and Fabregas (not necessarily all
at the same time) will be able to handle it.
(Besides, if they lack inspiration Pique can always come forward and
show them how it's done. :-) )

> 2) Not enough muscle in midfield. No Senna, and I don't see Busquets as
> the answer. Javi Martinez might be the future there, but he is
> completely untried. Would not be surprised to see Albiol or Marchena
> show up in midfield as a late game sub when Spain are winning.
> 3) Where to play Puyol ? He is still a good player and inspirational,
> but he is not as good a defender as Pique or Albiol right now in the
> middle. The smart thing might be to play him as a right back, leaving
> Ramos on the bench.
> 4) Not enough defenders in the squad. I count only 7, which seems too
> few given the propensity of defenders to pick up injuries and
> suspensions. As far as I know none of the midfielders has played much
> in defence. I can see that Del Bosque might feel he can get away with
> only 7 given that several of them are very flexible - Puyol has played
> left and right back for Spain in the past, Arbeloa has played on both
> sides, Ramos right back and in the middle, and both Marchena and Albiol
> have considerable experience as central midfielders. However, they may
> be stretched at this position over a long tournament.

I don't know about all this. You probably know better than me so you
may be right. Then again, there are enough very good players in all
positions, and flexible enough to cover reasonably problematic
situations. And I guess Del Bosque has thought about all this and has
some idea of what's to be done, that's what they pay him for. My guess
would be that they'll be attack-oriented so 7 flexible defenders will