Posted by
joey barton
Member since Feb 2011
10760 posts

re: Brazil v. Spain, 5:00PM, ESPN

The response to this by teams is to use superior athletes, if they have them, to press the ball like Spain do. The Spanish still have their weaknesses without the ball, namely behind the ball defensive shape and organization. The Spanish are so nervous without the ball that they are eager to get it back, which when it doesn't work results in wild positioning and flimsy defensive shape.

While they've just won a U23 tournament, I think that there are alarming similarities between this loss and last year's dismal performance at the Olympics. It has been interesting to see how differently their U20 team is put together. I don't know if it's coincidental or if Spain has already been looking to change things up.


but I don't think they have the defensive depth to do this through a whole tournament.

Don't tell me that you wouldn't want to see Raul Albiol start in a World Cup final.

Auburn Fan
Member since May 2012
18604 posts

re: Brazil v. Spain, 5:00PM, ESPN
Wow, I thought Brazil had a great chance but didn't see something that comprehensive coming.

Like another poster said I'm trying hard not to declare Spain's run over but after what happened to Barca against Bayern and watching them this tournament it seems they have either been figured out or just lost their edge (probably a little of both). Either way I'd be real worried if I were a fan of La Roja. Over 3.5 hours of football with no goals in the knockout stages.

Neymar, please stop being such a bitch so as not to distract from your incredible talent.

Luiz, what a clearance. Biggest moment of the match for me, how different that game could have been had it been 1-1 at the break.

The Pique red was questionable but I think after two close calls in the first half where Arbeloa and Ramos committed fouls when they could have been perceived as the last man (and Big Phil letting them know about it) the ref wasn't going to let them off the hook again. Game was done and dusted by that point anyway.

Ramos taking the PK, wtf? Also, that was a weak as hell call considering Navas had his back to the goal in the corner of the box. Otherwise the ref did a great job I thought of letting them play. Soccer needs more refs like that in the worst way.

Can't wait for the WC next year, looks like it will be an amazing atmosphere with no clear favorite. Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Germany all with a great chance and I can't wait to watch Belgium at the top level with all of their young talent.

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Member since Aug 2008
28560 posts

re: Brazil v. Spain, 5:00PM, ESPN
I don't think tiki-taka is dead. Like you said, anyone who says that is doing so because of an irrational reaction. They just went almost 30 straight matches without losing for frick's sake. Not to mention the Spanish are dominating at almost every age level.

I do think the system needs to be tweaked, however. It's a combination of a bunch of things: age, form, personnel, exhaustion, etc.

Today they got beat at their own game. In the past few years, they have dominated through their ability to manage space incredibly effectively. Tiki-taka or possession were just tools to twist the opponent out of shape. They have been able to squeeze the pitch at any point when they don't have the ball, and then utilize every inch when they do. Today Brazil pressed them high up the field and absolutely dominated the spacing. Their incredible combination of youth, energy, athleticism and technical ability were just too much for Spain to handle - plus it was Brazil's A game.

Spain's defense just isn't good enough at the moment. Ramos just isn't disciplined enough for me to be able to pair with Pique, who I consider to be a top 5 CB in the world. Not sure what the solution here is. Ramos to RB and then Busquets to CB, like you said, could work. I think their lack of a good RB is a big problem. Casillas also isn't top form, considering he barely played half a season in 12/13.

Another issue which can't be understated is the form of Torres and Villa. Spain's lack of a world class goal scorer is a huge deficiency at the moment. Maybe Llorente can find good form in Serie A, or maybe Vincente will go back to the false 9. Who knows.

Last, exhaustion. A lot can probably be attributed to this. Those Spanish players need a rest. For the most part they have played non-stop since the 2010 WC.

Georgia Tech Fan
Houston, TX
Member since Sep 2010
5051 posts

re: Brazil v. Spain, 5:00PM, ESPN
Not sure how much this was discussed earlier, but it's amazing how much turnover the Brazilian national team has had in the last four years. Out of the 22-man roster that beat the US in the 2009 Confederations Cup Final, only Julio Cesar and Dani Alves were on the squad that played yesterday. By comparison Spain had 14 players on the squad yesterday and the 2009 semifinal against the US.
2013 - Brazil vs Spain
2009 - Spain vs USA
2009 - Brazil vs USA

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