Saturday, 30 June 2012

Guess what , Spain has reached it's Plateau

Oh yes !  The all conquering European and World Cup Champions , Spain have reached the limits of their historic Prowess , and the first sign of confirmation they have hit the ceiling shall come in the Final of the 2012 Euro Championship  on the 1st of July , at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev .

This Side have thrilled and confounded alike in the last 4 years with their brand of football centered around possession and asphyxiation . With  Superiority in midfield  as their major plank for success. They have rendered many a team dizzy and deprived of the ball. Yes , they have suffered a few defeats in games , and  that shock 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in the South Africa 2010 Mundial a major blot on their tournament copy book . Still , Spain have been at the summit of world football by merit .

International Football tends to create this cycle of very good , and successful teams  - The Hungarians in the 1950's with the great PUSKAS in their ranks ;   Like Brazil in the  60's featuring the legendary PELE , and culminating in their epic 1970 world Cup triumph in Mexico . The Germans were head and shoulders above everyone else in the early- to - mid 70's . The names Beckenbauer  and Gerd Muller come to mind ; and more recently , France held sway in the late 90's into the early part of this millennium :  we remember the cast of Zidane , Henry ,  Viera  and company. The point being : there tends to be epoch defining teams , and each one comes with a unique, and stand-out playing style to it's rivals, and  players that bring in special qualities to create a spell-biding team . Such is what we have right now with Spain - it's dazzling mid-field force of  Xavi , Iniesta , Busquets , and Xabi Alonso ; and a reliable defense anchored by Pique and Ramos . Spain have been a breath of fresh air , and given International Football  some needed innovation and spice . As usual of teams reaching such lofty preeminence , the domestic conveyor belt of talent tends to go into over-drive concurrently with Success  . The Spanish line-up is like a talent show case , replete with truly special players for club and country , and a bulk of medals at club level to underline their  dual dominance . Carlos Machena , Puyol , David Villa , and one of the best players at Euro 2008  Marcos Senna were comfortably replaced in the team this term . It is a reflection of the depth of talent Spain has produced in the last four years .

Apart from pulverizing Ireland in their penultimate group game , Spain have lacked in creativity and penetration in the last third of the pitch at the Euros . Vicente Del Bosque's four defenders and six midfielders policy   has often meant they overdose on possession , but i have my doubts that tactic has borne sufficient fruits . One would have expected  a higher ratio of chance per game , and an impressive conversion rate  to be sold on it. I wait to hear the official statistics in those two areas , but i am sure it will be down on the previous two tournaments .  Italy , Croatia , and Portugal have largely shown the way to nullify Spain.  It is essentially to attack the heart of their defense ,  playing through midfield rapidly . Like Portugal did: if a team disrupts their rhythm in midfield , and plays with  discipline , and ambitions of it's own , Spain's much vaunted ball possession not only becomes fractious, it is evident they are vulnerable . The fact that those three teams dared , and were relatively successful , signals a shift in thinking for teams . In other words , Spain have Plateaued , from my perspective. Their rate of advancement has slowed , and the next phase is that they become beatable . Once this watershed moment arrives ( as is about to )  Spain becomes diminished as a force , even worse if their conveyor-belt of talent flames-out ; they rejoin the queue of mere mortals . I believe the stage is set for the beginning in the process of decline , Specifically with their dethronement as European Champions on sunday   july 1st in Kiev by Italy

I must add that much as i herald the slow down , and consequent  down fall of Spain from Grace ,  they have surely made the last two European championships , and the 2010 world cup fantastic affairs from the playing- style perspective . Smooth , Pleasing on the eye , Sparkling in technique, with confidence and a swagger to match ,  they have deservedly been top billing . Duration of stay is always the glass jaw for Champions ;   Maybe they'll prove me wrong , but if they do , they'll have to have conducted a tremendous degree of transformation , such that would have defied, and redefined the limits hitherto known of  paradigms associated with Sporting champions .

Viva Espana  !!!!!