Wenger: Spain Betrayed Their Philosophy, Used to Play to Win, Now Play to Not Lose

Gunners boss not impressed with Vicente del Bosque’s tactical approach.

“These guys are more than outstanding footballers; they are really intelligent and they are winners,”

“I want to give them credit for that. However, they have betrayed their philosophy and turned it into something more negative. Originally they wanted possession in order to attack and win the game; now it seems to be first and foremost a way not to lose.”

SOURCE: Eurosport

So Arsene Wenger has now joined the ever growing anti-Spain bandwagon with comments that are fairly derogatory about a side that is still looking good to retain their European Championship title.

So are the Arsenal manager’s comment fair?

Well yes and no. Yes they have attempted in the main to adopt a ‘false nine’ formation in their tougher games, though did away with the tactic when coming up against a poor Irish side, but it would be unfair to label Vicente del Bosque’s side a boring one to watch, as some have suggested.

On the subject of how Spain will line up against Italy Wenger added.

“What should he do? I would be inclined to think that because he tried Alvaro Negredo up front in the last game, and it didn’t work, he will start with Fabregas as a ‘false nine’.”

Ironically there are some facets of Spain’s game that are very ‘Arsenal-like’ such as the propensity to try and always score a perfect goal over a more simple direct approach.

Everyone has chimed in on Spain’s tactics and it has become all to common for people to complain about their negative approach without actually taking a closer look as to why Del Bosque has opted, successfully, to change his game plan.

Perhaps the reason the Spanish coach opts for a ‘false nine’ is partly down to the fact that he isn’t all that enamoured with the strikers he has to call upon. Fernando Torres had a very poor season at Chelsea, Alvaro Negredo is yet to prove himself in the national game, his six goals in nine caps is less impressive when you see whom those goals came against.

Indeed del Bosque can’t really win. If he opted to play Fernando Llorente on his own up front such a tactic would encourage a long ball game and then Spain would be derided for their style of play.

Sure if a fully fit David Villa was available then we may be seeing a different style of play but if Spain win Euro 2012 do you think a single Spanish fan will complain? The answer to that question is clearly no.

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