Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp has slammed del Bosque for his misuse of Arsenal star Santi Cazorla…
Jamie Redknapp has blasted Spain boss Vicente del Bosque for his decision to deploy Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla at right-back during his side’s 2-1 defeat against Slovakia in the 2016 European qualifiers.
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The Spanish crashed to defeat in Bratislava thanks to a Miroslav Stoch winner, having only just equalised through Valencia striker Paco Alcacer moments earlier.
The reigning European champions finished the game with the Gunners’ Cazorla bizarrely being deployed at right-back.
The attacking midfielder was clearly out of his comfort zone, something that was picked up on by Redknapp.
“I just couldn’t believe Del Bosque really,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“Once he gets back to 1-1 and he’s got Cazorla playing at right-back, I just thought that was maybe the time to just change it – even play [Sergio] Busquets at right back, because a point there is a good result…but he ends up keeping Cazorla at right-back, and you can see where the winning goal comes from.
“He (Cazorla) just looks so uncomfortable, he was like a fish out of water there, in that position – he’s just not a right back is he? And obviously it had huge implications on the game.”
The winning goal was a result of Stoch being unmarked at the far post, with the diminutive Spaniard tasked with marking the former Chelsea man.
The Spaniards have been extremely erratic recently and this stuttering start to their European qualification comes after a woeful World Cup defence in which they failed to make it out of the group stages.
Del Bosque’s men are now second in their qualifying group behind the Slovakians, with their 5-1 win over Macedonia putting them in front of Ukraine on goal difference alone.
Spain will be hoping to move past this loss and continue on to top the group as expected. After their abysmal performances recently however, nothing is guaranteed.