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Spain 2.0: Replacing Del Bosque

 Posted by on June 19, 2014 at 7:05 pm  Spain, The Ball is Flat
Jun 192014
I know this is premature and a lot of you are Vicente del Bosque loyalists, because I am one of them, Real Madrid should never have fired him after their ninth Champions League title and I've blamed Florentino Perez ever since, but I'm also a pragmatist and I know that the debacle that has been Spain at the Brazil 2014 World Cup can only point towards one person: Vicente del Bosque. He's accomplished so much and he's just a year and a half from being honored as the best coach on the planet but the Spanish are a reactionary lot. They call for blood at bullfights, in Civil Wars, and even if they've gotten a taste of what unity and respect between ethnic groups on the national team they're still ready to find someone to blame. Sad to say, but it looks like either he'll get fired (less-likely, he's got a contract until 2016) or the more likely scenario is that he'll take his golden parachute and tread off to that golden sunset that Federation sent Luis Aragones after he won Euro 2008. So who then to pick up the broken pieces of this nightmarish exit from World Cup play?

You can't have Spain teeter back and forth after a World Cup win like 2006 Champions Italy did with Lippi-Donadoni-Lippi and then settlilng on a long-term project with Cesare Prandelli. They can't afford to lose their way as Brazil did after winning 2002 with Felipao and then losing their way with developing talent, establishing a style that reflects their talent, and allowing their leadership to train their charges accordingly. There are eight footballing powers in the World Cup and Spain don't want to resort to form, concede that their inter-sectional rivalries are too difficult to bypass, and fall the way of England or France on the grand stage.

The first step is choosing a manager for the national team that will continue the work started by Luis Aragones and Vicente del Bosque. I think there are the pie-in-the-sky candidates: Pep Guardiola and Rafa Benitez would be excellent coaches but it's doubtful either would coach La Furia Roja: Pep for political reasons and Rafa because of his problems with the Spanish footballing authorities. There are plenty of other second-tier choices that I would have no problem with: Pepe Mel, Paco Jemez, Juande Ramos, or even Unai Emery, I do believe it has to be a Spanish coach, but the guy that ticks all the boxes for me is Quique Sanchez-Flores.

He took over a flailing club in Atletico Madrid and he remodeled them in his own image: tactically and defensively sound, and mentally strong. This from a club that were often called Patetico Madrid. The last 5 years of glory at Los Colchoneros are directly bound to the hard work that Flores and his group brought to the club in 2009. He has Real Madrid and Valencia ties and I think he'd bring a younger, fresher approach to the team.


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The Ball is Flat is a website and podcast devoted to the Beautiful Game. Football, Futbol, Fusball or whatever you call it, it is the game that divides and unites us. The Ball is Flat's mission is to cover European football with an eye open, the heart in motion, and the brain colored with the right amount of cheerful cynicism. Read more:

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