Del Bosque's Next Move
By Juan Yoshika
Vicente Del Bosque has been harshly criticized after the horrendous performance of Spain in the World Cup. The coach that had managed to win Spain's first World Cup, back in 2010 and its back-to-back European Championship in 2012 has been under fire from every possible front.
In reality, Del Bosque has always been questioned in Spain. The same sector of the press that criticized Iker Casillas for calling Xavi Hernandez back when things got fired up between Real Madrid and Barcelona, have not forgiven Del Bosque for supporting Casillas.
There is also the bad relationship between Del Bosque and the current board of directors of Real Madrid, after Del Bosque rejected a medal that the club was going to give him back in 2012 for his achievements as a Real Madrid player and manager. We can go back in time to 2003 when Del Bosque was “let go” at the club after they decided not to renew his contract as manager.
Regardless of what Spain would have done in this World Cup, there was going to be criticism against Del Bosque. Then again, no one expected him to crash and burn so soon into the competition.
Del Bosque’s problems started with his final list of 23-man squad. The first controversy was the inclusion of Diego Costa, a Brazilian born player. Many pundits criticized the decision with some of them believing Costa did not know how to play Spain’s style, while the others panned that he was foreign born.
Many people, myself included, have critiqued Barcelona about adding a Plan B to their style seeing how Spain’s national team plays a lot like Barcelona. For those of us who have followed the national team believed that taking the best Spanish passport bearer striker was the best decision.
The non-inclusion of Alvaro Arbeloa in his first list generated another set of controversies. Arbeloa is a favorite of the press that do not like Casillas, while many criticized Del Bosque for not taking him, it seemed that many forgot that Dani Carvajal had played in Arbeloa’s position for the big games in Real Madrid.
The inclusion of Xavi, Pique, and some other Barcelona players was troublesome because they had not given good performance in the past season, but Del Bosque was willing to roll the dice for the players that had made him win the World Cup four years ago.
Thiago Alcantara, the player that is meant to replace Xavi in the national team, got injured just before the World Cup, and now we are left with nothing but to wonder if this could have been a different team if he had been there. Bayern Munich sure played differently with him on the field.
Then the first game came and Spain was obliterated by the Netherlands, and humiliated by a Chile team that made Spain look like a bunch of amateurs. Casillas had two horrible games. We could also analyzed the past two years of “el Capitan” and see that perhaps if Victor Valdes had been in form, the Catalan would have been in the starting XI.
There are no excuses. Del Bosque lost this World Cup. It doesn’t matter that in many ways it was the perfect storm for the Spanish national team. A mix of bad decisions and some unforeseeable incidents had defeated the team that had reigned the football world for six years.
Now that the World Cup is over, Del Bosque has decided to put an end to speculations and announced that he is planning on staying as the head coach of the national team. Is it a good decision seeing how other coaches—Italy’s Cesare Prandelli, Brazil’s Luis Felipe Scolari—decided to leave after failing with their teams?
Many are criticizing Del Bosque’s decision to stay, but we already know that there are some that will criticize any decision he makes, so what’s the best thing for the Spanish national team?
First of all, drastic changes are necessary in Spain. There is a new generation of players that have to start playing the national squad, and there are many others that have to be let go. Is Del Bosque the best man to do this? Not necessarily.
Spain could use a new coach with fresh ideas. But there is something more important to Spain than a change of players, and that is someone that could teach the younger talents the old system and together evolve Spain’s famous tiki-taka style of play.
Spain has not lost quality, they lost games, but who could be better to teach the younger generations the key to tiki-taka, unless Spain could bring Josep Guardiola. Del Bosque is their man.
The president of the Spanish Federation of Football stands behind Del Bosque, and has given him his full support. Del Bosque deserves a chance to bring a new, younger competitive team to Euro 2016.
The man has made some mistakes in the recent past, but if he has learned from them he could also be taking a young generation of Spanish players to a new period of glory.