So, without playing spectacularly, the Spanish are through to Sunday’s final of Euro 2012. But at least as much of a talking point as their progression has been this question: are the Spanish side boring? I’ve seen plenty of comment that they are. My view: quite the reverse! Whilst this particular Spanish side does seem a bit less clinical than previous – missing particularly David Villa – the way the Spanish have played football since del Bosque was in charge makes them the greatest of all time. The reason? They control an all but uncontrollable game. So much can go wrong in a move: a slip, a ricochet, a bad bounce. But the Spanish take as much chance out of the game as possible. Not just pass and move, but control, pass and move, and then on the odd occasion they lose the ball, win it back instantly. Now, this isn’t pretty in the conventional sense – goalmouth action, scrambles, and the like – but is beautiful to watch for the aficionado. And effective? Spain have won 50 of 59 games since del Bosque was in charge, one world title, and one European – with maybe more to come. This is indisputably success. So, if you want thrash and incident, by all means go down your local park on a Sunday. But don’t tell me Spain are boring!
PS Believe it or not I wrote this blog just before tonight’s game was up. One of the useful by products of Spain’s possession football is they tire out their opponents as well as outplay them, meaning they’re fresher for penalties. I therefore had a sneaking suspicion they’d win, though of course you can never be sure with pens.