The Spanish Football team has always been known for their possession-based football. They take a lot of joy by passing opposition to death.
But what is the essence of having a lion’s share of possession and not being able to hurt the opponents?
That was the case for Spain in their encounter against Germany at the ongoing World cup on Sunday night.
Despite having the ball for most of the encounter, Spain was begging for a draw at the end. They could have suffered a defeat if Leroy Sane had acted like someone who wanted to score a goal rather than one who wants to win a 100 meters race.
Luis Enrique’s men enjoyed 65% possession of the ball, completed 634 passes which is way more than Germany’s 344 passes and recorded 85% pass accuracy.
It was Hansi Flick’s men that looked more dangerous than their Spanish counterpartsdespite having an ant’s share of the possession.
The Germans recorded more shots and more shots on target than Spain. They had 11 shots of which 4 were on target while Spain recorded 7 shots of which 3 were on target.
It is no surprise that the four-time World cup winner had better-expected goals than Spain. According to xG point of view(@xgpoint on Twitter), Spain 0.66 xG was less than Germany’s xG of 1.04.
For clarity, the expected goal metric is used to calculate how dangerous a chance is or the likelihood of a chance being scored.
Apart from Jordi Alba’s shot which was parried by Manuel Nuer, Spain created no clear-cut chances, if Jamal Musaila and Leroy Sane had been more decisive, Germany would have won.
The essence of this story is that Spain might not go far at the World cup if they don’t start making good use of their possession.
Prime Spain was known for passing the opposition to death, scoring the odd goal and denying the opposition from creating any chances.
Apart from the fact that the antidote to this style has been found, the current Spanish national team aren’t as good as the one that won the World cup and two European Championships.
Luis Enrique must set up his team to create quality chances with the possession they will always enjoy. That is the only way Spain can advance into the latter stages of the World cup.
Here is a piece of advice for Luis Enrique.
Spain doesn’t have goal-scoring forwards and can not afford to leave someone like Alvaro Morata on the bench.
Morata gives the attack a centre of attraction, having him disturb the centre-backs will allow Dani Olmo and Marcus Asensio to make advancing runs into the opposition’s 18-yard box to create chances and score goals.
Besides, Morata has proven to be a good goalscorer for Spain. He has 29 goals in 59 appearances for La Furia Roja. The movement leading to his goal against Germany is a good example of why he is needed in the attack.
If Luis Enrique continues to play this possessive-no penetration style, it is only a matter of time before they get sent back to Spain.