Spain vs. Georgia: Spain Players Who Could Miss out on the World Cup
On paper, it appears all is well in Spain. La Furia Roja, the current world and European champions, booked their place in Brazil after a 2-0 victory over Georgia assured them of top spot in Group I.
But in reality, there has been something amiss with the Spanish side lately. They have looked solid, conceding just three goals in their eight qualifying matches, but the possession-dominating, free-flowing team have struggled to score goals in recent times.
In total, they put just 14 goals past France, Finland, Georgia and Belarus in both the home and away ties, and Vicente del Bosque has struggled to pin down his best starting XI as he looks to blend experienced minds with fresh legs ahead of next year’s World Cup.
The defending champions have an embarrassment of riches at their disposal, which makes the next eight months extremely important for some of their players on the fringe of the squad.
Here’s a look at some of the more high-profile players that could miss out on the 2014 World Cup.
After scoring 30 goals in 46 appearances for Valencia last season, Soldado earned himself a call-up to the Spanish squad for the Confederations Cup in June. After a promising start to the tournament—starting and scoring in their opener against Uruguay—Soldado was relegated to the bench for the semi-final win over Italy and final defeat to Brazil.
A £26 million move to Tottenham followed, and Soldado would have been hopeful that an impressive first season in England would be enough to secure a spot on the plane to Brazil.
However, after the opening seven games, things are not looking too good for the Valencia native. He has failed to score from open play in the league so far, converting his only two goals from the penalty spot.
It could be argued that his form is a result of Spurs’ style of play rather than his own performances. Soldado thrives on service, but Andre Villas-Boas has set up his team by crowding the centre of the park and limiting width, which has directly affected the Spanish striker’s output.
He will need to start finding the back of the net soon if he’s to work his way back into the Spanish squad after missing out on the last two qualifiers. At 28 there may not be another chance for Soldado to strut his stuff on the World Cup stage, and, after missing out on his country’s recent triumphs he will be eager to be involved this time around.
David De Gea
David de Gea’s excellent early-season form has been overshadowed by Manchester United’s poor performances.
While the focus has been on David Moyes and the holes he needs to plug, the Spanish goalkeeper has gone about his business quietly and efficiently. Protected by a back four that has looked shaky at the best of times in recent weeks, de Gea has pulled off some impressive saves that have kept his team in more than a few matches (like the one below against Sunderland).
The former Atletico Madrid man sits behind Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes—a trio who would walk into most national outfits—in the pecking order.
A good season at Old Trafford could see him force his way into contention but, at just 22, De Gea will have many more opportunities to don his national colours.
The next seven months will be crucial for Fernando Torres if he is to cement his place in the Spanish side for Brazil.
Will Fernando Torres make the Spain squad for the 2014 World Cup?
Although Spain boast their shiniest jewels in the attacking third of the field, Torres is a favourite of del Bosque. The Spanish manager has often kept faith in the Chelsea man, who won the Golden Boot at last summer’s European Championships, calling him up for the World Cup in 2010 despite having recently undergone knee surgery.
But if Torres remains in the wilderness at Chelsea this season even del Bosque will struggle to include him in the squad, particularly with the likes of David Villa, Alvaro Negredo, Roberto Soldado, Michu, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro Rodriguez and Fernando Llorente hovering around.
An additional problem is Atletico forward Diego Costa, who del Bosque wants to lure from the clutches of Brazil, according to Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail.
There is time, plenty of it in fact, for Torres to turn his season around. With Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba having an equally difficult time of it in the blue of Chelsea, the forward role in Jose Mourinho’s side is up for grabs.
Torres will need to seize it with both hands if he wants to spend next summer in Brazil.
Arsene Wenger could potentially be Fernando Llorente’s best friend by the end of the season if recent reports in the Daily Mail are anything to go by.
After making the squad for the European Championships in the Ukraine and Poland, Llorente has fallen out of favour since his move to Juventus. The target man is a handful for defenders to deal with, but Antonio Conte has chosen Carlos Tevez ahead of him since the Serie A season kicked off.
Llorente will definitely miss out on Brazil if he continues to warm the bench in Turin, but if a January move to Arsenal materialises then he could work his way back into contention.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?