Spain completed an undefeated run through group play with a 1-0 win over Croatia on Monday, but all is not as well as that unblemished record suggests.
The Spaniards are attempting to become the first team to ever repeat as European champs, and they certainly have the talent and potential to do so. However, there is a gaping hole emerging in Spain.
Their attack is suddenly prone to going through long stretches of ineffectiveness. In their opener and closer in group play, Spain scored one goal in each. They proved they can still quickly hang goals on an opponent with a 4-1 win over Ireland in its second match, but Spain's more anemic efforts have exposed a flaw.
Vicente del Bosque has spent much of this tournament playing without a striker—at least not one in the traditional sense. This is a clear sign in his lack of confidence in the traditional strikers, Alvaro Negredo, Fernando Torres and Fernando Llorente, at his disposal.
This has players like Cesc Fabregas playing farther up the pitch. This has often left Spain's attack stagnant and lacking aggression.
Last match, Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso were often seen dropping back while fullbacks fullbacks Alvaro Arbeloa and Jordi Alba launched up-field attacks.
This left Spain looking to make passes when it should have been looking for shots.
Spain is still fully capable of beating anyone on the planet, however, this inconsistent attack means it is prone to being upset. Spain will not be able to make it all the way through this tournament with that inconsistent attack.
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