Luis Enrique puts Spain criticism down to 10 bad minutes out of 300

Spain face Morocco at 16:00 CEST on Tuesday, knowing that a place in the quarter-finals awaits the victor of the Strait of Gibraltar derby. Morocco surprised many with their almost flawless group stage, while Spain impressed early on, but concerned fans with a disappointing defeat to Japan on their final matchday.

Spain coach Luis Enrique feels that the criticism was overblown. Speaking ahead of that tie, he reminded the press that it was only a brief deviation from their performance.

“You talk to me about ten minutes. Japan was superior only in 10 minutes of the almost 300 that we have played.”

“You pay attention to the minutes that you didn’t like. I’m sorry, there will be more like this and as we progress, even more. I focus on the positive, of course there are things to improve, Spain always takes risks, if we are winning, we keep attacking. The rest hold back a bit until they lose and then they attack. We are not playing alone [without an opponent].”

Sport carried the comments, and Luis Enrique has a point that there is no such thing as total control in a football match.

However as Germany found out, ten bad minutes can cost a team its spot in the tournament.

The Asturian coach also revealed that he and his side had analysed their performance closely across the three games. Although they only won one of those matches, it appears Luis Enrique was happy with how things had gone.

“Psychologically I am perfect, on course. And the players are on the same course. We had a deep reflection after the game against Japan, about how the group stage had gone, aspects to improve… That the games are all or nothing implies greater tension but we are very convinced of our chances.”

It often comes down to perception. Luis Enrique will be able to look at the group stage positively and can justly say that Spain could have won each game comfortably.

On the flipside, others will point to the Germany match as another example of further minutes where Spain lost control. In the final stages against Germany, Spain could just as easily have lost the match too, conceding an excellent chance to Leroy Sane.

Tags 2022 World Cup Luis Enrique Morocco Spain La Roja
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