Today's article is a blog post from Paul Grech and his blog, Blueprint for Football. The blog post is an interview Grech did with Jordi Pascual, the author of our books, Coaching Spanish Soccer and Developing a Style of Play.
Given that he had a team that contained the talents of David de Gea, Thiago Alcantara, Iker Muniain and Isco, it is tempting to assume that Julen Lopetegui's job as the Spanish Under 21 manager is a fairly easy one. Yet there was more to Spain as they won their second consecutive European title then a collection of talented players; their typical play based on short passing and intense pressure placed those talents in a position to excel.
Again, the temptation is there to generalise and assume that a Spanish national team playing that kind of football is a given; that it is automatic. Yet it is not. Players spend only a fraction of their time with the national team and during such restricted time-frames it is practically impossible for them to 'learn' a method of playing.
So how do Spain manage to play in that manner? An explanation was provided in part by Lopetegui himself who said "We have a crystal clear philosophy on how to play football...ultimately for all Spanish national team football we want toContinue reading