Amid Spain’s shocking defeat to Switzerland in their opening fixture at the 2010 World Cup, rumors instantly began to surface pertaining to the future of the national program’s head coach Vicente del Bosque.
Brought in to replace the illustrious Luis Aragones following Spain’s win at Euro 2008, del Bosque was to continue the golden generation within Spanish soccer, highlighted by world domination in South Africa.
Yet one game in, and already disaster has struck within the Spanish camp. Spain looked hesitant and unsure of themselves throughout the match, and failed to break down a staunch Swiss back-line. Following the game del Bosque felt that every bounce, every call went the way of their Swiss opponents, and it was merely a case of bad luck.
That was his explanation? Bad luck? A team as loaded as Spain’s shouldn’t be hampered by cases of unfortunate bounces against a side like Switzerland. Spain entered this tournament to capture victory on July 11th, and their opening fixture defeat severely dampens their chances.
Spanish football fans were under the impression anything less than a World Cup victory in South Africa would be considered an epic failure. Yet just one game into their South African campaign, it appears as if the Spanish football federation and coach Vicente del Bosque are already downplaying the importance of this year’s World Cup.
This was supposed to be the moment where Spain finally shed their unflattering moniker as the perennial underachievers. La Furia Roja had their sights set on vaulting to the top of soccer’s highest ranking. They were to follow their European title with a prestigious World Cup trophy. Yet just one match in, and one defeat later, Vicente del Bosque’s role as the Spanish bench boss appears safe regardless of what unfolds the rest of the way.
Such an overwhelming form of advocacy seems incredibly out of line following a shocking opening defeat. Spanish federation President, Angel Villa Mar has openly stated that “whatever happens at the World Cup, del Bosque will continue as the coach.” A truly bewildering comment, only to be followed up with Villa Mar proclaiming “it’s not a disaster if we don’t get out of the first phase.”
This comment is absolutely baffling coming from a man of such prominence within the Spanish soccer ranks. Spain entered South Africa with their sights solely set on dominating the competition en route to an impressive victory. Anything less should be disappointing, so why the sudden drop in expectations?
Perhaps Villa Mar is still in shock from Spain’s opening defeat and is experiencing difficulties thinking clearly. Because if Spain does eventually bow out in the group stages, it will most certainly be classified as a complete and utter disaster.