Spain looked much more of an attacking threat when Fernando Torres came on again Italy and Vicente del Bosque has a real decision to make with his lineup against Ireland. Does he stick with the six midfielders or does he play Torres or Fernando Llorente as a lone striker?
While Torres was not that impressive when he came on, he missed two great goalscoring chances, he did create more danger in his cameo appearance than Spain did in the whole of the rest of the match.
Torres still offers much more pace than either Fàbregas or David Silva, and if Spain make ground down either flank it helps, greatly, to have someone to aim at who is over 1.70m.
If Torres is on the bench again then when does that do to his self-confident when, or if, he is required to come on in a crucial match as an impact sub? If Torres’s finishing was that of a man not fully on his game then what better way to give him sharpness and definition than game time?
It’s easy to see the dilemma for Del Bosque. Ireland has become a must-win match given the two results in Group C so far, and Spain look as if the creative part of their midfield is fully functioning.
There is an argument that Torres now needs to be allowed to start, even to be told this morning ‘you are the centre-forward against Ireland, so that his form, sharpness and confidence can flourish.
Torres remains a potential tournament winner for Spain and how a clever, experienced manager like Del Bosque handles this wonderful but slightly out-of-form striker between now and Thursday is a crucial part of Spain defending their title successfully.