There’s trouble over in the Spain camp this morning after a wave of controversy has tainted their World Cup campaign before it has even begun. The squad recently arrived in Russia and their Head Coach Julen Lopetegui is already on his way back home.
Despite the two years he had left on his previous contract, the 51 year old signed with Real Madrid taking over from Zidane a day before the World Cup starts. The Spanish FA were outraged at the premature announcement and they believed the deal should have gone public after the competition ended. Madrid have always had a strong pull on their transfer targets but they have outdone themselves this time.
Spains opening game v Portugal this Friday will be crucial to how things shape up in Group B. Both sides in this fixture are the dominant forces in the group and prior to Julen Lopetegui departure, Spain looked to be the favourites ever so slightly. It is devastating for Spain as they showed a lot of promise in their World Cup Qualifiers. Undefeated with nine wins having only conceded three times over the duration of the ten matches. Their attack looked lethal as they netted thirty-six times on their road to Russia.
The Spanish squad will still be sharp but this has ruptured the World Cup build up which is crucial to a teams success. However, this could work for them in their favour. We often see teams bounce back under fresh management and with the quality in the squad, Spain are capable of doing so. They have yet to appoint a caretaker manger but there are some strong candidates for the job. Former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has an empty calendar this Summer and if Spain are interested in a fourth place spot, he is their man! Another coach capable of the task is Zinedine Zidane. It would be a straight swap between Spain and Madrid and it isn’t a bad replacement seen as Zidane has just won the Champions League twice on the bounce. Zidane lacked consistency in the league but his players thrived under his management in cup competitions. Whatever happens next for Spain will be decisive in their World Cup campaign and for their sake, they best had choose wisely. Otherwise they could end up dropping points v Iran and Morocco.
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