Capello's 'very English' side fail to impress sulking Spanish press

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Being World and European Champions, which as most LLL readers will probably be aware is the position Spain currently find themselves in, has allowed everyone in the country - especially certain groups of players - to be more than a little ambivalent when it comes to playing lowly friendlies, even if the games result in a defeat.

After all, Vicente del Bosque’s side have lost out to Argentina, Italy and Portugal since winning the World Cup, so it was no great shock that the team were beaten by rubbish old England at Wembley on Saturday evening - all be it, a little unfortunately.

But what seems to have upset the Spanish press most of all in regard’s to their latest slip-up is that the national team lost out to a Fabio Capello outfit that has largely been rated and then slated as quite hopeless. On Sunday, Marca - whose front page concerned the greatness of Real Madrid, of course - were hugely disparaging of both the quality of Spain’s performance and of their side’s rivals.

“This was sterile, leaden possession,” sniffed Marca on Spain’s usual dominance in terms of possession. “The defeat says more about a certain carelessness of Spain than the qualities of their adversary.”

“The Spanish side left Wembley with the bittersweet sensation of a team who were superior to their opponents in all facets of the game except the scoreline,” noted the editorial. In fact Marca had very little nice to say about England at all, describing the crowd as “silent half the game” and the winning goal as “very English and very Lampard-esque.”

AS were turning their collective nose up at England too, with editor Alfredo Relaño huffing that “England parked the bus in front of goal, grabbed a goal at the start of the second half with the only ball dropped into our area and came away with a victory.”

Monday’s El País writes that even playing England in what is known in Spain as 'the home of football' wasn’t motivation enough for Del Bosque’s side. “The team took on routines which gave off signs of boredom: little movement off the ball during possession, less runs and an unusual lack of shots on target.”

This ennui is unlikely to be lifted during Tuesday’s friendly, which sees the side crossing the Atlantic for a money-spinning match against Costa Rica that will reportedly earn the Spanish FA €2 million but will be of almost no tactical use to Del Bosque. But these exhibition games - that interest neither the Spanish players, nor supporters - are the cost that comes with being both the world’s best side and a plump-uddered cash cow for its bosses.