Football journalists triumph against under-par Ireland

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The Spanish football press has leapt upon the rather flattering notion that Vicente Del Bosque had spent the last few days pondering whether, despite having a fairly decent record as a manager for club and country, he should ignore his own instincts and instead heed the wisdom of the crowd of football journalists by deploying a proper striker against Ireland.

Thursday evening’s romping, stomping 4-0 victory over their Celtic opponents appears to have pleased some, not because it was an important and impressive result and performance for the team, but because it gives them an opportunity to say ‘told-you-so’, with Fernando Torres starting the match and scoring twice. Indeed, this simple tactical move has been offered up as the single cause of Spain’s win, ignoring the fact that Ireland are not actually that good and even Javier Arizmendi, hopping about on one leg, could have bagged a brace against the first side to be eliminated from the tournament.

“Go Number Nine!” yells the headline in AS, with editor Alfredo Relaño writing that Spain’s apparent weakness disappeared in just under four minutes. “The double (from Torres) shows that when we ask the boss to play with a number nine, it was not uncouth pigheadedness from journalists who are eternally dissatisfied,” notes Tomás Roncero, again missing the whole Ireland-not-very-good point.

“Spain wakes up” says Marca on Friday’s front cover, with a boast that a lesson in total football had been given. “We saw an impressive Spain in every aspect,” opined former manager Luis Aragonés, claiming, not incorrectly in a spiritual sense, that there was only one team on the pitch.

The Barcelona-based press are also getting in on the excitable act, with Sport drooling over a “Festival of Goals”.

“Del Bosque gave in to the clamour from the Madrid press for the presence of Torres,” writes Josep Maria Casanovas who emotes that “with Spain experiencing such a serious financial crisis that nobody knows how it will end, we have the consolation that La Roja is the only thing that works and makes us happy.”

Mundo Deportivo drools over an 'exhibition', with Santi Nolla chippily stating; “Torres played yesterday and scored two goals, shutting the mouths of those who always say that he misses too many.”

The victory over Ireland, along with Italy’s woes in the group stages, should see Spain supporters in a fairly chirpy mood over the weekend, but none more so that those in the football media camp, who firmly believe that it was them wot won it on Thursday evening.