If there is one country that has not necessarily been able to prepare for the Euro in the best conditions, it is Spain. There were these cases of Covid-19 which disrupted the preparation and the days leading up to the first meeting against Sweden, and notably deprived Luis Enrique of Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente for the first matches. But above all, the former FC Barcelona coach had been the target of a lot of criticism, following many choices that were not understood by all. We think in particular of the absence of Iago Aspas, Jesus Navas or Nacho Fernandez, players who are quite highly rated on the other side of the Pyrenees. And at the start of the tournament, some decisions such as his total confidence in Alvaro Morata or the tenure of Marcos Llorente as a full-back were also highly contested.
The first two matches of the Euro, both concluded on draws, did not help. Admittedly, the press and the supporters all the same noted that in the game, La Roja had been quite convincing, being even the team which shot the most towards the opposing cages during the first two days. But in this type of competition, we are mainly judged by the result. And there, the pack hurt. At a press conference, his attitude as a very confident man and his often ironic answers, bordering on provocation, annoyed more than one. But this victory against Slovakia changed everything, like the qualification against Croatia …
Choices that pay off
First of all, because the content offered in the field has continued to be consistent. Luis Enrique has found a collective chemistry and above all, certainties, with a Busquets-Koke-Pedri midfielder who carries the team. The defense, a big question mark especially since the withdrawal of Sergio Ramos, turns out to be quite correct. Some of his choices that had not necessarily been understood are paying off, such as Pablo Sarabia, shining on the sides with the Iberian selection, or even Eric Garcia, who showed beautiful things alongside Aymeric Laporte in the central hinge . Both have not yet played a lot in club this season, but Luis Enrique made a strong choice in selecting them, relying above all on their different profile rather than their club performances.
His stubbornness with Alvaro Morata, who made a good copy against the Croats, is now considered a big mark of the coach’s confidence for his striker. His leadership qualities are thus praised everywhere, he who knew how to put in the best conditions young players, sometimes inexperienced, like the goalkeeper Unai Simon, author of a good Euro despite his ball which has been around the world. It is enough to take a look at the various radio and television programs where the speakers are not used to keeping their language in their pocket to realize the positive evolution of the judgment attributed to the Spanish coach. From there to saying that Luis Enrique is adored or has convinced everyone, there are still several steps, and everything will depend on the final outcome of this Euro for La Roja. But at least he managed to temporarily gain the confidence of the people …