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Scotland 2-3 Spain: Scotland almost capitalize on arrogance of World Champions

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By Alex Hendrikson

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Scotland came nearer than anyone expected to upsetting Spain but as Alex Hendrikson argues, both sides need to take lessons from this pulsating encounter.

After Andreas Iniesta had netted the World Champion’s second, giving them a seemingly unassailable lead, Spain seemed to forget that 2-0 is indeed the most illusory advantage in football. Ten minutes later, Scotland were on level terms, taking advantage of Vincente Del Bosque’s side’s complacency and giving the Tartan Army something to shout about.

Spain had began to resemble a side playing a training match, passing it around in a lacsidaisical manner. They seemed to forget that, despite their dominance in possession, Scotland had posed a threat on more than one occasion during the first half. For much of the game their passing was, as you would expect, irresistible, but if this complacency and indeed, arrogance, is allowed to creep into their play, they will soon be on the decline.

As for Scotland, their second half performance was the best under Craig Levein and proved what can be achieved if a game is approached positively. They gave supporters a night out to remember and even when Spain had retaken the lead, the fans were in jubilant spirits, cheering each Scotland pass. Paying supporters do not want to see their team set up without strikers, they want to see them have a real go.

This defeat could not be more of a contrast from Scotland’s sorry performance in Prague four days ago. If anything, it exposes the folly of playing such a negative formation. If Scotland could score twice in once half against the World Champions, surely they could have given Czech Republic quite a lot to worry about.

As the excitement dies down from this great Hampden occasion, questions will be asked about Scotland’s future approach to games. Last night’s contest vindicates the majority who argue Levein’s side should throw caution to the wind and just have a go. With players such as James Morrison, Steven Naismith and Kenny Miller - who last night caused some of the best defenders around severe difficulties - this is the only way Scotland can build on their stirring second half showing and resurrect their slim chances of Euro 2012 qualification.

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By esperenza on 13 October 2010 at 12:55

@Tom: Nor is it relevant in questioning Spain's "arrogance" in its style of play..lacksadaisical manner..please. if you have been following Spain for the past 15 years like I have, you should know that's how they play, the exact same style no matter if they win or lose. Like I said, arrogance and Spain can't exist in a sentence. England on the other hand, is another matter.

By Tom on 13 October 2010 at 11:48

@esperenza Somehow i dont think the writer will disagree with your England bashing, though i dont see why its relevant anything about england in this discussion

By esperenza on 13 October 2010 at 11:27

This writer is clealry deluded. Spain have been playing the 'tiki taka' style like forever..that's how they play! Passing football..what's the arrogance in that? In fact, is there's such thing with this team, they've totally earned it as the reigning World and European champions. Spain and arrogance don't mix..just look at their players' humility. If you wanna talk about arrogance, you should talk about ENGLAND who haven't won anything since forever and keep being mentioned as the greatest invention since sliced bread! Couldn't even score against a nation that didn't even exist 5 years ago!





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