Is it just me or do Spain also remind you guys of how Arsenal play football? A thousand passes, limited shots and, evidently, no end product. Spain are definitely the international version of Arsenal and here’s why…
Having watched the group H World Cup clash between Spain and Switzerland on the 16th of June, it was clear to me that the Spanish play the exact same style of football as the Gunners do in the Premier League week in week out.
With out a doubt both Arsenal and Spain play the game the way fans want to see it been played. Both teams have excellent movement on and off the ball, they have superb ball control and precise, one touch passing…it’s a joy to watch and I’m sure you would all agree with this statement. However, at times it turns into frustration and as many fans are begging and urging the majestic move to end up at the back of the net, and the majority of times this doesn’t ensue.
Spain play phenomenal football, but just like Arsenal they are frustrating to watch. Sometimes it’s just too much passing which becomes boring to watch to be honest (would anyone agree with this?). I love football and admire teams who play the game in the right way, but for goodness sakes lads lets have a shot from 20-yards once in a while. If both teams were to do this, then they would be even more deadly and feared by their opponents. Teams ‘parking the bus’ don’t help of course but still, like Bill Shankly once said, if you don’t shot you don’t score.
The Arsenal team possess great technical players within their squad. Andrey Arshavin and Samir Nasri on the flanks, as well as their skipper and talisman Cesc Fabregas in the middle of the park conducting business in the way that he does contribute to Arsenal’s attacking system. Robin van Persie is also another player that is considered to be an intricate part of how Arsenal plays their football. All these players mentioned are gifted, with vision, accuracy, technique and marvellous ball control and are Arsenal’s most creative players without a shadow of a doubt.
Now if you have a look at what Spain put out in their first group H match, you would have seen that they had the likes of Andres Iniesta and David Silva on the wings, Xavi and Xabi Alonso in the centre commanding the midfield and the lethal David Villa up front. Again, all of these Spanish players are world-class players in their own right and have a ridiculous amount of talent, but yet with so much creativity on show, they couldn’t manage to score against a ‘lightweight’ nation in Switzerland, and somehow ended up losing the game.
Arsenal are exactly the same in this aspect. I cannot tell you how much times I have seen the Gunners hammer a team in possession in the Premier League, yet somehow, on occasions, end up dropping 2 or even 3 points. Taking this into account, this will no doubt reinforce the synopsis – bags of creativity, minimal end product (most of the times of course).
Of course this article is not to say which team is better or worse, but the similarities between the two sides are uncanny wouldn’t you say? Pass, pass, pass, yet not an end product. This is the pattern we see for both Arsenal and Spain when they play their wonderful football. Yes, at times a 25 pass move may end up in the back of the net, but the majority of the time it would be given away. As a football fan, you want to see the game played like this, but what’s the point if you don’t finish it off with a goal, right?
There are a few differences between the two sides of course, most noticeable Spain acquire more lethal strikers than the Gunners as well as a more solidified back-line. However, with that all being said, overall, their movement, technique, style, mentality and their approach to the game are exactly the same. If Arsenal had to be a national team in the world, undeniably they would have to be Spain for the reasons already stated above.
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