spain newspaper

Spain’s players accept blame for disastrous loss to Netherlands


Sometimes, after a disheartening loss, players scramble to place blame elsewhere – the referee, match-time conditions, the opposition. Sometimes, they’ll simply say nothing at all.

But after Spain’s shock defeat on Friday, in which the reigning champions crumpled 5-1 under the power of the Netherlands’ shots, saying nothing wasn’t an option. Officials couldn’t be blamed, as Spain’s one goal came from a rather soft penalty awarded to Diego Costa.

So, despite the rather embarrassing loss, Spain’s players stood tall and placed blame appropriately: on themselves.

Iker Casillas gave what was arguably the worst performance of his career. You could find fault with his play on nearly every goal Holland scored: he was off his line, he failed to jump, he pushed the ball to Robin van Persie’s waiting foot…but at least the goalkeeper is willing to admit that he had a bad day. Casillas said, “the first thing I have to do is offer a mea culpa. This is the worst performance of my career. We have to say sorry. Holland were very good: we were the complete opposite. ”

Defender Sergio Ramos may have said, “this is not a day to point the finger or blame any one in particular,” but he also turned that finger right on himself, stating, “We have to look at ourselves, starting with me. I should have played much better.”

Xavi put it more bluntly: “We did everything badly today. It was a debacle. This is the worst defeat of my career. It is difficult because this was a resounding failure.”

Spain may be down, but they’re not yet out. Assuming they can fend off Australia’s crosses, they won’t have to worry much about taking all three points from the final match. Chile, however, may prove a much trickier test – they proved on Friday that their controlled chaos will likely get them past any defense.

Xabi Alonso, however, remains confident. “It is a terrible blow,” the midfielder said, “but fortunately we have another chance to turn it round. The game against Chile is a final for us now.”

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
Leave a comment

In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
Leave a comment

Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.


“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.