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Del Bosque, Casillas and happier times

Yesterday, many people asked me, considering how it turned out, if it wouldn’t have been better if Del Bosque hadn’t taken Casillas to the Euros. Maybe... Del Bosque acted with football logic: for him, Casillas is now the second choice goalkeeper for Spain, De Gea is the first choice and Sergio Rico, the third; that’s the reasoning behind taking all three. Only that Casillas, for the history he has made in the past with Spain, has a certain rank which would have granted him the opportunity to made a pact with the coach. Come along as the second choice keeper, or if you’d prefer not to come at all, we’ll try and sort it out in the best way possible. In the world of football, explanations are hard to come by, but there is no shortage of occasions when they are the most convenient solution, and this was one of them.

There is no way that I can know for sure that there were incidents of contempt in France like Del Bosque says but I believe him; because he has been discreet enough only to mention it once the tournament for Spain had ended, darkening what was already quite a depressing atmosphere at this sad end of an era. Only yesterday, in this column I had acknowledged the tact with which Del Bosque had handled the Casillas-De Gea transition. I had been very impressed which how it had been managed. Casillas, it seems, wasn’t so happy about it and Del Bosque has uncharacteristically aired his grievances. He said his goodbyes sending 22 players (including Pedrito) a text message but decided against sending a farewell messgae to just one player - Casillas. And he spoke about it openly.

Fortunately, it looks like Casillas isn’t going to respond, because that would be the last thing we need right now. In these situations, it’s the one who holds their counsel who is left in the right. The past few years have been happy ones and that is the patrimony of all of us. It was a gift which they gave us and it’s in poor taste for it to be snatched away. Del Bosque, who is old enough and dignified enough to have known better, should have kept his little secret between his coaching staff and Casillas. For whatever reasoning, he hasn’t been able to, and as a result has put a blot on his own departure – much to the delight of the Mourinhistas of this world, who now feel they have free rein to mock both sides and add more fuel to the fire.