With other candidates already under contract with a club (Quique Setién) or a country (Roberto Martínez), and having weighed up further options in Quique Sánchez Flores and Míchel, Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales has finally gone with a risky choice for the Spain job: Luis Enrique. He's a fine coach, young and energetic; but he couldn't be more lacking in diplomacy. His past is filled with examples of extreme stances - and not just against Real Madrid, a club he had developed such a phobia for when he left that he seemed like the girl from The Exorcist every time he returned to the Bernabéu. In general, he appears uncomfortable with everything except himself and his healthy, ever so slightly bigorexic free-time pursuits.
Rubiales hoping Luis Enrique is the man to shake up Spain squad
Rubiales is obviously aware of this, but nevertheless has gone for him ahead of Míchel and Quique, the other available solutions, because his track record is more impressive and because of his faith in his authority and strength of character. And that's not insignificant. Spain's surviving World Cup winners have become majorly set in their ways: we want this, we don't want that, we go to bed late because we like to play cards, and that also means we can't get up too early. After every game, we need a day and a half to chill out... At the behest of a gaggle of senior players, that's how things have come to be in the Spain camp. So Rubiales is hoping the new man can turn inwards that same energy he's known to direct outwards.
Rubiales took risk with Lopetegui sacking, and has now taken another
It's a gamble. Rubiales has already taken one risk by sacking Julen Lopetegui, and now he's taken another by appointing a figure who courts controversy, and who wasn't even at yesterday's announcement. It remains to be seen when the Asturian will appear before the media, and with what kind of disposition. He'd be doing Rubiales a favour if he did so soon and offered the demeanour of someone who knows he's in a post that's crucial to the harmony of the national game. Rubiales has shown that he's a brave president but, at the same time, surely he wants some smooth with all the rough that there's been so far. Luis Enrique would be helping him out if he appeared sharpish and struck a conciliatory tone. After all, we've got a game against England at Wembley in under two months' time.