We welcome Bosnia with eyes on London
"They talked of a wise old man, so miserable and poor..." the poem began. Here in Spain we are sad and annoyed because we messed up our triumphant march in UEFA's League of Nations. But we can look across and see that Germany has already been relegated, and with a game still to be played. It scares me to think how we would have been if that had happened to us. After all, we still have a chance of making it to the final stage. We require a draw at Wembley, a result, as I consider the opponents, which is as possible as it is for either side to win, even if the bookmakers favour an English victory. But a draw today would not be the biggest surprise of the century, far from it.
¡Buenos días!— AS English (@English_AS) 18 November 2018
‘One eye on Las Palmas, the other on Wembley’
A good performance in the friendly against Bosnia is one thing, but England-Croatia is where Spain’s #UEFANationsLeague fate will be decided. A draw sees them throughhttps://t.co/Is4UfkUWhP pic.twitter.com/LETgCRlgui
Hoping for a draw
So to Spain, who actually have a game themselves in Las Palmas against Bosnia (which will be a tribute to Silva, the latest of a long line of Canarian internationals which started with Padrón before the war) although a part of us will be at Wembley this afternoon. A match in which either nation can be group champions if they win, either can be relegated with a loss, joining Germany in the next rung of the UEFA's ladder. I like this new competition, which has replaced friendly matches for real football with emotion far removed from the long, draining qualifying stages for World Cups or European Championships. We find ourselves on a passionate roller coaster.
Pressure on De Gea
With regard to the game against Bosnia, we will inevitably watch it through eyes tainted by what has already been decided at England's home of football. It is assumed that there will be new faces, although Luis Enrique did not make this clear when he spoke. The manager did what we expected: firstly not sharing his predicted line-up and secondly defending David de Gea, who will only disappear as a topic of debate when he is replaced, or when he starts to perform to the level required to follow in the glorious tradition in that position. From Zamora to Casillas, it has often been that Spain's goalkeeper was above the average level of those in the side. For the first time, the goalkeeper is the weak point of the eleven; if not always, almost always.