After the disappointment of Spain not progressing in the inaugural UEFA Nations League, it's time to look to the future. Dublin will stage the draw for the Euro 2020 qualifying groups on December 2nd and it's probable that "La Roja" will be in a group of six teams. The top two teams will qualify for the tournament with no play-off games. The only play-offs will see the lower ranked Nations League sides having a "back-door" opportunity to seal a place at Euro 2020. The question being asked is, how is the health of the Spanish national side at the moment? The answer is that the there is still plenty of work ahead. The negative aspect of the new managers time in charge is not just finishing second in the Nations League but the underlying feeling that a definitive team has still yet to be established by the Asturian coach.
32 players in 6 games
Luis Enrique has used 32 players in his time in his six games charge. Observers will say that the task facing the manager is to oversee a transition and prepare a Spain team that can compete at Euro 2020 and it's only natural that his first few games would see elements of experimentation. In the central defensive position, apart from the almost untouchable Sergio Ramos, he's tried Albiol, Bartra, Nacho, Íñigo Martínez, Diego Llorente and Hermoso. If we move to the opposite side of the pitch it's a similar situation with his use of strikers and a degree of allowance can be made somewhat in regard to the right and left back positions given the injury to Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal and the recent polemic involving Jordi Alba.
The central midfield is another area of concern given that a solid replacement for Sergio Busqets is badly needed. Saúl, Isco and Asensio have all secured plenty of playing time but the structure is still yet not totally defined. Recent performances at both club and international level from Atletico's Rodrigo would suggest that the former Villarreal player will have a key role in this position going forward. The goalkeeper position is a debate that will no doubt, run and run but it was encouraging to see Kepa get a start in Sunday's friendly game against Bosnia. Everything however does point to the decline of a Julen Lopetegui team that promised so much but failed to deliver. It's now time to start the renovation on the renovation.