I have to admit that I was apprehensive about the latest two Euro 2020 qualifying games. Both came so late in the season with many players just anxious to bring the curtain down on an indifferent campaign for many and with the added disadvantage of still having Luis Enrique absent from the bench due to personal motives. Despite my reservations, things have worked out remarkably well with six points and an overall balance of 7-1 in both fixtures. The team offered two solid displays away to the Faroe Islands and last night at the Bernabéu against Sweden, which despite early fears was pretty full shortly after kick-off. The overall feeling is that of a solid project heading in the right direction.
There were a few aspects of the game against the Swedes that I particularly liked. The first was the goalkeeping position which saw Kepa selected instead of De Gea. I feel the United stopper has had enough chances to convince between the sticks and has yet to rectify previous errors. I feel happier thinking that the Spanish national team are a more solid outfit with the Chelsea player as goalkeeper. I was also impressed with Fabián, an excellent player just establishing himself with the national side. I felt Parejo was another who stood out, playing with vision and instrumental to the bulk of Spain's creativity in the midfield area. Sergio Ramos also impressed, despite his recent off-field distractions, when he steps on to the pitch, just like his pal Piqué, his focus on the task at hand is total. He was solid and dispatched his penalty to open the scoring and generous in letting Morata take the late spot-kick too.
I was impressed by Spain going forward with the side winning countless corners and creating plenty of chances. Morata and Oyarzabal also caught my eye on a quiet night from Rodrigo. They along with Iago Aspas offer "La Roja" some fine attacking options. It was good to see Isco hungry for the ball but I still fear he's someway off his best. I am concerned however by the loss in form that Asensio is experiencing. The player was incredible upon joining Real Madrid some 21 months ago and is starting to lose much of that credit that coincided with his debut in the white Madrid shirt. We can certainly improve small details and become more ruthless in front of goal and hope to see a return to form of Busquets, but in the meantime things are looking good for a place in Euro 2020.