KEIR RADNEDGE in KYIV: Andy Roxburgh, head of UEFA’s technical team monitored football trends at Euro 2012, was full of praise for underrated Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque in a day-after review of a tournament which sparkled from start to finish.
Spain wrapped up the four-yearly championship in magnificent style on Sunday night by crushing Italy 4-0 in the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv with goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Fernando Torres and Juan Mata.
But Roxburgh – much as he admires the players – went out of his way to pick out the role of Del Bosque in managing his resources so effectively, particularly in the enforced injury absence of Spain’s top-scoring striker David Villa.
Roxburgh described “humble, modest” Del Bosque as a “role model” in channelling through to ultimate victory players who were a credit to hard work undertaken throughout the Spanish game to educate youngsters in ‘football behaviour’ based on hard work and a football family ethic.
This had been justified by the success Spain had achieved consistently over recent years in international team tournaments at youth level culminating in the current world and European domination. Criticisms of ‘boring Spain’ had been laid to rest by the manner of the victory over Italy secured with what might be defined as ‘aggressive possession.’
Reviewing Euro 2012 in general, Roxburgh said that the media-maligned goal-line assistants had contributed a significant deterrent effect on foul play in the penalty boxes with less shirt-pulling and elbowing reported by referees. The use of the wings had gained in significance as had been illustrated sensationally by Jordi Alba’s second goal for Spain against Italy.
In terms of overall European Championships down the years, Roxburgh was not prepared to commit to Euro 2012 as having been definitively the best but “it’s as good as we’ve ever had.”
He added: “We had lots of icing and then a final like that was a cherry on top of the cake.”
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