Wow. Just wow. I’m a bundle of conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I sort of expected the defending European champions to have its way with minnows from Oceania. On the other hand, I can’t believe New Zealand didn’t even try.
I suppose I should extol the greatness of Fernando Torres and the seemingly brilliant play by Joan Capdevila. But the reality is that even though Torres is that good and Capdevila is not, New Zealand’s manager deserves the blame for this defeat.
What struck me about New Zealand was both their general lack of preparation and their lack of will. Lack of preparation was evident with the fact that they appeared to not know who they were playing. If the manager didn’t prepare detailed scouting reports on each member of one of the most prominant teams in the world, he should be fired for dereliction of duty.
Yet, it was the lack of will that really upset me. The defenders didn’t close down effectively and the midfielders stood so far off the ball each of the wildly talented Spanish midfielders had a ton of time to decide to which of the tremendous strikers they would pass. To their credit, the midfielders began closing down around 5 minutes before halftime but it was too late by then.
To their credit, Spain looked great. But looking anything less than great would have been a disappointment. I fully expect the Spanish to cruise through the group stages and into the semi-finals. I hope they don’t get bored and complacent.