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Spain: Underperforming and Boring?

There was much of a pre-match talk that Croatia and Spain will have a pact at the expense of Italy being kicked out. It has actually disappeared, as it was disproven by the Spanish victory. However, based on the recent performances against Italy and Croatia it was replaced by a running question: is this the Spanish team that we know? Are these really the titleholders?

Vicente del Bosque's team managed a win against Croatia, eventually getting a goal from his second stringers. But this was no vintage Spain.

This was also the case on the earlier game against Italy, in the opening Group C game of the competition. Recently, against Croatia, that's the scenario as well.

Four days earlier against Ireland, such problems seem to have disappeared as Fernando Torres came in, scored twice and provided a real reference point in attack.

But Spain will not face any easy teams like Ireland anymore. They are facing those who won the other groups. They need to get back to their game.

Midfieldder Xabi Alonso has stressed that it will be difficult for Spain to repeat their successes, especially with its recent performance.

"If we want to repeat that [success], it'll definitely be another difficult task. We'll have to work hard, we'll need a bit of luck. This is how it is here, and let's hope we can combine those factors again," Alonso stated to reporters.

"In football now, all the teams are well-matched. We have achieved great things in the not-so-distant past, but we also struggled a lot, you cannot forget that.

"Clearly, the important thing was to advance as group winners. We knew it wasn't going to be easy because Croatia are a good team and had chances to go through as well."

Spain now struggles against defensive tactics by its rivals. However, the most important part of the game is putting the ball into the net. If Spain won’t be able to do this, then they better accept that in the near future, they’ll be booted out as well. Perhaps we will see changes on Saturday, June 23, when they will face the winners of Group D.

What do you think?