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    #26
    OK now, look: tiki taka.

    Neat summary, dalliance, except for the inclusion of Negredo in the France game looked like a point-proving exercise and I am still clueless as to who Del Bosque thought he had to prove a point to.

    Obviously, the Llorente non-appearance looks odd as well but, seeing as Del Bosque obviously sees Llorente as a Torres back-up, if he is fit and not getting games, Llorente certainly won't.

    My 'rope a dope' metaphor is never going to work as it involves Spain being completely battered by an opponent and soaking up punishment before them knocking them out but, presently, no-one is hardly laying a glove on them

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      #27
      OK now, look: tiki taka.

      dalliance wrote:

      There was an evident policy by Del Bosque of selecting to start a compact team focused on technique and wearing teams out with their carousel passing.
      While the selection was the same for the final the tactic wasn't. Spain went for the throat with Italy right from the start and there was no real wearing them down until it was a natural result of them reduced to ten men.

      That's why their performance in the final stands out so much when compared to that of the rest of the tournament (I suppose people may point to the Ireland game but I think we'd all concede that was simply a freakish case of meeting a comically inept side. Spain at 50% knocking in eight goals wouldn't have surprised me in that one).

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        #28
        OK now, look: tiki taka.

        So with the scientific and technical and artistic coming together with Tiki-Taka, and watching Food Network last night, it made me think of Ferran AdriĆ”'s work with El Bulli.

        Meticulous experimentation and observation resulting in extraordinary artistry.

        Is that a Catalan thing ?

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          #29
          OK now, look: tiki taka.

          dalliance wrote: Fabregas was a better bet as he would keep a move circulating better than Torres and this played its part in death by a thousand cuts, creating the very situation in which a player like Torres could indeed flourish later on.
          I wasn't arguing for Torres on his current form starting ahead of Fabregas. I was making the point that if Spain possessed someone whose form and ability was up to taking part in the passing carousel whilst combining that with a centre-forwards instinct for the kill, they would be (even) more effective. Torres was capable of this in 2008, Villa did it very well in 2010, but this summer they were without that option.

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            #30
            OK now, look: tiki taka.

            I think the difference in the final was simply Xavi and Iniesta going full out and not conserving energy. Those two pull everyone else up a couple of gears when they switch up. They make Fabregas and Silva more incisive simply by driving them on more, instead of Fabregas having to come deeper to get the ball from a shorter pass following a slower Xavi run.

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              #31
              OK now, look: tiki taka.

              This is rather belated, but...

              delicatemoth wrote: Spain miss Villa terribly. They also don't have any players who are really in form, apart from possibly Alba. Xavi and Iniesta look tired, and the team is basically phoning it in. Can they find the legs they need for the final?
              Heh. I still think that's how they looked before the final, except against poor Ireland. But that final performance was utterly majestic, one of the finest exhibitions of football I've seen in years. Either of their first two goals could qualify as goal of the tournament. A brilliant team.

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                #32
                OK now, look: tiki taka.

                As has been said, there wasn't many classic performances in the whole tournament and I think we have ascertained that, it a team doesn't have a classic performance against Spain, Spain will do what they need. That is why the WC semi against Germany was a classic. That is why there were parts of the Portugal game were good. Portugal went for Spain's throat in the first half, Spain regrouped in the second half and then almost picked them off in extra time.

                Italy tried their best and, possibly, could have got nearer with 11 men in the second half. It certainly would have been something to see, that half that never was.

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