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Luis Enrique: When the data are not “advantageous”


With the current coach, Spain has won fewer games (seven) than it has drawn (five) and lost (three)

The Spanish team poses in Granada.Miguel Angel MolinaEFE
A Luis Enrique They asked him on Thursday what the following information told him: his team has won one of the last five games he has played (the one that won, yes, was the flash against Germany, 6-0). “I do not comment on such advantageous statistics.” In the absence of knowing what the selector means by “advantage”, to analyze everything, and not take neither the beginning nor the end, a stop in their total numbers. The current coach has managed Spain in 15 games, and wins are fewer than losses and draws. That is not advantageous. They are data.

Here is the detail: of those 15 games with Luis Enrique, the team has won seven: England (1-2), Croatia (6-0), Wales (1-4), Bosnia (1-0), Ukraine (1- 0), Switzerland (1-0) and Germany (6-0); and they have not won eight, tying five: Germany (1-1), Portugal (0-0), Holland (1-1), Switzerland (1-1) and Greece (1-1); and losing three: England (2-3), Croatia (3-2) and Ukraine (1-0). More complete data: Spain has scored 28 goals and suffered 13. The matches correspond to two group phases of the League of Nations (in one Spain they finished second and in the other they have qualified for the final phase, to be played in October in Milan ), the first of the qualifying phase for Qatar 2022 (Thursday against Greece) and the rest are friendly.

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He has not faced, therefore, any final phase, despite having acceded to the position after the World Cup in Russia, more than two years ago (with the parenthesis of the disease and the death of his daughter). The pandemic delayed last summer’s European Championship to this next, and before that there are only two games left, Sunday against Georgia and Wednesday against Kosovo, also on the way to Qatar. And it is precisely this horizon of a great tournament that increases the uncertainty before a project whose numbers define. And there is more.

“Each case is different”

There is the fact that Thursday, in Granada, was the day that more players repeated from one game to another (9). An anomalous situation, because until that moment the number of repeated players remained at 7, having the record for the fewest repetitions at 3. There is also the fact of provoking the debut of 21 players in those 15 games. This project is defined by many things and is defined, of course, by the contradictions of Luis Enrique himself, who he himself assumes with a phrase that he repeats like a mantra: “each case is different, and I do what is best at all times.”

Under this umbrella, entitlements such as those of Eric García, who has played 35 minutes in City’s last 27 games, and has not started since late October. Not so tremendous, but it also applies to the case of Ferran Torres, owner of two starts in the last 15 games with Guardiola. With that alibi “each fall is different”, they cover up and down like that of Boil, which came to the second call for Luis Enrique (October 2018), was forgotten for two years and is now indisputable. In that same case they are Mikel Merino The Saúl, absent in the present.

Although the appearance is that the bet is on young people, we have seen returns like those of Navas The Cazorla, again out of the plans at the moment, the validity of Ramos The Busquets or the swings in the goal, as much as it seems now Unai Simon the owner. Very few certainties, in short, and that phrase “each case is different” that basically serves to justify all decisions, even if they are contradictory.

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Finally, another piece of information: there are already three games in which Luis Enrique admits that he agrees with Sergio Ramos what he plays. In Portugal, last October, and in Amsterdam, in November, the captain took the field for five minutes. “It is a matter of taking care of him and, of course, of him continuing to add games,” the coach said then. On Wednesday, against Greece, he played the first half. “Sergio is perfect, it was said that he would play only the first half,” said the Spaniard, alluding to the injury from which he just emerged as a safe-conduct for the decision. Data.

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