In 1984, the Spanish under-21 team that lost to England in the European final announced the times of change that were the seed of the style of hegemonic Spain from 2008 to 2012. Members of La Quinta del Buitre (Butragueno, Sanchis and Michel), the Sevilla midfielder Francisco or the rojiblancos Quique Ramos and Marino could not overcome the physical game of the English in a double game (0-1 and 2-0), with high pressure, long balls and flooding lateral crosses. By then, English football was immersed in its proud inbreeding. Its clubs dominated European competitions since the late 1970s. Until a year after the European won, the Heysel tragedy condemned them to ostracism and to rethink their football. In the long process, they increased police pressure on hooligans, redesigned more comfortable stadiums, pioneered marketing, and initiated tactical and technical openness to coaches and players who imported their game cultures. The result of improving Show and fine-tuning to monetize it is the opulent Premier League or the under-21 team that this afternoon (6:00 p.m., TVE) discusses the title of the category in Tbilisi (Georgia) against the attractive Spain of Santi Denia. An English team that has not yet conceded a goal in the tournament in which players who, shortly after coming of age, have already carried out large market operations stand out.
Last summer, Nottingham Forest paid 40 million euros to Wolverhampton for Morgan Gibbs-White, the team’s virguero, of Jamaican origin. The same amount was paid by Newcastle last January for his attack partner, the left winger Anthony Gordon. England play without a nine classic, another symptom of its already shameless metamorphosis. “You have to play football well and you won’t find yourself playing very well”, warned Santi Denia, “you have to be close to excellence in all aspects of the game. England does things very well, you have to be almost perfect”, stressed the coach from Albacete, who by winning tonight will be able to boast of having been European champion in the three lower categories under-17, under-19 and under-21.
Perfection was already touched by Spain in its exhibition in the semifinals against Ukraine (5-1). If he reaches that level again and does not manage to defeat the great favorite of the competition, he may be announcing a vintage English generation. Some of his players (the aforementioned Gibbs-White or Angel Gomes) already made up the team that won the final for Spain in the U-17 World Cup (4-2) in which Phil Foden shone. From that final, Santi Denia, who was also the coach, has reached this U-21 team with four starters: Miranda (Betis), Sergio Gomez (Manchester City), Antonio Blanco (Real Madrid) and Abel Ruiz (Braga). This one has broken with an extraordinary championship. He was fine inside and outside the area to participate in most of the goals for Spain (13) in the tournament, three of them his own. “We know the English well. There are one or two players who have already played against us in the under-17s, we have experience, so we expect a very close game. They have not conceded any goals and we know that we have to do things very well to achieve it, ”said the Braga striker, whose brilliant performance could put him on the summer market.
For this afternoon, the English coach Lee Carsley, former defensive midfielder for Derby County, Blackburn, Coventry and Everton, and now a Stakhanovite of youth football who worked in the Manchester City academy, will not be able to count on midfielder Jacob Ramsey (Aston Villa), a of its stars. Faced with English favouritism, boosted by other good players such as the goalkeeper Trafford, the midfielder Gomes and even the free verse Madueke, Santi Denia’s team has shown signs of being a competitive team in the tournament when they have not been able to clearly impose their game. The Spanish coach had a clear eleven since the debut against Romania. The only variation of him was the entry of Victor Gomez by Arnau Martinez on the right side.
The duel promises a lot because it is a showcase for native talents. Representatives of another comparative duel between the Premier League and LaLiga that have reached the final as two great groups that feel more comfortable in the opposite field and with the ball between their boots for the longest time. With nuances, the great stylistic antagonisms of the 1984 precedent are not appreciated. England registers 59.98% possession of the ball and 13 shots per game and Spain 59.39% of the ball and 17 shots per game. Stylistic equality is latent.
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Source: EL PAIS