Aragones working hard to eliminate Spanish defensive errors

June 2nd, 2008 - 3:49 pm ICT by admin  

Santander, June 2 (DPA) Veteran Spain football manager Luis Aragones is working round the clock to eliminate his side’s defensive mistakes ahead of his team’s Euro campaign. Aragones, 69, was furious with the sloppy goal that Spain conceded in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Peru.

In the 73rd minute in the Huelva friendly, with Spain 1-0 up but starting to relax, a rather aimless Peruvian ball over the top created confusion between defender Carlos Marchena and keeper Iker Casillas.

Marchena tried to clear the ball but only managed to slice it towards Peruvian sub Hernan Rengifo - who calmly accepted the gift, heading the ball deftly over Casillas.

Rengifo’s goal ended Spain’s record run of 586 minutes without conceding a goal - and drove Aragones wild.

“That’s the kind of goal that can put you out of a major tournament,” he growled at the media.

“We have got to learn to be much sharper in both penalty areas,” he added, “to be less generous.”

Truer words have rarely been spoken.

Every two years Spain go into a tournament with high hopes, and their slick passing-possession game quickly wins admirers across Planet Football.

On the big night, however, their naivete at both ends of the field usually leads to an early journey home again.

Aragones is determined to make his players meaner, sharper and more clinical, no matter how often he has to shout and bellow at them.

He has never been keen on the media scrutinising his training sessions - in which his outbursts are legendary - and on Sunday he announced that all sessions before departing for Austria next Friday would be behind closed doors.

Spain’s last practice match is up in Santander on Wednesday, against the US.

Aragones may be tempted to punish Marchena for his error against Peru by replacing him with Valencia team-mate Raul Albiol.

In midfield, Marcos Senna or Cesc Fabregas could come in for Xabi Alonso, who turned in yet his umpteenth sluggish display in a Spain shirt.

Aragones might also be considering giving Daniel Guiza his first start.

Guiza, 27, was La Liga’s top scorer last season playing for Mallorca. He is keen to make a big-money move this summer, and Euro 2008 could be his shop window.

Guiza may come in for Fernando Torres who, the same as Alonso, consistently struggles to reproduce his Liverpool form in the red of Spain.

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