Spain 'had no plan B' with Luis Enrique – Iago Aspas points to reason for World Cup failure

By Sports Desk March 23, 2023

Luis Enrique had no 'plan B' and Spain suffered a premature World Cup exit as a consequence, according to Iago Aspas.

Veteran striker Aspas missed out on the squad for Qatar 2022 but has been recalled by Luis Enrique's successor, Luis de la Fuente, for Euro 2024 qualifiers against Norway and Scotland.

The 35-year-old Celta Vigo player was powerless to prevent Spain losing to Morocco on penalties after a goalless stalemate at the last-16 stage of the World Cup.

"I was wishing Spain to score," Aspas said on Thursday, looking back at that game.

"With Luis Enrique we had a very defined game style. For me, who in future could become a coach, we did not have plan B, and when plan A was stuck there wasn't plan B or other types of footballers to try to revert that situation. From my point of view."

Aspas knowingly added: "Now the headline is easy, of course."

Luis Enrique felt Aspas did not contribute sufficiently from a defensive perspective for Spain.

De la Fuente has chosen to see for himself what the former Liverpool player might be able to achieve for the national team in the twilight of his playing career.

Reflecting on Luis Enrique's reasoning, Aspas said: "I didn't agree really, but didn't have a chat with Luis Enrique to talk about this. I do not know if he said that referring to me specifically, but in my team I run like anyone else.

"Data is there and anyone can see how I can make 10 kilometres per game each weekend. We [at Celta] are a team that cannot leave one player without defending because other teams could then destroy you.

"I was an important footballer in my [club] team, but when I have come to the national team in other occasions I think that I have demonstrated that I am a versatile player who can play on different positions: behind the striker or as a striker, or on the side. So I am here to help and for what the coach needs."

Spain lost an attacking option on Thursday when Bryan Gil pulled out of the squad ahead of Saturday's clash with Norway due to "discomfort that has prevented him from exercising normally".

De la Fuente does not plan to call in a replacement for the player who is on loan to Sevilla from Tottenham.

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