De Gea and Kepa could share Spain starting spot, says Moreno

By Sports Desk August 20, 2019

David de Gea and Kepa Arrizabalaga could be made to share Spain's number one shirt with neither player guaranteed a starting spot under Robert Moreno.

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa has started each of the national team's three matches since former head coach Luis Enrique handed the reins to long-time assistant Moreno in March.

Manchester United star De Gea previously owned the position, but a poor World Cup and disappointing club campaign last season weakened his claims for a place in the XI.

Spain return to Euro 2020 qualifying action in September and will do so without a defined first-choice option behind the back four.

"My goalkeepers are De Gea, Kepa and [Roma's] Pau Lopez," Moreno told radio station Cadena SER.

"I like that there is competition. Kepa is not ahead of De Gea, and neither is ahead of Pau.

"I want to get to the Euros with three goalkeepers who are ready to compete. They are all playing at a high level and there are nuances and differences between them. All three have good footwork.

"At Barca, we won the treble alternating goalkeepers."

Despite his limited experience as a head coach, Moreno was appointed to Spain's top job on a permanent basis in June after recording three victories as caretaker.

Luis Enrique was forced to leave the role for family reasons and while little is publicly known about the exact circumstances, Moreno confirmed he has recently been in contact with the former Roma and Barca boss.

"He wants total privacy. There is little else I can tell you. He's fighting," Moreno said.

"Our friendship goes beyond the professional field. If at any time I have questions, I have the freedom, as long as the circumstances allow, to ask them.

"I learned from him how to deal with players. Learn how they think, what they want, what they need.

"Books do not explain it to you. He put me by his side and taught me all that."

Related items

  • Spanish federation poised to deliver Clasico verdict Spanish federation poised to deliver Clasico verdict

    A decision on whether next week's Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid can go ahead at Camp Nou is set to be made on Thursday, Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales said.

    Violent scenes broke out in Barcelona at the start of the week after nine Catalan political leaders received long prison sentences for their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent declaration of independence.

    A rally in the city has been called by pro-independence politicians for October 26, the day Barca are due to host bitter rivals Madrid.

    Barcelona's main airport was briefly closed on Tuesday due to the tension, with Spanish league officials raising concern the Clasico could be affected by protests.

    One option would be to move the game to Madrid and for Barca to host the second Clasico of the season, but that was opposed by Blaugrana head coach Ernesto Valverde on Thursday.

    There have also been suggestions the match should be postponed and an alternative date in the calendar found. Valverde thinks the game should go ahead as planned.

    Rubiales said Barca and Madrid swiftly submitted their observations on the matter and the RFEF would be seeking to make an early decision.

    "I can assure that we will work to try to have a resolution this evening, because there are people involved, supporters with booked trips, tickets, media, and that is what we have done," Rubiales said.

    "Regarding the government, what I can say is that this is a matter of football, and it is the competition committee which has to decide. So the government hasn't contacted us or asked for one or another thing."

  • Roma coach Fonseca's touchline ban reduced to one match Roma coach Fonseca's touchline ban reduced to one match

    Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has had his Serie A touchline ban reduced from two matches to one.

    Fonseca was handed a two-game ban by the Lega Serie A after continuing to aggressively shout at referee Davide Massa following his dismissal in Roma's 1-1 draw with Cagliari on October 6.

    However, the 46-year-old appealed the decision and will now only miss one game - Sunday's trip to Sampdoria - before returning to the dugout for next week's home meeting with AC Milan.

    Roma, who confirmed the news on their official Twitter page on Thursday, sit fifth in Serie A ahead of their return to action this weekend.

  • Valverde calls for 'respect' as Barcelona make early dash to Eibar Valverde calls for 'respect' as Barcelona make early dash to Eibar

    Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde issued an appeal for calm as his team made an early dash to Eibar to avoid more possible protests in their home city.

    Violent scenes broke out in Barcelona at the start of the week after nine Catalan political leaders were dealt long prison sentences for their roles in the region's 2017 referendum and subsequent declaration of independence.

    Barcelona's main airport was briefly closed on Tuesday due to the tension, with Spanish league officials later suggesting the Clasico with Real Madrid next week could be moved from Camp Nou to the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Talk around that match dominated Valverde's media conference on Thursday, which had been designated to preview this Saturday's game against Eibar.

    It emerged that Barca would be leaving on Thursday to make the trip to the Basque Country, rather than departing on Friday as would normally be the case.

    "Tomorrow there could be things going on, protests in Barcelona," Valverde said. "There could be travel issues and we have to be there for the game. It's Saturday at 1pm and we thought this was the best option."

    Valverde grew up in the Basque region and played for Athletic Bilbao for six years.

    He is no stranger to tense political climates surrounding autonomy given that background, but regarding events in Catalonia he said: "I don't want to get too far into the things that are going on. They are issues that have been going on for years.

    "What's happened recently is not habitual. We want people to be able to express themselves with the maximum level of freedom.

    "Everyone has to respect each other and maybe that hasn’t been there the last few days."

    He added: "At this time I think things need to be done in the political world so that there’s understanding. Obviously there are things you don't like to see and we hope that's a one-time thing, and that's it."

    Valverde should be more comfortable once Barcelona are out of the city and he can focus on the Eibar game, an important fixture for the club given their mixed start to the campaign.

    They sit second in LaLiga, two points behind Real Madrid, and have struggled at times over their opening eight games, in which they have suffered two losses.

    Looking ahead to the Eibar trip, Valverde said: "These games are important because we're not at top of the table and we need three points.

    "We did have a bit of a tough stretch and we reacted well to it. Sometimes you don't play well but you win anyway and you expect the team to react and that's what we've done in recent years.

    "We would like to be in first place but we're not because we tripped up in a few games."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.