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Thursday, June 6, 2013
VDB not 'bowled' over by strikers

ESPN staff

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque has criticised his squad's attacking depth by admitting he has not 'found' a player deserving of leading his strike force.

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Even worse for Spain's goal poachers, the former Real Madrid boss admitted he is envious of Confederations Cup opponent Uruguay's attacking options.

Del Bosque has used a number of players upfront in a conventional striking role  Fernando Torres, David Villa and Roberto Soldado  while Cesc Fabregas has been deployed in the 'False No.9' position, but as of yet, the Spain boss has not found a happy solution.

And with his squad assembling for the upcoming Confederations Cup in Brazil, the 62-year-old has admitted he is still searching for an answer, blaming himself as much as the players that have not 'bowled' him over.

"We'll be playing with a striker, that's quite clear  even if it's a false No.9 or an out-and-out striker. As a rule, every team should play with a No.9 but we haven't found one we all like," he told Diario de la Roja.

"Maybe that's our fault. A few have been given run-outs, Negredo, Torres, Soldado, even Villa hasn't really bowled us over either.

"A striker can spend practically the whole game without having to touch the ball, then he scores a goal and everyone says: 'Well, anyone could have scored that', but he has spent the whole match without a sniff of the ball.

"We need players up front who participate, ones who are visible and actively taking part during the game". However, it is not just the strikers that have earned Del Bosque's ire, Bayern Munich midfielder Javi Martinez singled out for his lack of consistency.

"I've said it many times and I won't mince my words - I think he is capable of giving a lot more, he needs to participate more during Bayern's games and exert more control in his own game," Del Bosque said.

"He performed well in the Champions League final and that's something.

"He's also first choice in the team. Whenever we haven't called him, it's been because we haven't liked how he has been playing but there's never been a problem about that because he's a good lad."

And while Del Bosque is only finding problems to be solved in his own ranks, he has praised the Uruguay squad and in particular, the deadly duo of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

"They have two top-level strikers in Cavani and Suarez - two players who are on the agendas of a lot of big clubs," he added.

"Apart from that, they are a very well-organised side who know what they are doing from defence to attack. They are hard-working and tough, they're not the kind of team to lose their nerve."




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