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Spain must drop five players to recover World Cup dream (1)

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Spain are in deep trouble at the 2014 World Cup and must make drastic changes if they are to salvage a campaign that could hardly have started any worse against the Netherlands.

Vicente del Bosque's side were hammered 5-1 by the Dutch in a game where they took the lead through a Xabi Alonso penalty and actually looked quite dangerous in early on. The early promise quickly dissipated, however, and Louis van Gaal's preparations for the game were spot on as Oranje ripped apart the Spanish defence with a series of lightning-quick counter-attacks.

It was a horrific team performance by La Roja and many hailed it was the end of an era and the successes gained through the short passing style labelled 'tiki-taka'. In a season where Barcelona could not win a trophy and Pep Guardiola, whose side at Camp Nou were the most successful using that style, saw his Bayern Munich team dismantled by a similar counter-attacking performance at the hands of Real Madrid in the Champions League.

A debate is there to be had about the future of 'tiki-taka' but the immediate problems facing Spain are more about personnel than style and changes are needed in the starting line-up, not the style they play, if they are to regain their dominance. Del Bosque's team lost the opening match of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa - a 1-0 reverse to Switzerland - yet still managed to right themselves and go on to glory, but this defeat felt more momentous.

Spain need to make five changes to the side if they are going to have any chance of repeating their feat from four years ago - click on the slideshow to see who needs to be dropped...

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Topics:
World Cup
Francesc Fabregas
Spain Football
Barcelona
Football
Real Madrid

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