Wenger turned off by Spain

Arsene Wenger believes Spain 'have betrayed their philosophy and turned it into something more negative'

Arsene Wenger believes Spain 'have betrayed their philosophy and turned it into something more negative'

First published in National Sport News © by

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has joined the growing band who believe Spain have become a boring team.

In winning Euro 2008 and the World Cup two years later, Spain thrilled with their tiki-taka style, centred around the midfield axis of Barcelona duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta. This summer though, they have gained as much criticism as plaudits.

"These guys are more than outstanding footballers; they are really intelligent and they are winners," Wenger wrote on www.eurosport.com. "I want to give them credit for that. However, they have betrayed their philosophy and turned it into something more negative."

With David Villa injured and Fernando Torres still out of form, coach Vicente del Bosque has opted at times to play with no orthodox forwards. It has led to a growing belief that Spain's close passing game is now of more value in keeping the ball away from opponents rather than actually trying to score themselves.

On Saturday night, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli suggested those who feel Spain are boring are frightened of them and confirmed his belief that are still the best side in the world.

If Spain beat the Azzurri in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev on Sunday evening, they may also go down as one of the best sides ever given they will become the first country to win three successive tournaments, but Wenger believes they will do so in a negative manner.

He added on www.eurosport.com: "Originally they wanted possession in order to attack and win the game; now it seems to be first and foremost a way not to lose.

"They have become more conservative, and they don't want to give the ball up because they don't want to give you a chance to score. That's the impression you get from Euro 2012.

"Yes, it can be hard to break down defensive opponents, but this is a challenge that confronts every successful team.

"They are still absolutely outstanding, but they have less penetration than before."

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