SPANISH MIDFIELDER Sergi Busquets warned the title holders that they had to make a virtue of patience in their Euro 2012 meeting with Ireland on Thursday in Gdansk.
The 23-year-old Barcelona star explained his reasoning behind that because he expects Ireland’s wily Italian coach Giovanni Trapatonni to set out a defensive strategy.
“If the Irish choose to stay bunched in front of their goal then the key for us will be patience,” said Busquets. ”But clearly we are not going to change our style one little bit,” the Barcelona man insisted as the Spanish look to improve on their opening draw with Italy.
The Irish will have to come out to an extent having lost their first match in Group C against Croatia while the Spanish opened with a 1-1 draw with Italy.
“We have to have more possession and control the game,” said Busquets. ”If we can get an early goal then that would be an advantage as the Irish would then have to open up.”
He has recent experience of trying to prise open a team getting behind the ball – having been on the losing side over two legs when Barcelona’s passing game became entangled in the solidity of Chelsea’s defence in their Champions League semi-final. Trapattoni says he intends to learn from that and take a leaf out of Chelsea’s book as his side try to cause what would rank as a monumental shock.
“We know the Spanish are very technically gifted but I remember Bayern Munich also dominated Chelsea (in the Champions League final). Chelsea only had one corner from which they equalised before winning on penalties.
“They ended up winning — but that’s football,” Trapattoni mused.