Spain coach Luis de la Fuente was a shock appointment and an early humiliating defeat by Scotland in March put his fledgling mission on the ropes no prior to it had begun. The Luis Rubiales compelled kiss scandal additional shook Spanish soccer and De la Fuente was criticised for his response to it, however he survived the wave of sackings throughout the Spanish soccer federation in September. On the pitch within the interim interval, the 62-year-old’s La Roja have been steadily bettering and after they face Scotland in Seville on Thursday in Euro 2024 qualifying, they’ve an opportunity to show it.
“I really feel very robust, and revered — the necessary factor is the outcomes,” mentioned De la Fuente in September, forward of qualifiers in opposition to Georgia and Cyprus, which Spain received emphatically.
De la Fuente led Spain to their first piece of silverware since Euro 2012 in June, overcoming Italy after which Croatia within the Nations League last.
In his six matches in cost Spain have secured 5 victories, with defeat by Scotland in Glasgow the one blemish.
Scott McTominay struck twice for the hosts in that match and Scotland boast an ideal file of 5 wins from 5, main Group A — they will qualify with a win in Seville, or if Norway fail to beat Cyprus.
Spain and Manchester Metropolis midfielder Rodri angrily described Scotland’s fashion as “a bit garbage” and “not soccer”.
Rodri rapidly turned the cornerstone of De la Fuente’s staff, following the worldwide retirement of holding midfield veteran Sergio Busquets.
After being appointed in December to switch Luis Enrique after Spain’s disappointing last-16 exit on the Qatar World Cup, De la Fuente made a number of different adjustments to the squad composition.
The coach axed Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and gave then-Espanyol striker Joselu his first name up amongst different attention-grabbing selections. Solely 11 members of the World Cup 26-man group survived.
Since then, Actual Madrid have signed Joselu on mortgage and he has scored 5 instances in 9 appearances for his membership, whereas De Gea is a free agent after leaving the Crimson Devils.
De la Fuente handed Barcelona starlet Lamine Yamal his debut, with the 16-year-old winger changing into Spain’s youngest ever participant and scorer within the 7-1 rout of Georgia.
The coach known as up Granada winger Bryan Zaragoza after his brace in opposition to Barcelona on Sunday to switch the injured Yeremy Pino, exhibiting he’s not afraid to pick on the idea of current good kind.
Regardless of having a restricted profession in membership administration — teaching Athletic Bilbao’s reserves after which Alaves for 4 months — De la Fuente had file with Spain’s youth groups.
His time working throughout the federation since 2013 means he has relationship with lots of the present squad, and is adapt at dealing with youthful gamers.
Regardless of bettering outcomes and performances, the “Rubiales case” rumbles on within the background.
De la Fuente has been summoned to seem in court docket to testify on October 20, with the disgraced former Spanish soccer federation president being investigated by a Spanish choose over alleged crimes of sexual assault and coercion.
“I’ll go the day I’ve been summoned, I’ll reply the questions they provide me and I’ll go away so completely happy,” mentioned De la Fuente final week.
The coach has reiterated he prefers to focus solely on the soccer, and in that space, he’s proud of the progress made because the Hampden Park defeat.
“We’re not the staff from March, nor the one from June, we’re a little bit bit higher, we have discovered our lesson and we are going to attempt to be on the most stage,” added the coach.
“We arrived at these video games (in March) with simply a few coaching classes, the benefit now could be that we have been right here just a few months.
“The message is sinking in, an thought, we all know one another higher — now we have had a little bit extra time and