Is It Time To Drop Iker “The Saint” Casillas?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Iker Casillas

Where does Spain go from here?

Spain was blown out by the Netherlands, to the disbelief of everyone watching, and it is time to panic and make changes. Iker Casillas will be lucky to keep his place in the starting 11 following a poor showing vs. Holland. Coming into the tournament I was skeptical as to whether he should start to begin with, he had lost his place to Diego Lopez for much of the season at Real Madrid, and when called upon in the Champions League Final for Los Blancos, he failed to claim a ball through, and allowed Diego Godin to give Atletico Madrid the lead. He was bailed out by Sergio Ramos in the 90th minute, and was reprieved of his error when his side captured La Decima.

However, his error was a glaring one and left Spanish fans with a bad taste in their mouth heading in to the World Cup. There were calls for the Spanish captain to be dropped ahead of Brazil, and to be replaced by David de Gea, but Vincente Del Bosque stood by his man. Following a miserable performance against the Netherlands, when he was at fault for multiple goals, is it time to drop the man dubbed San Iker?

David De Gea was in the form of his life for Manchester United, voted player of the season for the club, and was the only player to really thrive under David Moyes. He is considered one of the best young goalkeepers in the world and should be given an opportunity for La Furia Roja. Casillas has long been off of the top of his game, and can no longer be considered one of the world’s elite goalkeepers. Del Bosque should look to the younger De Gea in goal if Spain wants to go far in Brazil.

If Spain does progress, they will most likely take second in the group.  Second in the group will most likely face Brazil, the likely winner of Group A. Spain will need a much better performance against the host nation than they had against the Dutch if they want to return to the quarterfinals. They were slow, off of their game, and rattled throughout the contest.  Often they resorted to long balls over the top, which did not work, and are not what we come to know and expect from the Spain tiki-taka machine. They were vulnerable to the counter attack as well and were caught on the break numerous times particularly by Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie. Changes will be needed for the world champions if they are to repeat in Brazil in 2014.

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