With Euro 2020 now underway, 101 sat down with ex-Liverpool defender Jose Enrique to talk all things Spain, including the headache that Luis Enrique will almost certainly be experiencing with his goalkeeper situation.
In his controversial 24 man squad, Enrique named three goalkeepers- Manchester United’s David De Gea, Atletico Bilbao’s Unai Simon and Brighton and Hove Albion’s Robert Sanchez.
This meant that there was no space for Chelsea shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga, nor veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Last season, Kepa Arrizabalaga played 41 times for a Chelsea side that finished in the top four.
Meanwhile, Brighton keeper Robert Sánchez was on loan at Rochdale, finishing 18th in League One.
Sánchez is now heading to the Euros with Spain whilst Kepa misses out. pic.twitter.com/sFuVpM1xpH
— bet365 (@bet365) May 24, 2021
Despite such high-profile absentees, there is still no set number one, with Unai Simon playing in Spain’s one warm-up game, while De Gea has endured a difficult campaign.
When we asked Jose Enrique who he thought should be starting in between the posts for La Furia Roja:
“Unai Simon from Bilbao… I really really really like him.
“Obviously David De Gea will be my favourite or everyone’s favourite really but I’m not sure about his confidence after what happened in the Europa League final. Obviously United fans will not be very happy with him, they weren’t before, but less now. So I’m not sure about picking De Gea because of confidence, not quality.
“I love De Gea, I believe he’s a great goalkeeper, but confidence-wise I’m not so sure. That’s why I’d go with Unai Simon.”
We then asked how De Gea was thought of back in his home nation:
“They don’t like him much either to be honest [in the National team] as a player. Obviously as a person, no-one can talk, but as a player, because he’s made a few big mistakes for Spain as well in the past, they don’t like him much.
“I don’t know what’s happened to him, personally, because he’s a player that i really believe has done so much for United. At the start it was a bit difficult but then he was one of the best ‘keepers in the world for a while. And then he just started dropping his form. I believe its all about confidence- his confidence is completely on the ground and that’s why I would not play him as a starting keeper.
David De Gea let down by poor coaching and awful defending, blasts former coach Gabino Rodriguez https://t.co/QoP6itiVJs
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) June 5, 2021
“In football, it doesn’t matter how many qualities you have, if your confidence is low, it makes such a big difference”
“Being an ex-defender myself, I believe that when you are a defender and you have a [good] ‘keeper behind you, you have that feeling that you can make a mistake. Obviously you don’t want to, but if you do then you have someone behind that can actually protect me.
“I believe Luis Enrique is going to start him, he’s not going to listen to me [laughs], he’s going to start De Gea.
If he [DDG] starts well, it will be good. But if he starts badly, he’ll already make the team doubt itself.”
— Goal Africa (@GoalAfrica) June 10, 2021
“Goalkeeper is one of the most important positions, for me, in the team, because if you have a great goalkeeper then the attackers can be through 2,3, or even 4 times and most of the time he’s going to save them. You are a lot more relaxed, you know you are covered. If your keeper is a bit of a doubt, he makes the full team have doubts, it’s crazy but it is actually that important.”
Catch the full interview with Jose Enrique over on 101’s official Youtube channel.
“He’s a great player and he has a chance now to prove himself”- Ex-Liverpool defender Jose Enrique on Spain’s striker spot
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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