Jorge Vilda: “The team is confident, motivated to make history against Switzerland” | Women’s Soccer World Cup 2023

The coach Jorge Vilda, in the penultimate training session for Spain before facing Switzerland.
The coach Jorge Vilda, in the penultimate training session for Spain before facing Switzerland.Pablo Garcia/RFEF (EFE)

All or nothing. Red or black. Nothing is going anymore. Spain is playing this Saturday (7.00, La1) the pass to the quarterfinals of the World Cup against Switzerland, a duel that is another proof of cotton, because after distilling a game as rich in the proposal as decisive -against Costa Rica ( 3-0) and Zambia (5-0) -, despite the fact that the rivals were not rude, they hit a vintage bump against Japan (0-4). “It is a defeat that has not been forgotten and that will not be forgotten because it causes a deep furrow, although it is also necessary for the development of the team and its growth,” reflected the coach Jorge Vilda this Friday from the bowels of the Eden Park stadium, mole granite that stands out on the Auckland hills, on the distinguished colonial houses that adorn the green landscape.

But according to the coach, the mood and football have been restored in time. “Everything is working well and I am sure that the players will react and recover from any unforeseen event. I am convinced that it will turn out well against Switzerland”, he resolved, while adding: “The team is confident and calm, motivated and encouraged to make history, to get through the first round in a great tournament”. Olga Carmona went further: “We will arrive like a shot.”

These are not quiet days in New Zealand, dismayed by two shootings -three dead and two seriously injured-, shaken by an earthquake and defined by persistent rains, gallant winds and perennial cold. As a finishing touch, before Spain arrived at the stadium in the run-up to the duel, the fire trucks crowded around the stadium. “Attention attention. The fire alarm is ringing. Evacuate the premises through the nearest door ”, was repeated over the public address system, between howls and howls of the siren. It was soon resolved and the ball, the argument of the World Cup, resumed prominence. And that is what concerns and worries Spain, who kneaded it against Japan without finding the ramp to the goal, also shelled with the rival hypersonic cons.

With very little, Japan did a lot. “It made me angry that in three passes they stood in front of our goal,” Ona deciphered. “We were photographed,” added Irene Paredes. “Nothing came out,” added Athenea del Castillo, now ready to play after overcoming a blow that made her abandon the match against Zambia [Ivana es la única baja por molestias en el sóleo]. But he was a total bludgeon. The analysis of the Spanish coaching staff, in the defensive phase, was clear: with the attacks the defensive balance was lost -the players too open, separated lines and poorly positioned for the emergency withdrawal- and they forgot to make offensive vigilance (or , which is the same, that the defenders continued to defend the rival attackers despite having the ball in the middle or the lead).

A punishment that showed the seams of La Roja, flushed for running backwards with everything to lose. “Spain is a very strong team, but against Japan the game didn’t change much and it taught us many weaknesses that we have analyzed intensively”, highlighted Inka Grings, the Swiss coach.

For Vilda, advancing the lines should not be a problem: “In the past we have shown that Spain has defended 50 and 60 meters from the goal, with effective defenses, with a compensating structure… We have to improve and go through slight positional movements, knowing when to anticipate to protect ourselves a little more, think about defensive positioning, in addition to not losing concentration”, he said. “And be more compact”, stressed Olga Carmona. In attack, he did not give many clues, but he knows that Switzerland has built a wall, since they have not conceded a single goal in the tournament. “It is a very complete team, with players up front who make the difference, vertically. It will be a close and tough game”, added the coach. “We need to be patient. We cannot be intimidated because when we have the ball we will have our opportunity to find space, detect weaknesses and be effective”.

Questioned out of habit, Vilda did not want to assess his future on the bench of La Roja. “I don’t think about the day after tomorrow, I’m focused on the match and getting the best team”, he explained; “And if I didn’t feel empowered to pull it off, I wouldn’t have to be sitting in this chair. I think the same about the team. Of course”. And he finished off: “I notice a bit of negativity… Come on team, come on Spain, we’re all going to win! We’ll be glad to go to the quarterfinals!” A few hours before the stake, the selector will not change the routine. Training, dinner, meeting with the eight members of the coaching staff and after sleeping – “I’m lucky that I don’t lose sleep at all” -, a little exercise in the morning to close with the final meetings on ball plays. stopped and nuances to face the shock. Because the plan, the corrections to the race and the details will explain the result, continue in New Zealand to play the quarterfinals (against the Netherlands or South Africa) or return home. All or nothing.

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