Former Barcelona coach Terry Venables believes Carles Puyol is Spain’s weak link ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup final against Holland.
Venables said: “There is no doubt skipper Carles Puyol is a brilliant defender. But at times the Barcelona star, 32, and his central defensive partner Gerard Pique do have a penchant for playing more football than they should. Nothing wrong with that as both are competent on the ball. But they can sometimes take a touch or two more than is necessary to put themselves at risk. Along with their right-back Sergio Ramos, I believe there is certainly a mistake in them. It was no trouble against the more defensive-minded Germans. But if the Dutch press then they may get their rewards – especially when Spain’s keeper Iker Casillas has the ball. This usually sees Puyol and Pique part to allow a midfield team-mate to drop deep to collect the ball and begin a move. “Holland could snuff this out if they learn from the Germans’ mistakes and maintain a high line. If striker Robin van Persie can put pressure on the split defensive duo and Wesley Sneijder harries the Spain midfielder dropping deep to collect the ball, then it will make life very difficult for the reigning Euro champs.”