Scotland's Spain nightmare: We didn’t touch the ball for first four minutes, remembers Bardsley
Published 21:30 09/11/11 By Simon Bird
England have been warned to get ready to marvel at “unbelievable” Spain.
Scotland defender Phil Bardsley has given a first-hand insight into how the World and European champions crush the opposition.
Bardsley was part of Scotland side which lost 3-1 in Alicante last month, and he joked: †”I ran about against them, not sure about playing against them!”
When the game kicked off Barsdley says Scotland didn’t touch the ball for FOUR minutes until he got in an interception.
And Spain’s mesmerising passing game tied Scotland in knots, and being in the presence of such talent is ranked by Bardsley as “pinnacle” game of his career.
He said: “”Sometimes the game stopped and you just think ‘unbelievable’. I’ve never played against a team like it.
“I said to Darren Fletcher afterwards, what’s the difference between playing them and Barcelona. He just said, they bring Messi in for Silva. It’s not bad, is it?
“The first goal was incredible. We didn’t touch the ball for four minutes - from kick off!
“Normally the kick off goes to a full-back who’ll try and clip one in and test the goalkeeper early doors. We didn’t touch it for four minutes - then I intercepted one from Pedro, it went out for a throw-in.
“They passed it to the other side and then went and scored. Unbelievable.”
Bardsley reckons Spain could be beaten at some point, but if on their game “no-one is getting near them in terms of a team and how good they are.”
Explaining the dilemma the Spanish passing game presents, Bardo said: “At first you get tight to them but you’re reversing and reversing and reversing and you’re on the edge of your own box. They’re still picking passes and just waiting for one of you to make a mistake and then they’re in.
“The England game will be interesting. It will show where Spain are at - and where England are at definitely, with the hype and everything.”
Sunderland’s Salford-born Bardsley is looking forward to making progress with Scotland despite failing to qualify for Euro 2012.
“We’ve got a good manager and some cracking young players coming through as well. The manager is really good - he believes in them, gives them a chance and lets them go and express themselves.
I’m really happy with the decision to play for Scotland.
“Obviously I was asked when Walter Smith was the manager, I said then I’d really consider it but I was a little bit young at the time.
“I was only 17 - I hadn’t got into the United side or played a number of Premier League games.
“It was a difficult call at the time but as time goes on and you’re a regular in the Premier League every week I think the time come for a decision and it was a no brainer really.
“I am still working on the Scottish accent.”