One of the surprise inclusions in Julen Lopetegui’s selection for Spain’s World Cup qualifying game is the fact that he chose Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal ahead of Marcos Alonso.
Alonso has been in formidable form for Chelsea this season, and it was expected that the 26-year-old will be called up to the national team for the first time.
Lopetegui has blamed his omission on the role he plays for Chelsea. Alonso plays as a wing-back, and Lopetegui believes it hampered his chances.
“Marcos Alonso is playing very well at Chelsea, but they have a slightly different system,” explained Spain boss Lopetegui.
“We’ve watched him but we’ve decided on [Nacho] Monreal and Jordi Alba.”
Even Lopetegui knows that this doesn’t make sense. The variation in playing as a wing-back or a full-back is just about tactical instructions and it’s up to the player to be intelligent and disciplined enough to handle the role, and to think that Alonso has also played as a full-back in his previous clubs beats Lopetegui’s claims.