Arsène Wenger

Spain still mentally suspect

Arsene Wenger

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I would say if you look at the prestige of the teams, Spain against France could be the best of the Euro 2012 quarter-finals because those two teams have the highest quality players together on the pitch. It could be an absolutely amazing game.

We will see a different French team against Spain. This game against Spain is not a 60-40 for Spain, but it is a 50-50 game. France have all the weapons to beat Spain because they have individual quality: they have players who can dribble, who can provoke, who can be very strong in one-on-one situations like Nasri, Ribery, Menez and Ben Arfa. I am not sure that Spain will like that.

France are physically strong. The weakness of France is more in the fact that they have a lack of confidence in this tournament, so they have to build up their belief. If they manage to do that they can be strong.

Olivier Giroud hasn't come on a lot for France, but he will be an Arsenal player 90 per cent next season. He has exceptional potential in my opinion. He has the qualities to integrate the way we want to play football; he is a team player, a guy who relates well with other people in the team, has good combinations. I am sure he will do well with us.

Spain don't exude the same strength as before and the same "we are strong" message. It is a bit more "me" than "we" at the moment. They aren't sending out the same team vibe they have in previous tournaments.

Will it come back? That is the question they have to answer because if it doesn't come back, they will be under threat from the French team, who are never as dangerous as when they have nothing to lose.

I always said that Spain are favourites, and I maintain that view. However, something has to change in this team, and it is now. To recover team strength, you need a shock somehow and I hope for them that shock was near elimination against Croatia. Something has to change mentally. They have the best players, no doubt about that, they are spoiled for choice but sometimes that can create unrest as well.

Iker Casillas has not had a lot to do, let's be honest, in the previous games because Spain have still dominated. I don't deny that Casillas is a fantastic goalkeeper because when he has to do something, he delivers it. He has a fantastic ability to keep his mind at 100 per cent when he has little to do and this is where you spot the great goalkeepers.

There are no more than five shots against him, but in these five shots he has to make one or two exceptional saves and he showed that in the World Cup final, in the World Cup semi-final for the penalty and again in the last game against Croatia when he made the save from the header that kept Spain in the game. That's why he is an absolutely great goalkeeper.

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