Fernando Torres has presented Vicente del Bosque with a real debate and one which must inspire him to the correct decision if Spain are to shine in this competition.
There are many ways to view football and there will, I'm sure, be some who think that Torres blew his chance of starting against the Republic of Ireland by spurning two one-on-one opportunities against Gianluigi Buffon on Sunday.
Not only did the ball not hit the net on either occasion, Torres didn't look particularly confident or in the groove. There will be arguments that Cesc Fàbregas got the goal his 'false' centre-forward role demanded, that Álvaro Negredo deserves his moment or that Fernando Llorente's brilliant season with Athletic Club allows him to believe he should have a place in the starting lineup.
However, the picture can be tilted in another direction. Torres created more danger in his cameo appearance than Spain did in the whole of the rest of the match. Torres still offers much more pace than either Fàbregas or David Silva, and if Spain make ground down either flank it helps, greatly, to have someone to aim at who is over 1.70m.
If Torres is omitted again what does that do to his self-belief when, or if, he is required to come on in a crucial match as an impact sub? If Torres's finishing was that of a man not fully on his game then what better way to give him sharpness and definition than game time?
It's easy to see the dilemma for Del Bosque. Ireland has become a must-win match given the two results in Group C so far, and Spain look as if the creative part of their midfield is fully functioning.
There is an argument that Torres now needs to be allowed to start – even to be told this morning 'you are the centre-forward against Ireland' – so that his form, sharpness and confidence can flourish.
He remains a potential tournament winner for Spain and how a clever, experienced manager like Del Bosque handles this wonderful but slightly out-of-form striker between now and Thursday is a crucial part of Spain defending their title successfully.
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