Newcastle fans would have been interested to see both former Magpie targets, 22 year-old striker Eren Derdiyok and 25 year-old midfielder Gökhan Inler in the starting Switzerland side that produced the first real shocker of the 2010 e World Cup with a 1-0 win over European Champions Spain.
Eren Derdiyok – looked good today for the Swiss
In their 10 qualifying games in their qualifying group Spain won all 10, and this is the first time Spain has tasted defeat since the USA beat them 2-0 in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup almost a year ago – again in South Africa.
Eren had a great game as striker and the youngster put in a tremendous amount of work helping out in defense. and when Switzerland were 1-0 up he broke through and almost put the Swiss 2-0 up. but he hit the upright in one of the Swiss breakaways.
Of course when you have a manager like German great Omar Hitzfeld in charge – then anything is possible – and Omar will be the toast of Switzerland tonight, as will the Swiss squad in what was arguably their greatest result ever.
When Newcastle were interested in Derdiyok a couple of years ago, during the European Nations Cup (which Spain of course won), he was at Basel, but he has since moved to German club Bayer Leverkusen last year, and in 33 appearances for them he has 11 goals.
In 64 appearances for Basel he scored 20 goals, and is a tall and powerful 6’3″ striker.
Gopkhan Inler was said to be a target of Kevin Keegan two years ago, as his name repeatedly came up during the summer of 2008, and he is still at Udinese Calcio in the Italian League.
Gokhan played very well today in the center of midfield for his 35th cap for his country, and has played 118 times for Udinese with 6 goals.
But we doubt if Chris Hughton has these two players on his radar screen these days, although Chris was Kevin’s assistant two years ago when Newcastle were reported to be after both players.
The winning goal was scored after 52 minutes, by Fernandes and Spanish goalkeeper and captain Casillas seemed to be slow off his line for the goal.
The Spanish did bring on Fernando Torres (who has had his hair cut short) in the second half, but he just couldn’t get the goal for them and there was no sign at all of Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas – although maybe there should have been.
It was a terrible result for Spain – only their second loss in nearly 40 games, but great for the Swiss and good for the World Cup tournament in general – and a very good game to watch.