Those of you who were already bored and frustrated midway through the first half of the Spain vs. Switzerland clash, and opted to put on the Cinderella DVD that you found the other day, wouldn’t have missed anything, as the Alpine side shocked favourites Spain during the day’s most anticipated clash.

Switzerland managed to pull off the first real shock of this tournament, and it came at the expense of the all mighty Spanish armada. Forget the numbers, out with the digits, discard the difference between the net value of both teams: It was down to eleven versus eleven, and the Euro 2008 winners failed. Moreover, they failed in miserable fashion.

The Spanish starting eleven harboured nine players from two of the world’s biggest clubs – Barcelona and Real Madrid – and yet failed to shine when pitted against Swiss players who were hardly established household names.

This was not the Spanish fleet that the world had known for much of the past two years. This was more like the old Spain: A lot of hype, no outcome. Now, La Roja risks enduring a horrific tournament.

In their opener against Switzerland, the team remained loyal to its Barcelona-esque tiki-taka style of play, enjoying more than two thirds of possession. However, bad luck and horrific decision making prevented del Bosque’s men from attaining all three points.

What the former Real Madrid head coach failed to realise on this particular day was that possessing the football might not always be the key to winning matches, and failure to have a suitable back-up plan could hold dire consequences.

The moustached tactician needs only to have a look at Barcelona’s demise in this season’s Champions League: For all of their dominant “total football”, the Blaugrana failed to overcome eventual trophy winners Internazionale. Their coach, Josep Guardiola, was left perplexed, without any alternate strategy. True, Jose Mourinho did ‘park the bus’ – he even parked an Airbus, whenever asked about the situation – but the new Real Madrid coach knew just how to neutralise the Spanish champions. On 16th June, Switzerland managed the same feat.

Fast on the counter-attack, the Swiss took advantage of a fragile and disconnected Spanish defence to slot home a shocker, leaving Gerard Pique and Iker Casillas gaping in astonishment. Having secured the lead, the match underdogs sat back and took everything that La Seleccion had to throw at them.

What followed was along the same lines as the second leg of the Barcelona-Inter clash: Total Barca dominance, yet at the same time, fruitless against a robust Italian wall. Strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres where outsmarted by keeper Diego Benaglio, one of the heroes of the day.

Yes, Spain underperformed, but exactly how much responsibility falls on their coach? Vicente del Bosque chose to start with Andres Iniesta on the left, and for all of the Barcelona man’s ability, his recent injury turned him into a liability for the first-eleven, even though he was one of the better stars on show for Spain. In other words, why risk him when you have fully fit players such as Pedro and Jesus Navas waiting to come on? The latter was an instant threat when he finally took to the pitch for the disappointing David Silva, and managed to create all sorts of problems for the Swiss back-line.

One other question mark is Fernando Torres. The Liverpool forward tried left and right to save his team, but he was just rusty, far from the terror machine that he is at his best. Why introduce him to tussle around with the 190cm+ Swiss defenders when you have the towering Fernando Llorente just waiting to head the ball home? Spain’s distribution in the box was hardly picked up by their forwards, but maybe the presence of a robust, physical player like the Basque forward might have been the answer that Spain needed.

On 16th June, football reminded us that miracles still happen. Spain’s qualification for the next round is still regarded as some as a certainty, as neither the players nor the coach are inexperienced enough to ignore their soft spots and leave them unattended. This defeat will probably make the Europeans more determined and resolved. And in a way, they can only get stronger from here. For the moment though, they have been warned.