Irene Paredes Arms Behind Back Defending

Irene Paredes is more focused on getting her arms behind her back than making Mina Tanaka think about what she has to do to score.

Of course you can’t blame Paredes entirely for this goal. She is the last defender though and could have done better.

However, rather than start moving backwards with her hands behind her back, constricting her lateral movement. Why not try to feint towards Tanaka like she’s trying to win the ball. Instead, why doesn’t Paredes make Tanaka adjust what she’s doing. Yes, it is all happening fast, but it is too easy for Tanaka.

I guess the arms behind the back defending to avoid conceding a penalty kick due to a handball is a pet peeve of mine. Which is clear if you see all the pages capturing of this phenomenon – the arms behind the back defending – which is done in both men’s and women’s soccer at the highest of levels, on this site.

What is funny about this play or not so funny for Spain, is it comes off a thrown-in. Spain is just too slow to react and get back. Someone needs to at least bump Tanaka to put her off balance and slow her down.

Overall, Paredes arms behind back just looks strange while she’s trying to defend. Take the risk of conceding a penalty kick by trying to actually win the ball.

Prior to the tournament Paredes said this in an interview this AS:

“We want to prove once and for all that we’re one of the world’s very finest sides; we’ve shown that in certain games, but we’ve always come away from tournaments with that ‘if only’ feeling. As players and as professionals, that really bugs us.”

Spain will need to start to score goals if they’re going to leave the tournament with smiles on their faces. Otherwise, it will be that same ‘if only’ feeling for Spain and Paredes, unfortunately.