After the Giampiero Ventura era which ended with the disaster of not qualifying for World Cup 2018 and the federation’s failure to elect a new president the transitional phase for Italian football and the national team remains deep in uncertainty. For the time being Luigi Di Biagio, the former and current U21 coach, has been put in caretaker charge of the Azzurri for the up coming friendlies (against Argentina on March 23, England on March 27 and France on June 1) in the spring. Di Biagio, the former Roma and Inter Milan midfielder, has had a relative poor record as … Read more
The Italian league and the administrators running the league and the teams have been accused of plenty and the teams don’t have the best reputation when it comes to promoting youth, there are exceptions but notables ones like Marco Verratti end up in France to get regular game time.
What some have recognized the Italians need is a more structured youth system. In some other countries like Spain, Portugal and Germany B or II teams of top level teams play in the second or lower divisions. It is also important that the teams realize and agree collectively that youth promotion … Read more
Italy didn’t qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years. The administration of Italian football has been backward, racist and unable to adapt or see the problems that are in plain site. Having chosen a top level inexperienced national team coach in Giampiero Ventura to lead the national team after Antonio Conte the resulting disasters were almost unbelievably clear and many have been ignored for years before the current failure. The state of the Italian league and the larger questions facing Italian football deserve their own analysis of course.
The Serie A has fallen down the … Read more
Slovakia 3 – 2 Italy Robert Vittek (25′ 73′) Kamil Kopunek (89′) Antonio Di Natale (81′) Fabio Quagliarella (90′)
Italy crashed out of the World Cup making it the second time a reigning champion has gone at the group stage after France suffered the same fate in 2002. Slovakia came into the match having disappointed and hadn’t even managed a handful of shots on goals in their first two matches. Italy’s much criticized aging squad didn’t show much enthusiasm and Marcello Lippi’s choice of giving a first start to Gennaro Gattuso seemed uninspired. Andrea Pirlo however was on the bench … Read more
Slovakia 0-2 Paraguay Enrique Vera (27′) Cristian Riveros (86′)
This game should be most remembered for the tame effort by Slovakia, the disappointment of losing the three points at the last minute in their first game against New Zealand must have weighed heavily on the players. Vladimir Weiss, Marek Hamsik, and Robert Vittek very rarely featured and nothing was created by the Slovaks until a solitary shot on goal very late. The Paraguayans were not neccessarily a much superior team but didn’t need to be. Coach Marino was at least the more enterprsing as he gave a start to three … Read more
Holland 2-0 Denmark Daniel Agger (og 46′) Dirk Kuyt (85′)
Holland, as expected, were fluid at times but Denmark, also as expected, held their own. Denmark however lacked the skills shown by their opponents and were undone by the own goal. The Second Dutch goal exemplified at least one case of enthusiasm and work rate difference when after the ball had come off the post Denmark defender Kjaer only walked and watched the ball without any apparent urgency allowing Kuyt to run around him to tap in the rebound and finish off the game.
Japan 1-0 Cameroon Keisuke Honda (39′)… Read more
A brief post about the World Cup which is now less than eight weeks away.
This reviewer supports Italy but feels that their team is either too old or not very spectacular. Under the guidance of Marcello Lippi, who was the winning coach four years ago, Italy can still do very well. With the likes of Giorgio Chiellini in the heart of the defense, Daniele De Rossi in the heart of the midfield and the likes of Antonio Di Natale moving forward the team has a chance.
It remains to be seen if the fitness of Fernando Torres and others … Read more