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Andy Golding On June - 15 - 2010

Same Old Italy - What Lessons Have Been Learnt?

Marcello Lippi

Following the disappointing draw in Italy’s World Cup opening match against Paraguay, Andy Golding analyses the lessons learnt.

Throughout the week players and manager Marcello Lippi a like claimed Italy were prepared and ready for their opening match against Paraguay. With a degree of high expectation tonight’s performance was nothing short of disappointing yet again, first it was ‘Tiredness’ following the 2-1 defeat in Italy’s warm up game against Mexico last week, now what is Italy’s excuse?

Simply there is none, for starters Lippi’s 4-2-3-1 is simply never going to work, certainly not with the current squad it was of no surprise Claudio Marchisio struggled to get into the game tonight, some might argue it was nerves but in truth the problem comes down to the fact that he is not a trequartista, only goes to show Italy’s need for a real fantasista such as Antonio Cassano or even recalling Francesco Totti into the fold. Additionally the support for lone striker Alberto Gilardino was simply non-existant, although Simone Pepe worked hard down the flank and was perhaps Italy’s best player, but like Vicenzo Iaquinta are simply not good enough to provide the much needed service into the opposing area.

Once again the defence brought up more questions, the set up of Italy’s defence on set pieces is simply diabolical never a man on the posts and ironically the culprit to Italy conceding the first goal. To Italy’s credit the defensive unit were mostly untroubled by Paraguay as an attacking unit but for a footballing nation renowned for their art in defending, tonight was yet another example of basic errors leading to conceding goals.

Lippi can take note that Italy started to play with real urgency following the introduction of Mauro Camoranesi and switching to a 4-4-2 which ultimately lead to a rather fortuitous equaliser. But now the pressure is on Italy to win the remaining two matches against New Zealand and Slovakia and in doing so Lippi has to make changes to the line up.

For starters Mauro Camoranesi must start, perhaps the only player in the team that has any attacking creative spark and the ability to provide the much needed service to the front men, by the way I wonder what the sports betting odds are on him and secondly Marcello Lippi must understand that Claudio Marchisio is a box to box midfielder not a trequartista or a winger, certainly tonight prove that point, whilst upfront Antonio Di Natale needs to start as a striker adding pace and dimension to Italy’s attacking Unit.

Despite a solid performance from both De Rossi and Montolivo in midfield, Italy once again proved that their lack in creativity and guile, more so than the issue of the squad’s average age is the catalyst to Italy’s problems resulting in Italy looking bland and predictable. Although Italy are still expected to qualify from their group nothing new has been learnt and frankly speaking there is little evidence to show that Lippi will change that.

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3 Responses so far.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Same critics are envy world Mangia Cakes- world news and reports with SPORTS are controlled most by english language and french media , that alone tells you who will have the most oponion and influence on others. France last world cup were lucky to have made it and there captain blew itasa leader overa stupid commnet - GREED-and had no class but team were rained as they should have won,ENVY of italy out calsssinga nd outpalying them- England was pathetic and they took cheap shots at Italy 24/7 by media way and accusing Materrazzi for racism and no proof then- Matterazzi sued and won 5 million$$$$ he is laughing at mangia cakes then.

    Where is England France and Spain with cups in last 100 yrs..??? Italy leads Europe with Quattro copa mondiale and Germany with 3 .

    Lets maybe ask the critics if they can pull off 4 cups with 11 players that work hard or do they need super stars who hog to win or booting the ball is not soccer- soccer is a 11 on 11 passing game and foot work.

    Pele was a star as he hogged most of his career as Maradona cociane addict did. YES! both talented but not team players-Greedy players.

  2. Walker says:

    Mangia cakes? LOL, is that you Vince? No matter you really need to think about who you call class-less as that can be spread around (thinking of Matrix)

    Azzurri fans who underestimated Paraguay should not do the same with Slovakia.

  3. Andy Golding says:

    don't get me wrong anon. but I love Italy as much as any other tifosi and yes i agree with what you say about England and how they took a cheap shot at Italy, which only strengthens my dislike for the nation, but with 4 world cups comes great expectations and with great expectations comes demanding results and unfortunately to say there is little evidence to show that we will be seeing any, if anything i fear humiliation this summer

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