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Mando On July - 1 - 2010

World Cup 2014: Italy under Prandelli

Cesare Prandelli was unveiled as the new manager of the Azzurri and almost immmediately the speculation began as to whom he would bring in, bring back or toss out from one of (if not the most) disappointing squads in Italian World Cup history. Marcello Lippi took the blame, but the most interesting quote from the fallout camr from Fabio Cannavaro who said that while he respects Prandelli as a coach, and his ideas, he believes the best players playing in Italy were playing in South Africa despite their age. “I think there are not many changes we can make”, he added, “At the moment, Italy is not producing players like in my generation when we had great players. It’s not just the national team, it’s the clubs. We have good players but not top drawer. I’ve been saying for a while that the system has to change. We have to invest in youth.” Sorry to say, because I am a fan of il capitano, but I think he’s high.

Goalkeeper: While Prandelli hopes to give the captain’s armband to Gianluigi Buffon and have him ready to lead Italy to Euro 2012, is it sacrilegious to start thinking about training his successor? 27 year old Federico Marchetti is his heir apparent, but is their another lying in wait in the lower divisions just biding his time.

Defense: Can we call an end to the Materazzi, Cannavaro, Grosso, Zambrotta era? Chiellini was the first to break the strangle-hold. With Alessandro Nesta gone for good, it’s time to find a decent pairing for Giorgio-the Rock. Legrottaglie? Not my favorite, but he’ll do in the mean-time, until maybe a guy like Marco Andreolli gets his career under order. On the wings, I’m sure that Domenico Criscito will be be a fixture on the left, and Christian Maggio on the right, but I’m waiting for either Davide Santon or Marco Motta to fill the need for depth on either side. With Rafa Benitez the coach at Inter helping Santon, and Motta now plying his trade for Udinese, they both might get more playing time.

Midfielders: As a force in the middle, there is no player like Daniele DeRossi. Still only 26 years old, this is time to shine as the shadow of Francesco Totti looms smaller for club and country. With Gattuso gone (Angelo Palombo has his role) and Andrea Pirlo at his end, a possibility at 33 years of age for Euro 2012, but an impossibility at 35 for World Cup 2014, it is time to give the role to Riccardo Montolivo a bit sooner rather than later. Luca Cigarini can also play the role of a deep-lying playmaker, although Prandelli isn’t Lippi so I would be careful of assigning a role that isn’t in the cards tactically with a new manager. Having Claudio Marchisio to play on the wing and fill in at center-mid gives them unqualified depth. Simone Pepe gives them pace on the wing despite his obvious flaws as a winger. Frankly, I’d rather get the width from fullbacks and press with Pepe and Marchisio.

Attack: This is where the ossified remnants of Lippi’s reign must be tossed out and none too soon. The strikers just couldn’t strike. No scoring, no invention, no wins. Quaglieralla and DiNatale will bring in depth but both will be on the wrong side of 30 for the next World Cup. In short, bring in Cassano and quickly. He can’t lead the line, I’d give that to Balotelli, but he can certainly be a support striker in a 4-4-2, the fantasista in a 4-3-1-2, with Pazzini helping Super-Mario. Plus, any team that leaves a dynamo like Fabrizio Miccoli home, even as a a late substitute for pace, is bound for trouble. I’d even choose Sebastian Giovinco over the oriundi like Amauri or Maxi Lopez any-day.

Young Players: In short, players like Robert Acquafresca, Rafaelle Palladino, Giuseppe Rossi, Alberto Aquilani, they are all on the cusp of greatness, stifled by the short-sided nature of big clubs in Italy. Develop them. Cannavaro was wrong. We are about to enter one of the best terms for young talent in Italy. There are clubs willing to take on their training. Let Milan or Inter, Juve or Roma buy the high-priced foreign talent. Parma, Napoli, Palermo, Genoa, and a handful of others are well prepared to shepherd the next generation of Azzurrini. The Azzurri coach, and Prandelli is much more open to them than Lippi has been, just needs to be aware of them.

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9 Responses so far.

  1. This is gonna be a tough decision for the new coach to make. But that Italy needs a change noone can argue over that. Hope the Italy i use to know from back in the days comes back as strong as it use to be

  2. Ricco says:

    -Maggio - Bonucci - Chiellini - Balzaretti
    ——-De Rossi - Pirlo - Marchisio
    ————Pazzini - Miccoli

  3. Ricco says:

    -Cassani - Ranocchia - Chiellini - Criscito
    ——-De Rossi - Montolivo - Palombo
    ———-Quagliarella - Rossi

  4. Anonymous says:

    ——-de rossi-pirlo-montolivio

    rossi- giovinco
    palombo-de rossi
    aquilani- montolivio
    buffon- viviano/amelia/sirigu

    these players must play together for every game of qualification therefore we can dominate at euro 12.
    the wings i have used have incredible and ball control, with quagliarella putting a smashing perormance in world cup last game. he should be italys new number one man up front, with super mario and miccoli swapping for him.

    pirlo you would keep him for euro 12 even tho he is now 30, he still manages to put the ball where no other players in the world can, his magnificent attacking momentum with creative mind is what any cm would die for.

    wether or not buffon can play is up to him, he has been through a roughs stinct of injuries therefore i would give the captains armband to either chiellini, de rossi or pirlo.

    i believe the upcoming talent italy has to offer is a dream come true, come euro 2012, the younger players will be 23/24 - 26/27 peak of their career.


  5. Davide says:

    I believe that Santacroce, now that he has overcome his injury, can play a role for Italy. I think Chiellini is too slow, that will have to improve. The wings must be occupied with Maggio a certainty on the right. Italy needs another player like Zambrotta who can play either flank. There is an abundance of right backs, Motta, Cassetti, Cassani but are they able to be switched to the other flank? Gobbi is ok too. Antonini could be a bolter. I think Nesta is still young enough to help out the azzurri. Grosso was great.

    I would choose Maggio - Bonucci - Nesta - Chiellini

    The midfield picks itself. De Rossi needs to become accountable. Montolivo has potential but there is only one Andrea Pirlo. Cigarini is struggling at club level, I would give Aquilani another go, don't forget about Poli, Brighi, Foggia and Rosina pushing through.

    I would choose Pepe De Rossi Aquilani

    In attack there is some great strikers - MAtri needs to be given a go. Balotelli is ok but needs to mature - maybe off the bench. Cassano, Quaglia, Rosina, Miccoli, Giovinco, Rossi can all create. Pazzini, Gilardino, Floccari, Matri, Paloschi, Macheda all need to come into the set up at some stage.

    I would choose Quagliarella Rossi


    a bench with options if its not working out

    Santon, Santacroce, Ranocchia, Pirlo, Marchisio, Cassano, Matri, Floccari, Di Natale

    Anyway, I'm sure whoever Italy chooses will give their best. Forza Ragazzi

  6. Anonymous says:

    If it was up to me this would be the team

    keeper :Marco Amelia, only cause buffon is getting to old and its time for some one new and Marco Amelia should when he was played that he is a world class goal keeper.

    Defense: Marco Motta / Daniele Bonera /Alessandro Gamberini / Giorgio Chiellini /Davide Santon

    Midfield: Thiago Motta I like him but he fouls alot but the team could use him.
    Sebastian Giovinco/Ignazio Abate/Riccardo Montolivo/ Alberto Aquilani/ De Rossi

    Forwards:Mario Balotelli/Antonio Floro Flores/ Rossi/Fabio Quagliarella/Giampaolo Pazzini/Nicola Pozzi

    Gianvito Plasmati : unknown player but would bring some height and skill to the team

    players cut : Pepe, Pirlo, Cassano ,Mauro Camoranesi, Gianluca Zambrotta,Fabio Cannavaro,Gennaro Gattuso all too old and can not help out the team.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Bring up players from Sardegna and Sicilian background that have actually natural talent in there league and not spoiled- in baseball Americans find best in talent in latin Americans - Italy soccer wake up bring new faces in from italy's teams such from PALERMO AND CATANIA SERIE A - look in the bush league of soccer of italy , I;m sure you will find someone out there with talent and have scouts who have talent to find talent- stay away from politics of sports , they say best critics are the people who have never palyed sports or coached any sports. Eliminate players like De Rossi in being typical in diving given satisfaction to media controlled english language world to make fun and stereotype italians in SOCCER lets not become the victim of hollywood in soccer ..

    Any escuse media will bash italian soccer lets eliminate it - lets show class to these butter people mangia cakers around world , there are one type pople in this world Italians and those who wish they were…..

  8. Anonymous says:

    Santon-De Silvestri-Santacrocce-Criscito
    —————-De Rossi

    Rosina,Cigarini,Motta,Bonucci,Palombo,Boriello,Quagliarella,Foggia,Di Natale

    We need fresh talent. We need new defenders, new midfielders, new playmakers, and new strikers.
    We need to get rid of players that are scared of the ball…Montolivo
    We need to bring in some playmakers and goal scorers…Cassano, Balotelli, Rossi
    Brazil is going to win in 2014 because their the host nation.
    We need to develop our youth, and focus on them for the 2018 cup

  9. World Wide News Flash says:

    Lega Serie A blog, soccer news and football shirts from Serie A Weekly…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)

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