Thursday, 7 June 2012

Can Italy "Fix" The Euro

Manager:   Cesare Prandelli
Captain:  Gianluigi Buffon
Star Player:  Mario Balotelli
Bio: Italy were really really poor in the 2010 World cup. They went out at the group stage and didn’t have a hard group. They were beaten Slovakia and Failed to beat New Zealand and Paraguay drawing both 1-1.

They have recovered since and they have hired Prandelli who has previously managed Fiorentina and Roma and has a good track record. Italy managed to go 9 games unbeaten but then lost to Ireland in a friendly. They Qualified only conceding 2 goals and whitewashed the group and made it with ease. They did it by playing Cassano playing behind Rossi and Pazzini to much success. The problem is Rossi and Pazzini are not in the squad for the Euro. In fact Gilardino didn’t make it either so a total of 98 caps missing in the forward line only.

As normal Italy are going to a major tournament with a match fixing scandal hanging over their heads. Domenico Criscito has had to pull out of the squad as he has been linked to the scandal. Im not going to talk about this as I don’t know to much about it. Its goes hand in hand nowadays. But Criscito would have been the starting Left Back for Italy. Instead they will play Angelo Ogbonna (Italy will field 2 black players. Not saying it’s a bad thing at all but unusual).  Ogbonna is a Left back who plays for his football for Torino. He is not a bad player but he is not as good Criscito so he will be a loss.

This Italy side on features 3 players not playing in Italy. Balotelli, Thiago Motta, Salvatore Sirigu. But it does feature Fabio Borini who played for Chelsea and Swansea and Alessandro Diamanti who West Ham fans will remember. Don’t expect either players to start. I would expect them to attempt to continue playing Cassano behind 2 strikers likely to be Balotelli and Giovinco who have a total of 16 caps and 1 goal. The Midfield will feature De Rossi and Pirlo and Marchisio.

I watched the 3-0 defeat to Russia and as this is the ONLY warm up game Italy played they will have to be judged by that performance. It could have gone either way in the first half and until Russia scored Italy may well have been the better team but as soon as Russia scored Italy offered nothing. They didn’t show a fight to win the game and ended up giving away another 2 cheap goals and lost 3-0. They seem Reluctant to play Di Natale despite him being Serie A top scorer over the last 4 years. The 34 year old seems to have been blamed for the 2010 failure and that’s harsh because none of them turned up.

Italy are one of the Tournaments favourites but not in my eyes. I would say England have a better team than Italy in fact I think they will struggle to beat Ireland or Croatia let alone Spain. The Reputation of Italy is higher than the ability of this current team. This is not a bad team but they will not win the Tournament   

1 comment:

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