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Italy National Team Discussion

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THE END

Where now for the Azzurri?

 

'The End' is the front page headline of La Gazzetta dello Sport on this dark moment in history that will never be forgotten in Italy.  The question now it; Will things finally change for Italian football and the way things have traditionally been seen in Italy.

The truth is that there's been a call for change for many years now and it kind of started the day after Italy won their fourth World Cup in 2006.  I remember at the time days after that World Cup that there was lots of talk about Italy needing to look forward to the way football had started to change elsewhere in Europe and that the way teams now defended in zones almost throughout footballdom and how most of Europe's biggest names in football be it club football or international football were now emphasising on 'how to attack' and not 'how to defend and nick a result'...  Italy is one of the biggest names in world football from their historical club sides to their national team.  Italy before last night had only missed two World Cups, one in the very first edition in 1930 due to turmoil in Europe at the time and the FIGC not having the money to make the team travel and the only other time in 1958 with the World Cup in Sweden where they didn't participate due to not qualifying...  That and the fact they've been World Champions on four separate occasions.

But Italy's national team has suffering a decadence for years now, a slow dry rot with no philosophical evolution of their own game at least and the whispers coming in from the high ranking more visionary members of the FIGC have been exactly that for a decade now, whispers.  Because to negate on Italy's trademark traditional production line of hardline defenders and their physical brand of sit back and capitalise on the rival's error has been hard to drop...  With that I go back a few days to some comments made by one of Italy's respected senior figures in the present team, Giorgio Chiellini who in the aftermath of the defeat in Stockholm by 1-0 to Sweden he said this amongst other things (I take the main quotes);

"This country has been participating in the World Cup for 60 years and it would be a shame if we didn't qualify. However, with this Spain in our group, we knew that the play-offs was a very big possibility."

"Guardiol-ismo has ruined a generation of defenders, now everyone is looking to push up, start the play, on crosses there are no Italian defenders who intimidate the rival and our tradition is being lost. We will never have the tiki-taka of Spain and looking for that would cause us to lose our history. Many were mad when I was saying that Juve would never win 6-0 like Madrid but I see that los Blancos are changing in this sense too."

"the return of some true defense would also help."

All of those comments are important but the damning state of Italian football and the burying of one's head in the sand syndrome come in the shortest of the three selected quotes which is the final one.

Italy and Italian football has always been hesitant to change anything in part because of their pride as a latin nation and the fact they are one of the most successful nations in the sport throughout the planet.  Why should we change?  Why!  Why all this constant talk about change if we won a World Cup as recent as 2006 when football had already started to change everywhere else and we also got to a European Championship Final in 2012.  Add to the fact we knocked "tiki-taka" out of the latest edition of the Euros as recently as two years ago!  But owning up to one's deficiencies isn't something human beings take well at the most of times and for latin to do this it takes a lot more than just getting knocked out early out of two World Cups...  "We can blame that on tactics and poor coaching"...  Not the philosophy, not the fact football has changed, but individuals are the problem here.

Yes it's true Conte produced a decent Euros in the last edition with what in Italy was considered as their poorest pool of players in decades and that can be seen as a tactical victory with which better luck in players coming through will see the team do better in the future if we maintain our basic belief on how the game is being played.

Spain first and then Germany changed their philosophy in how they traditionally played the game over a decade ago...  Spain threw away their "Fúria Rosa" (Red Fury) history to promote what Spain traditionally produces which is technical players and implanting this in every academy, and then Germany followed suit by using what they're good at but not ignoring the change in the sport.

The problem is that when senior figures such as Chiellini say things like these in public by playing on national heart strings burning with pride and nostalgia in a glorious past, you end up getting the voices of dissent wanting change throughout Italian football hiding once again just incase they're stabbed in the back and ostracised.

What's the way forward?

This is a big question because Italian football academies and the outlook on what comes through from infant level continues to be the same as it was 50 years ago on the most.  Small technically gifted players are seen as great, but they're not trusted...  Example Lorenzo Insigne who is presently Italy's most naturally talented player who seems to be more Spanish in the way he plays, not getting a first team place for Conte or the now vilified Ventura.  Look at SSC Napoli who are seen as an anomaly in Italian football in the manner they approach football in Italy and who seem to belong in a different league.

You can't change EVER in life until you admit where you're going wrong.  Until you come to terms with your problem.  This goes for all walks of life!

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I think Italy have lost their famous way of their style they have played in the past getting results Catenaccio.  They have been bad for a while now compared to the past,  but Juventus doing well in Europe have kind of papered over the cracks in Italian football as there has been no other successful team. Ac and Inter Milan are down in the dumps with full of foreign players, Napoli and Roma are again a team made up by a majority of foreign players. 

 

There are no good Italian young players but this isn't in their football make up as their players all bloom around the 28-30s.     I would be worried though as they don't really have hardly any good players now around that age.

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1 hour ago, VanPaddy said:

I think Italy have lost their famous way of their style they have played in the past getting results Catenaccio.  They have been bad for a while now compared to the past,  but Juventus doing well in Europe have kind of papered over the cracks in Italian football as there has been no other successful team. Ac and Inter Milan are down in the dumps with full of foreign players, Napoli and Roma are again a team made up by a majority of foreign players. 

 

There are no good Italian young players but this isn't in their football make up as their players all bloom around the 28-30s.     I would be worried though as they don't really have hardly any good players now around that age.

Germany were also famed for that kind of way of winning. Moving on didn't hurt them much.

Italy's best creative players like Insigne and Verratti and Jorginho all thrive in possession set-ups. They have technically proficient defenders like Rugani, Bonucci and Romagnoli. They have versatile attackers like Bernardeschi, El Sharaawy and Chiesa.

Somebody should show some balls and try something new.

Also Rugani, Chiesa and Donnaruma are pretty good young players, off the top of my head. 

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13 minutes ago, Inverted said:

Germany were also famed for that kind of way of winning. Moving on didn't hurt them much.

Italy's best creative players like Insigne and Verratti and Jorginho all thrive in possession set-ups. They have technically proficient defenders like Rugani, Bonucci and Romagnoli. They have versatile attackers like Bernardeschi, El Sharaawy and Chiesa.

Somebody should show some balls and try something new.

Also Rugani, Chiesa and Donnaruma are pretty good young players, off the top of my head. 

Agree! What’s the point in playing Jorginho if the rigid system with 3 at the back doesn’t suit possession style football.

They have to go into the think tank and start from scratch. It doesn’t mean losing your traditions, but to bring them upto date and evolve.

They like England have been doing and you can observe in their youth now, updated the way infant football is pushed forward.

I read some stories about infancy level football in Italy and how many acadmies (the majority) stop children from playing from the back in a measured manner. 

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MAybe it's the old coaches they employ,  They need to get someone fresh in with a style that adapts the players.

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I will be surprised if Italy appoint anyone other than this bloke. Has to get the gig surely.

Carlo-Andelotti.thumb.jpg.12284c2b74646a6ffe631067ab65c8c6.jpg

carloancelotti-celebrating.thumb.jpg.421d6d39de9058fb7b82657b095496fc.jpg

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i'm surprised he hasn't got the Italy gig before. Maybe because he was too busy winning Champions League trophies with clubs but I'd have thought with some of the big players Italy have had in the past he might have been tempted.

There's a new generation of Italy to develop with some players recently retiring (Pirlo, Totti, Nesta/Maldini/Gattuso a bit further back) and players like Buffon, Chiellini, Barzagli, De Rossi possibly hanging up their international boots soon after the latest disappointment. 

So much talent amongst the youngsters - Donnarumma, Rugani, Belotti, Romagnoli, Conti, Pellegrini off the top of my head who are all under 25. Then along with players like El Shaarawy, Insigne (!), Jorginho, Immobile coming back to form, Gagliardini, Bernadeschi amongst others. 

They're not in dire straits like Netherlands were when they missed out on the Euros and there seemed to be a total lack of players coming through to become a great side again. Italy have the players, it's just the coaches and decisions of the management have massively held them back and they've paid the ultimate price. Genuinely wouldn't surprise me if they were back to their best by Euro 2020 or the World Cup in 2022 (if not the Euros). 

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38 minutes ago, Lucas said:

I will be surprised if Italy appoint anyone other than this bloke. Has to get the gig surely.

Carlo-Andelotti.thumb.jpg.12284c2b74646a6ffe631067ab65c8c6.jpg

carloancelotti-celebrating.thumb.jpg.421d6d39de9058fb7b82657b095496fc.jpg

He'd actually bring a new identity to the national side, which is what it needs in all honesty. Great motivator, implements attacking football. Not to mention his faults won't nearly be as exposed with the national side as they are with club football. 

Belotti

Insigne-------------------Bernardeschi

Verratti-----Pellegrini

Jorginho 

Emerson----Rugani--Bonucci----Florenzi

Donnarumma

 

 

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1 minute ago, Cicero said:

He'd actually bring a new identity to the national side, which is what it needs in all honesty. Great motivator, implements attacking football. Not to mention his faults won't nearly be as exposed with the national side as they are with club football. 

Belotti

Insigne-------------------Bernardeschi

Verratti-----Pellegrini

Jorginho 

Emerson----Rugani--Bonucci----Florenzi

Donnarumma

 

 

I'd be careful with that right centre-back you've picked. Until he sorts himself out at Milan, I'd steer clear.

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7 minutes ago, Spike said:

I'd be careful with that right centre-back you've picked. Until he sorts himself out at Milan, I'd steer clear.

He needs to be led to be the best. 

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1 minute ago, SirBalon said:

He needs to be led to be the best. 

This. No understanding or initiative at club or country currently. 

Still the best CB on the planet. 

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I don't think Ancelotti will get the job. Italy will be out of the international game until next year and if anyone reputable goes for him he will go without a doubt. I honestly believe it will be tough for Italy to bag him as a coach.  They need some luck on their side.

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There have been massive coaching issues but someone’s got to take the bull by the horns and censor every Italian football dinosaur. 

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9 minutes ago, Blue said:

I don't think Ancelotti will get the job. Italy will be out of the international game until next year and if anyone reputable goes for him he will go without a doubt. I honestly believe it will be tough for Italy to bag him as a coach.  They need some luck on their side.

Why?

The Italian national job is the biggest honour in Italian football!

For me Ancelotti isn’t the answer anyway... SARRI IS!

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1 minute ago, SirBalon said:

Why?

The Italian national job is the biggest honour in Italian football!

For me Ancelotti isn’t the answer anyway... SARRI IS!

Not untrue but Ancelotti will have to be "out" of the game for 10 months. I put out in quotes for a reason mind you.

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I think appointing Ancelotti for four years would make semse for everybody. Hes sucessfully managed at least one top club in all the big league's now so this opportunity for his home country has come at just the right time.

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1 hour ago, Cicero said:

He'd actually bring a new identity to the national side, which is what it needs in all honesty. Great motivator, implements attacking football. Not to mention his faults won't nearly be as exposed with the national side as they are with club football. 

Belotti

Insigne-------------------Bernardeschi

Verratti-----Pellegrini

Jorginho 

Emerson----Rugani--Bonucci----Florenzi

Donnarumma

 

 

They have the potential of a good spine there for the future. Donnarumma - Rugani - Verratti - Insigne - Belotti. Verratti should be captain for me.

My Italian Football knowledge is not the best but in terms of a long term successor to Bonucci, or if they choose to play 3 at the back again, is that Romagnoli not knocking on the door?

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4 minutes ago, Lucas said:

They have the potential of a good spine there for the future. Donnarumma - Rugani - Verratti - Insigne - Belotti. Verratti should be captain for me.

My Italian Football knowledge is not the best but in terms of a long term successor to Bonucci, or if they choose to play 3 at the back again, is that Romagnoli not knocking on the door?

Romagnoli and Rugani are the next best younger centre-backs I'd say. Caldara of Atalanta isn't a bad shout but no doubt Bonucci will be the first name up til Euro 2020 probably.

If they go back to 4 at the back, I'd want Romagnoli and Rugani in the middle, Conti (AC Milan) at right back and there's also a guy called Spinazzola, also of Atalanta, who did well in their success last season. There's also De Sciglio of Juve who is a bit more experienced than Conti.

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Florenzi should remain at RB. Emerson at LB. Conti and DeSciglio as reliable backups. 

Darmian is just a laugh. 

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You have a strange obsession with the anus. Have you been visited by a man named Alonso Conte in your youth by chance? 

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Another thing that has to be thrown at Ventura is his cowardliness...  After the fiasco in Stockholm where Italy lost 1-0 he said that the press and all of his detractors would be eating their words because he knew what was required and how to turn it all around.  That once Italy had qualified for the World Cup in Russia that he should be given apologies.

Well after all that he refused to do a post-match press conference last night so as the press could quiz him on what they thought was questionable.  It's not just for the press but also answering to the Italian fans!  They wanted answers last night, they wanted someone to take responsibility and the only thing that occurred was a passionate crying Buffon and an angry De Rossi confronting Italy and the world's press.

Stand up for yourself man!  If you're big enough before the aftermath, then be there when it's most required and you have failed.

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59 minutes ago, Cicero said:

You have a strange obsession with the anus. Have you been visited by a man named Alonso Conte in your youth by chance? 

Its the most degrading punishment a man can receive 

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27 minutes ago, SirBalon said:

Another thing that has to be thrown at Ventura is his cowardliness...  After the fiasco in Stockholm where Italy lost 1-0 he said that the press and all of his detractors would be eating their words because he knew what was required and how to turn it all around.  That once Italy had qualified for the World Cup in Russia that he should be given apologies.

Well after all that he refused to do a post-match press conference last night so as the press could quiz him on what they thought was questionable.  It's not just for the press but also answering to the Italian fans!  They wanted answers last night, they wanted someone to take responsibility and the only thing that occurred was a passionate crying Buffon and an angry De Rossi confronting Italy and the world's press.

Stand up for yourself man!  If you're big enough before the aftermath, then be there when it's most required and you have failed.

Maybe Italy appointed Ace Ventura.   But reminds me of Hodgson when he didnt speak with the media and when he finally did, he said i dont know why i am here, if those managers would of won i bet they couldnt wait to speak to the media.

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4 hours ago, SirBalon said:

Why?

The Italian national job is the biggest honour in Italian football!

For me Ancelotti isn’t the answer anyway... SARRI IS!

Sarri can do more for the national team in his current job, as long as they bring in a competent manager to carry forward his good work. Working day in and day out with his Italian players (well the few he actually has...) will improve them more than coaching them a few times a year, they just need a manager who will use Jorginho and Insigne.

Ancelotti has the prestige and attacking mindset that Italy requires, especially in a tournament format. The cupboard is not as bare as the vast overreaction of the past 24 hours seems to think it is, they just require the correct application. Italy doesn't have a natural No.10 as they've been blessed with for decades, and their main attacking playmakers are more comfortable in wider positions. Something Ventura never embraced and tried to incorporate well. 

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1 hour ago, ScoRoss said:

they just need a manager who will use Jorginho and Insigne.

I agree and I know you follow Italian football very closely...

But to use Jorginho, Insigne and others of the ilk, you've got to play a style that suits them so as to get the most of their qualities.  There's a reason both Insigne and Jorginho are constantly in the Spanish press connected to the big two and that's because it fits another mindset.

What you're alluding to is that the players are there, but even though that is true presently with a bunch of younger players in their early to mid twenties, there isn't an abundance of players coming through.  For me the reason is because there's a mixed and confused problem in Italian youth football at the earliest age levels.  This I'm also getting from friends of my wife's family who some of them train and school level.  Obviously it's a lot more complexed than all that and I don't pretend to assume that the little I know counts for much but it does adjoin well with some of the dissent coming from those younger figures in the FIGC who want a change and are battling against the traditionalists.  This is why I pinpointed the Chiellini interview from a few days ago and what he said because it was irresponsible of him to say that publicly when there is still too much nostalgic sentiment surrounding what once was.

Football has moved on!

But back to what you said...  Yes, Ancelotti is a fantastic coach and a favourite of mine.  I've never made any secret of that and when he coached Real Madrid I said so then which shows how much I rate him hahaha.  But for me Carletto is different...  He is a great at administering big egos, massive names.  Italy hasn't got an issue with this unless we're talking about putting the real senior players in their place...  Even that last statement has to be dissected here though because there seems to be a difference of opinion going on there with the way De Rossi reacted and Buffon known to be an advocate for change from grass roots.  Then you have the Chiellini-s of this world that although legendary characters also in Italian football folklore, they're stunting evolution with their attitude.

What's that about "We'll never be able to play tiki-taka"?  What a load of rubbish and what's "tiki-tala" when it's at home anyway!  A pure invention of the football press!

It's about changing mindsets but also not forgetting strengths.  It's about evolving and not continuing to believe that old ideals are still superior.  You can tactically out-clue your rival on given days, Portugal won the last Euros like that, but it's not a building block for the future.  If the way you want to go is stunting it all then fine, go ahead.  But the voices in Italian football are more split than ever.

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1 hour ago, VanPaddy said:

Maybe Italy appointed Ace Ventura.   But reminds me of Hodgson when he didnt speak with the media and when he finally did, he said i dont know why i am here, if those managers would of won i bet they couldnt wait to speak to the media.

Ventura isn't a bad coach...  What he did with Torino was more than admirable but he made errors and then the FIGC in September extended his contract till 2020 which sends out ridiculous messages.  Ventura's problem was the way he failed to diversify after coming second and study Sweden...  There seemed to be an attitude of superiority and that's mental!  That coupled with the fact the team had lost its confidence which made everything very sensitive...  All of that is indeed a head coach's fault and a massive part of what he's paid to do at international level.  You don't get to be with the players day in, day out and building foundations where different outlays are paramount.  But when you have a deep bedded issue of belief which is something Italian football still suffers from, then the battle isn't easy and must be very confusing for all.

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