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Thread about Italy, Undoubtedly Featuring SuperMario


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I'd hope he would, De Rossi was only put there because of Barzagli's injury, and as explained below I'd like him in midfield.

It started as an experiment, but I think he'll keep him there. He's played well. He'll only be moved if he switches to a back four, which won't happen (not from the start anyway)

Giaccherini was probably used there to have a hard worker on against Spain, then survived against Croatia because he had a good game.

The midfield was changed because Thiago Motta looked ****ing exhausted for the last two matches, but I think he's been very good for 50 minutes or so in both previous games. Thiago Motta and Giaccherini from the bench would be good options to have actually, I approve.

I don't think he was very good against Croatia. Better than against Spain, but not great. I think he'll be one of the changes Prandelli mentioned. Bonucci, Giaccherini, maybe Maggio to be changed.

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What's up with de Rossi's choice of shirt? one long sleeve one short... covering up tattoos or something?

One of his hands is bandaged up, I think it's something to do with that.

It started as an experiment, but I think he'll keep him there. He's played well. He'll only be moved if he switches to a back four, which won't happen (not from the start anyway)

I don't think he was very good against Croatia. Better than against Spain, but not great. I think he'll be one of the changes Prandelli mentioned. Bonucci, Giaccherini, maybe Maggio to be changed.

I actually thought he was better against Spain than against Croatia. Your changes look likely actually, as well as a formation shift. Thiago Motta forced in as trequartista, yay.

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Can Di Natale go more than 45?

Has he had some kind of injury? Otherwise you shouldn't ask this kind of question :)

He has played an average of 84.5 minutes in 36 games in Serie A this season and a total of 43 games with 83 minutes average in all competitions.

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I actually thought he was better against Spain than against Croatia. Your changes look likely actually, as well as a formation shift. Thiago Motta forced in as trequartista, yay.

I don't mind the switch back - it's still the best way for the team to play, despite how well the 3-5-2 has been taken up.

This tournament should really be seen as a build for the World Cup - although it would be nice to win. What would he have done after this? Was 3-5-2 a short-term thing to try and win? Did he see it as the way forward for Brazil 2014? It was disappointing to see two years of relatively good work thrown away because of one game.

Thiago Motta as trequartista is the best option. Montolivo has been dismal in almost every appearance, and Diamanti is sub-standard, but now I've said that he will come on, boss Ireland and get a place in the team for the quarter-final.

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This tournament should really be seen as a build for the World Cup - although it would be nice to win. What would he have done after this? Was 3-5-2 a short-term thing to try and win? Did he see it as the way forward for Brazil 2014? It was disappointing to see two years of relatively good work thrown away because of one game.

You have a point, although I still maintain the relatively good work looked like that mostly because it was half-working against very weak opposition.

As soon as they faced decent sides, it was back to square one... No running, no off-the-ball movement, little quality, few ideas and a general feeling of aimlessness.

On the other hand this tournament MUST work as build-up to the 2014 World Cup and surely investing on 3-5-2 with Maggio, Balzaretti and no alternatives for the key wingback position is just the stupidest short-term move Prandelli could have gone for.

Both are mediocre players with limited international experience and no room for further development... They'd be 32 and 33 in 2014, meaning they'd be done after the World Cup, basically forcing the NT to start all over again, with a complicated and "limited" formation.

Was it worth switching? Will it be worth in the long run? To me the answer is a resounding NO.

Thiago Motta as trequartista is the best option. Montolivo has been dismal in almost every appearance, and Diamanti is sub-standard, but now I've said that he will come on, boss Ireland and get a place in the team for the quarter-final.

Thiago Motta isn't a trequartista, he doesn't have the pace... He's a decent deep-lying playmaker, that's it. Diamanti is the typical "Le Tissier player" who has no business being there, and I don't even need to reiterate my fierce dislike for Montolivo.

Insisting on playing a trequartista without having a proper one is just silly. They basically killed such role in Italy during the 90s, how can they think to revive such role in the national team?

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Di Natale up top with Giovinco in behind playing similarly to Sanchez last season. Cassano was unimpressive vs Croatia and looked off the pace. Would replace Giaccherini with Balzaretti. While he's unlikely to be a candidate for the WC, the same could be said of Giaccherini.

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You have a point, although I still maintain the relatively good work looked like that mostly because it was half-working against very weak opposition.

As soon as they faced decent sides, it was back to square one... No running, no off-the-ball movement, little quality, few ideas and a general feeling of aimlessness.

On the other hand this tournament MUST work as build-up to the 2014 World Cup and surely investing on 3-5-2 with Maggio, Balzaretti and no alternatives for the key wingback position is just the stupidest short-term move Prandelli could have gone for.

Both are mediocre players with limited international experience and no room for further development... They'd be 32 and 33 in 2014, meaning they'd be done after the World Cup, basically forcing the NT to start all over again, with a complicated and "limited" formation.

Was it worth switching? Will it be worth in the long run? To me the answer is a resounding NO.

Thiago Motta isn't a trequartista, he doesn't have the pace... He's a decent deep-lying playmaker, that's it. Diamanti is the typical "Le Tissier player" who has no business being there, and I don't even need to reiterate my fierce dislike for Montolivo.

Insisting on playing a trequartista without having a proper one is just silly. They basically killed such role in Italy during the 90s, how can they think to revive such role in the national team?

so you think the 4-3-1-2 is better? no matter how you want to put it, the 3-5-2 is the best formation for this team. specially against england, you got 3 at the back to take care of their front two, and a 3 vs 2 advantage in midfield.

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I'm concerned about no Chiellini. I don't think we can win the tournament without him, even if we do beat England.

He'll be a loss if they resort to hoofing it to Andy Carroll, which could be pretty early if he starts the match. Ireland did that late on with Walters and Barzagli & Bonucci both struggled to deal with it.

Diamanti was a waste though - but then he shouldn't have been in the squad. I guess it depends how much faith he has in Barzagli/Bonucci as a combo at the back, and whether he thinks they need De Rossi.

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Looking forward to the match at the weekend now, like Italy more than most teams.

I like him, but I don't think Di Natale is the right choice to start. At Udinese he is the main man and all play goes through him, but I don't think he has the work-rate/legs to do the dirty work without the ball - Balotelli looked a lot better in this regard. Di Natale makes clever runs and is good on the ball, but he is quite selfish and there will be no space to run into against England, assuming they defend deep. Cassano and Balotelli would I think provide more problems and a greater team play, Mario is surely better with a deep defensive line.

Am personally interested to see the full backs, Italy seem weak there and England regularly put it out wide, think this could be a real problem for Italy. But this may well be countered by Pirlo and De Rossi in the centre vs Parker and Gerrard, only one winner there.

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Completely agree with the choosing of Balotelli over Di Natale for England. I don't think it will happen fwiw - Di Natale did enough to keep his place.

Except the full-backs - I don't think Italy are bad there. Abate was very good (albeit against weak opposition), and Balzaretti was great. The problem they will have is the problem any team has playing 4-3-1-2 (if they go that way) - easy to double up.

Abate will be important because he can match Cole or Young (or Oxlade-Chamberlain) for pace.

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Looking forward to the match at the weekend now, like Italy more than most teams.

I like him, but I don't think Di Natale is the right choice to start. At Udinese he is the main man and all play goes through him, but I don't think he has the work-rate/legs to do the dirty work without the ball - Balotelli looked a lot better in this regard. Di Natale makes clever runs and is good on the ball, but he is quite selfish and there will be no space to run into against England, assuming they defend deep. Cassano and Balotelli would I think provide more problems and a greater team play, Mario is surely better with a deep defensive line.

Am personally interested to see the full backs, Italy seem weak there and England regularly put it out wide, think this could be a real problem for Italy. But this may well be countered by Pirlo and De Rossi in the centre vs Parker and Gerrard, only one winner there.

i agree with you on di natale, he is not a selfish player but he wont be able to do much against a packed defense. balotelli just doesnt deserve to start, he scored one lucky fluck goal but his decision making is horrendous, look against ireland where there was a free man to his left instead he waits 10 seconds and then does a crappy pot shot. his attitude stinks and he may get a red at any time. id go with borini and cassano. borini can pressure their packed defense into hoofing the ball to the midfield where pirlo will get it and dictate play. also id put nocerino instead of motta who doesnt seem able to play 90 minutes.

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so you think the 4-3-1-2 is better? no matter how you want to put it, the 3-5-2 is the best formation for this team. specially against england, you got 3 at the back to take care of their front two, and a 3 vs 2 advantage in midfield.

No I don't think 4-3-1-2 suits the players either...

Frankly there isn't a single formation I'd identify as "the best for Italy" because there's shortage of quality in many key positions and a surplus of the only position where only ONE man is needed (Deep Lying Playmaker)

3-5-2 doesn't work because the I don't trust Maggio and Abate on the right side, while Balzaretti is better but he's been through a difficult season (and he's not a prospect either, so why going for a complicated and "rigid" tactic whose key roles are given to players over 30 and far from World Class?)

As long as Pirlo is the core of the team, there's no way to field a balanced formation with every player in his ideal spot.

Also, no proper trequartista and no wingers reduce the chance of mixing it up... A narrow 4-2-2-2 is the only formation for the current players, but it's just a stupid lineup.

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IMO, Giovinco or Cassano would be the better options there but I guess Prandeli considers them as strikers.

Cassano isn't physically up to playing that position in this team, and even if he was he's too lazy. Giovinco is much better as a forward imo, staying on the edge of the area.

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i didnt think Italy had that sort of dominant performance in them, maybe its just that England are really poor. The Germans wont be too happy that Italy went through seeing as it is their bogey team.

Is Chiellini expected back?

Put it this way, if Chiellini plays again in this tournament, he won't be playing at 100%.

Even if Italy make the final - a hamstring injury on Monday, then play 13 days later? I don't think so. No way he recovers enough for the semi imo.

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Let's just move in here from the game's thread...

I just don't get why Prandelli can't ditch the "poor man's Spain" style in favour of a more direct approach.

Balotelli playing "in the hole", ready to attack the space, has been a constant threat in every game (and he squandered at least one good chance too, but that's not the point), while he can't really be of much use if all the midfielders and the pseudo-trequartista overcrowd the the final third.

Also, Cassano is a liability and, as seen tonight, he's a substituion you know it's going to happen, so Italy basically play with only two subs available. A risk and a self-inflicted lack of options in terms of tactical tweaking.

So why not going for a 4-3-2-1 direct style? Diamanti and Giovinco/Di Natale wide behind Balotelli, ready to open up the defense for Mario to run straight at the goal, or to follow up the second balls.

As said elsewhere, Italy do have quality players, it's just the way they're put together that doesn't do them justice.

BTW, not scoring even once tonight was probably harder than NOT scoring... but yet again, it's the Spain-syndrome on the top of an already acknowledged lack of composure

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Its hard to tell how well, the defense played without him tonight as England were so negative. Italy always seem to get injuries to key defenders in the big tournaments

They were shaky in the first 20 minutes. England were pretty decent then, but the defence has looked a bit iffy even with Chiellini.

Obviously he's still a big, big loss. But we have to get used it, because like I said I don't think he'll be back.

No Criscito either btw, who's the first choice left-back. No Giuseppe Rossi.

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I still think that as good as they controlled the ball tonight, they have been guilty of needlessly giving possession away a little too often in both tonights game and in the Spain game. Next game will be tough considering the Germans have had 2 days extra rest and the front 3 have had and extra 4 basically.

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Let's just move in here from the game's thread...

I just don't get why Prandelli can't ditch the "poor man's Spain" style in favour of a more direct approach.

Balotelli playing "in the hole", ready to attack the space, has been a constant threat in every game (and he squandered at least one good chance too, but that's not the point), while he can't really be of much use if all the midfielders and the pseudo-trequartista overcrowd the the final third.

Also, Cassano is a liability and, as seen tonight, he's a substituion you know it's going to happen, so Italy basically play with only two subs available. A risk and a self-inflicted lack of options in terms of tactical tweaking.

So why not going for a 4-3-2-1 direct style? Diamanti and Giovinco/Di Natale wide behind Balotelli, ready to open up the defense for Mario to run straight at the goal, or to follow up the second balls.

As said elsewhere, Italy do have quality players, it's just the way they're put together that doesn't do them justice.

BTW, not scoring even once tonight was probably harder than NOT scoring... but yet again, it's the Spain-syndrome on the top of an already acknowledged lack of composure

Where could have Italy been direct tonight? The few times they managed it was when Pirlo was given space to place the ball in front of Balotelli and behind the England defence.

Can't even believe you're criticising Cassano starting because he's a guaranteed substitution, clearly a key player for Prandelli's era in charge.

Di Natale played wide is a waste of a player who finds good areas inside the penalty area and he's a good finisher, think we're better off with 3-5-2 or the current system that uses players in their best positions. Such as Giovinco being played closer to goal.

Lack of composure is the thing that will hurt the team if it keeps continuing. Almost every game has had horrible misses, which I haven't seen from the likes of Germany or Spain.

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I was really happy with our patience. The bit that summed it most up was when the clock said something like 119mins, and instead of pumping it into the box for our last chance before pens, Marchisio just knocked it short to Maggio.

The right way :thup:

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Where could have Italy been direct tonight? The few times they managed it was when Pirlo was given space to place the ball in front of Balotelli and behind the England defence.

Tonight it was often hard due to England playing with 10 men behind the ball, but there still were moments it worked. Of course if you keep on dwelling on the ball the opposition is just going to sit back.

It's a matter of mentality... Just lure them forward and hit them hard on the counter.

It even worked against Spain, who were 100x more dangerous than England (or Ireland for that matter) so why not sticking with it instead of reverting to being Spain wannabes without having the class to do so while not showcasing the talent they have?

Can't even believe you're criticising Cassano starting because he's a guaranteed substitution, clearly a key player for Prandelli's era in charge.

Cassano has always been lazy and now he's just back from heart surgery and 6 months of recovery. Also, he and Balotelli don't seem to have clicked on the field.

As you've seen tonight, subbing him has forced another player (Balzaretti among others) to limp his way though the rest of the game because Fantantonio was already spent and had to be subbed.

Same happened against Croatia.

Why being stubborn? Cassano hasn't done much in the creative dept so far. Not in this Euro and not even in the qualifiers, excpet against Faroese amateurs

Di Natale played wide is a waste of a player who finds good areas inside the penalty area and he's a good finisher, think we're better off with 3-5-2 or the current system that uses players in their best positions. Such as Giovinco being played closer to goal.

Agreed on Di Natale, but 3-5-2 is a tricky formation and wingbacks aren't all that great ATM, at least not reliable enough against Top Sides.

BTW, Di Natale can still be useful as a second striker, not necessarily playing too wide/far from the goal. Another target for through balls and direct play.

Ideally Italy should cut some of the "idle" passing in favour of a more unpredictable attacking game.

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Tonight it was often hard due to England playing with 10 men behind the ball, but there still were moments it worked. Of course if you keep on dwelling on the ball the opposition is just going to sit back.

It's a matter of mentality... Just lure them forward and hit them hard on the counter.

It even worked against Spain, who were 100x more dangerous than England (or Ireland for that matter) so why not sticking with it instead of reverting to being Spain wannabes without having the class to do so while not showcasing the talent they have?

I thought the passing was correct against an England side that was set up to break fast against us, gave them less opportunities for that. In the end it looked like England burned out enough to sit back and accept penalties, hard to make incisive passes through 9 men with smaller, less physical players like Diamanti on the pitch. Balotelli pretty much the only "big" player forward.

Fwiw I think it helps with fitness levels too. It's easier to play with the ball than to chase it so keeping possession helped retain energy for a lot of those guys that found it difficult against sides that really pushed the midfield, like Croatia and Spain.

Cassano has always been lazy and now he's just back from heart surgery and 6 months of recovery. Also, he and Balotelli don't seem to have clicked on the field.

Why being stubborn? Cassano hasn't done much in the creative dept so far. Not in this Euro and not even in the qualifiers, excpet against Faroese amateurs

Laziness, completely agree. Not clicking with Balotelli, I think their relationship has been erratic as both look to collect possession and aren't strong in moving off the ball in those sort of scenarios.

Not being creative? I thought he was fine for the opening three games. Found space nicely against Spain and Croatia, really could have had a few assists by now. Balotelli is the striker we should be critical of really, because he's struggled with all the easy chances gifted to him as the prima punta.

Edit: And looking at the edit you made, I won't change my mind for Cassano being most important forward for Italy based on the competitive international games that he's been excelling in for the last two years. Don't care about Estonia or Faroe Islands, it turns out the 3-0 loss against Russia wasn't indicative of this Italy side after all.

Agreed on Di Natale, but 3-5-2 is a tricky formation and wingbacks aren't all that great ATM, at least not reliable enough against Top Sides.

BTW, Di Natale can still be useful as a second striker, not necessarily playing too wide/far from the goal. Another target for through balls and direct play.

Ideally Italy should cut some of the "idle" passing in favour of a more unpredictable attacking game.

I think if Italy became more counter attacking, we'd see the best of Maggio. Balzaretti remains fairly unknown in the 3-5-2 at international level, for now at least, still think he's good enough for it. It keeps two players up front, three in midfield. Only issue is using De Rossi out of position, which wouldn't be an issue if we had all players fit at the same time (Bonucci slotting into that role).

Not even convinced with Di Natale playing the supporting role, a lot of the team has to be set up to getting the ball into him around the penalty area. Play to his strengths etc, and we already have a second striker in Giovinco sitting around.

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Talking about 3-5-2 is pointless. It has absolutely no future beyond this tournament, or even in this tournament. 4-3-1-2 isn't perfect, but it's the right way to play until we get wide players to play 4-3-3. That may even happen in the build-up the World Cup if El Shaarawy and Insigne actually get some game time.

I just cannot believe there's a discussion going on about whether we should play to keep the ball. Get used to it, it's how football is played at this level.

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Talking about 3-5-2 is pointless. It has absolutely no future beyond this tournament, or even in this tournament. 4-3-1-2 isn't perfect, but it's the right way to play until we get wide players to play 4-3-3. That may even happen in the build-up the World Cup if El Shaarawy and Insigne actually get some game time.

I just cannot believe there's a discussion going on about whether we should play to keep the ball. Get used to it, it's how football is played at this level.

4-3-3 is the system this Italy side should be looking forward to at the next world cup, I said that before the tournament. We're discussing the short term options for the Germany match.

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4-3-3 is the system this Italy side should be looking forward to at the next world cup, I said that before the tournament. We're discussing the short term options for the Germany match.

That's really simple though - keep the same team as tonight (injuries permitting to Abate and De Rossi).

And that's what Prandelli will do, too.

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