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Thread about Italy, Undoubtedly Featuring SuperMario


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Are you complaining about short goal kicks? Seriously?

Actually you're right, Buffon should have taken lead from Hart and hoofed it to Balotelli.

Deary me.

Err, no I don't believe I was complaining. Fairly simple question really. :D

Deary me indeed.

Deary deary me.

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Hehe, can't wait. Probably another backhanded compliment.

^That Juventus defence looking internationally capable after all eh.

Hmm, well my problem wasn't with "that Juventus defence" was it? But if you want to exaggerate, by all means.

My problem was with Barzagli - but yeh, I have to admit that so far I was wrong about him, as he's been pretty decent. I wouldn't say the defence looks brilliant - England should really have scored, and Germany had some chances, but I suppose good teams will have chances against anyone, so I can accept that. It's good, maybe very good.

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Hmm, well my problem wasn't with "that Juventus defence" was it? But if you want to exaggerate, by all means.

My problem was with Barzagli - but yeh, I have to admit that so far I was wrong about him, as he's been pretty decent. I wouldn't say the defence looks brilliant - England should really have scored, and Germany had some chances, but I suppose good teams will have chances against anyone, so I can accept that. It's good, maybe very good.

Haha you knew I was referring to Barzagli. Montolivo somehow proving me wrong though, still think he'll disappear for large periods next season though.

They were a lot better tonight than they were against England, really liking Bonucci and that tackle on Klose in the second half, ooh! Good against Spain as well.

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Ahah very funny guys...

My comments are in the game's thread, let's sum them up like that:

* Italy finally played a more direct style that suits Balotelli better

* Less pointless possession, smarter use of the ball in space

* Löw got everything wrong in the first half and wasn't able to turn the game (Gomez is a bottler)

* Final score doesn't reflect the flow of the game, 4-1 would have been fair

* Had Germany scored on either chance earlier on it could have been a different game, but if if and buts were candy and nuts...

I'm sure Astafjevs will have something to complain or to laugh about as usual, but whatever...

Prandelli finally understood it's no use trying to play like Spain when playing like Italy has worked well for forty years.

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perhaps, but for the most part i thought he provided a good outlet for the ball from, say, pirlo on the counter and was able to further release the ball into dangerous positions.

edit: ^ yeah that was pretty silly

edit2: he was also effective in actually keeping the ball, i though, when in the final third. that point in the game where everyone kept slipping on the right corner of the field and he still managed to keep possession is particularly memorable

edit3: i thought di natale was the worst

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I'll be surprised if he switches away from the system that's seen the team win three consecutive games. We didn't win any playing 3-5-2, even though we actually gave Spain a game with that.

That last part is the only thing that might make him doubt. It's the only time in the tournament that he has a previous performance with which to judge it.

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Well, well, well. It's over unfortunately.

I still think that Italy had a good tournament. The passion was there, the determination was there, and the unity was there. Tweaks here and there should be made of course.

As the starter of this thread, I would like to thank everyone for looking at this thread and bothering to post something. :thup:

Comments about the national team are kept welcome of course.

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We were great. Shame the game ended on 60-odd minutes. We might not have won, but they wouldn't have won 4-0 if we had XI players.

We have a good team, but then most of us knew that before this tournament. There will need to be some renewal - Barzagli, Balzaretti, Pirlo, Maggio are going to be pushing it in terms of age come 2014. It's important Prandelli doesn't fall into the trap of Lippi and stick with ageing players that have served him well.

There's even less excuse for him actually, because the players are there to replace and renew. Lippi didn't have that.

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We were great. Shame the game ended on 60-odd minutes.

That's been Italy's biggest weakness from day 1, and part of tonight's defeat must be chalked up to questionable choices for the Starting XI and to equally odd substitutions.

Probably Spain would have won 99 times out of 100, but starting with Abate and Chiellini barely fit (and in the less comfortable position of left back) and with "Mr. 50 minutes" Cassano was a huge gamble, and unsurprisingly it didn't work and it even backfired when Thiago Motta (another man who's no stranger to injuries) pulled a Pato and had to come off.

I had the impression the players were kinda resigned before the kickoff already... in a "we're glad we made it to the final but we know it's out of our league". way

The drive and the desire shown against the Germans were gone...

We have a good team, but then most of us knew that before this tournament. There will need to be some renewal - Barzagli, Balzaretti, Pirlo, Maggio are going to be pushing it in terms of age come 2014. It's important Prandelli doesn't fall into the trap of Lippi and stick with ageing players that have served him well.

There's even less excuse for him actually, because the players are there to replace and renew. Lippi didn't have that.

I agree, and while hopefully it's the last we've seen of Maggio, I'm afraid Pirlo and Buffon will still be key members of the team in 2014... and THAT will be a huge problem, if not during the WC, surely afterwards when the generational turnover for keeper and playmaker will have to be done.

I really hope Prandelli will be smart and brave enough to take all the positives from this unexpected 2nd place, while acknowledging the mistakes and accepting the verdict of the pitch.

Some players don't have enough margin of growth, for age or for technical reasons. The sooner the transition begins, the less painful and problematic it'll be.

IMO:

* Keep: Sirigu, Chiellini, Barzagli, possibly Bonucci and Abate, De Rossi, Nocerino, Marchisio, Balotelli

* Phase out while looking for suitable replacements: Buffon, Balzaretti, Pirlo, Montolivo, Cassano [who must NOT be a starter come Brazil 2014]

* Thank you and goodbye: De Sanctis, Maggio, Giaccherini, Diamanti, Di Natale

Ogbonna, Giovinco and Borini must be revalued according to their progress with their clubs, but I just don't get how so many are so fond of Ogbonna who has been just a decent Serie B player so far.

Both strikers have potential but it's hard to tell without some meaningful playing time with the NT, provided they actually fit the tactical plan.

Anyway, a much better than expected campaign, with some positives and some worrying signs for the future. Many will rather rejoice for the former and downplay the latter...

Me, as usual (and with past history in mind), I'd prefer Prandelli addressing what went wrong and then build on what was good.

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The "resigned" part was because of the fatigue like I said in the match thread. I feel sorry for the players.

They were tired against the Germans as well, following 120 minutes of almost non-stop attacking against England... how come they were raving to go on Thursday and tonight they looked like deers in the headlights?

I don't fully buy into the "we had less days to recuperate" excuse, because Italy had fitness issues from the very beginning and they just made them worse with the aforementioned questionable decisions.

Cassano never had 90 minutes in him (and FFS he has valid reasons for that... but why insisting?) yet he started every game, just to be subbed out aroudn the hour mark.

Chiellini recovered from an injury, but two games in 4 days were just asking for a relapse.

Ditto for Abate

So much of the fitness issue was something Prandelli himself created or exacerbated.

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Probably Spain would have won 99 times out of 100, but starting with Abate and Chiellini barely fit (and in the less comfortable position of left back) and with "Mr. 50 minutes" Cassano was a huge gamble, and unsurprisingly it didn't work and it even backfired when Thiago Motta (another man who's no stranger to injuries) pulled a Pato and had to come off.

You can't call playing with Cassano a huge gamble when he's started every game of the tournament. It's too easy to look back at a game and go "yeh, this guy shouldn't have started", but if he hadn't, I know I would have queried why. We all knew Prandelli would start him.

Same with Chiellini. I agree that there is no way he was 100% fit, not even against Germany. But he came through that game with no problems, so it's natural that Prandelli will start his best defender against the best team.

I agree, and while hopefully it's the last we've seen of Maggio, I'm afraid Pirlo and Buffon will still be key members of the team in 2014... and THAT will be a huge problem, if not during the WC, surely afterwards when the generational turnover for keeper and playmaker will have to be done.

I really hope Prandelli will be smart and brave enough to take all the positives from this unexpected 2nd place, while acknowledging the mistakes and accepting the verdict of the pitch.

Some players don't have enough margin of growth, for age or for technical reasons. The sooner the transition begins, the less painful and problematic it'll be.

IMO:

* Keep: Sirigu, Chiellini, Barzagli, possibly Bonucci and Abate, De Rossi, Nocerino, Marchisio, Balotelli

* Phase out while looking for suitable replacements: Buffon, Balzaretti, Pirlo, Montolivo, Cassano [who must NOT be a starter come Brazil 2014]

* Thank you and goodbye: De Sanctis, Maggio, Giaccherini, Diamanti, Di Natale

I don't think Buffon being important will be a problem. He's the best goalkeeper of all time, and at 36 will be more than capable of performing. He's so good that I'd say he can go until Euro 2016. It's a problem in as much as replacing one of Italy's greatest players is impossible, but him being important at an old age isn't because of his position.

But yeh, I think Prandelli needs to give a few more games to the younger goalkeepers. There's no-one particularly outstanding at the moment though, but he has a few years left to wait.

Pirlo is the problem. The team needs alternatives when he isn't playing well. Maybe if he can bring in a 4-3-3 the structure is less reliant on him.

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Italy played fair, Italy played great. No diving, no whinging, no kicking, no feigning injuries, no playacting of any sort.

They reached the final against expectations and odds and have nothing to blame themselves for.

Great team, great performance. Kudos to Prandelli for ripping things around in only two years.

For me, they were the revelation of the tournament. I hope they keep this up!

:applause::thup:

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They were tired against the Germans as well, following 120 minutes of almost non-stop attacking against England... how come they were raving to go on Thursday and tonight they looked like deers in the headlights?

I don't fully buy into the "we had less days to recuperate" excuse, because Italy had fitness issues from the very beginning and they just made them worse with the aforementioned questionable decisions.

Cassano never had 90 minutes in him (and FFS he has valid reasons for that... but why insisting?) yet he started every game, just to be subbed out aroudn the hour mark.

Chiellini recovered from an injury, but two games in 4 days were just asking for a relapse.

Ditto for Abate

So much of the fitness issue was something Prandelli himself created or exacerbated.

You're an idiot!

https://twitter.com/OptaJoe/status/219765720584691714

33 - Antonio Cassano has created the joint-most chances from open play in European Championship Finals history.

:applause:Well done Cassano...

I wanna see you nearly die and come back like Fantantonio!

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