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.
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.
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.