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Seems Prandelli has resigned.

That was quick. They just said so over here too on the sport news.

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Prandelli and Abete resigning was the least both could do...

While I agree Prandelli shouldn't have knuckled under the public pressure for "changes for the sake of changes", along with Flavour of the Month players, he made plenty of mistakes long before that...

Today's game against Uruguay was the logic and predictable outcome of two years of subpar management in terms of both tactics and callups.

I maintain he changed a lot over the last month or so because deep down he wasn't really sure of his choices and of his work. Four years ago Lippi went down with his worn-out side still being 100% sure he was in the right (remember the "don't you dare jumping on the bandwagon..." rebuttal to his critics...), nowadays Prandelli was closer to employing the "throw crap at the wall and see what sticks" approach.

Unacceptable for a NT like Italy, even in a relatively average generation of talents.

The second place at Euro2012 led too many people to believe Prandelli was a genius and his possession-oriented game was good... In reality, the brilliant moments were few and far between, and Italy still massively relied on episodes, extra time and shootouts before the humiliating 0-4 defeat in the final.

Still, it could have been a solid enough buildup to Brazil 2014... but something happened and the team didn't progress enough, actually they got worse defensive-wise and the general quality of the game collapsed. (a laundry list of uninspiring draws and defeats against weaker opposition can't be just chalked up to "it's only a friendly", as it's often been said)

Insisting on Balotelli as The Man was a capital mistake, but the whole tactical setup got messier and less productive with every game. Instead of trying to copy Spain/Barça despite not having the right players to do so, Prandelli should have gone for a more practical and no-frills tactic that could play the players' strengths, not expose their weaknesses.

Sure, in hindsight is 20/20, but the signs were all there for those who wanted to see them (and be labeled as "negative" :p)

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Your negative **** posts don't all of a sudden become great because Italy went out.

I agreed at the time with the confusion after your very first post. It's a problem that's cost us. But this nonsense from you and others about Balotelli is laughable. He was forced to play as a seconda punta today because Prandelli caved in and played Immobile because everyone was calling for it, and look where that got us. Now he's trying to blame Balotelli for today with his comments. It's sad, everyone just turns on him.

The one game we won was the one where we played the three midfielders and kept the ball. The first half against Costa Rica, again with three midfielders (albeit Thiago Motta for Verratti) was decent, chances were created. Then he took Thiago Motta off, and it was ****.

So no, I stand by his (generally successful) attempts to get us playing football. His ideas were good, it was giving in to clueless idiots who wanted 3-5-2, Cassano and Immobile that contributed to his and Italy's downfall.

And the venues. He was right about playing at 13:00 and three games in the north, though today wasn't bad from what I saw.

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Disappointed that Prandelli's gone as I feel that he'll be very hard to replace.

As for Balo, the abuse he's gotten, the fact that the finger's being pointed at him and he's being used as a scapegoat is ridiculous.

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Your negative **** posts don't all of a sudden become great because Italy went out.

Aren't they?

Apparently the outcome of Italy's campaign hints I wasn't so unreasonably wrong or negative, but yeah, you always know better and have the right to insult as well... Whatever

I agreed at the time with the confusion after your very first post. It's a problem that's cost us. But this nonsense from you and others about Balotelli is laughable. He was forced to play as a seconda punta today because Prandelli caved in and played Immobile because everyone was calling for it, and look where that got us. Now he's trying to blame Balotelli for today with his comments. It's sad, everyone just turns on him.

Which nonsense from me again?

He wasn't and isn't the right man to build a team around because he isn't a team player. Period. Striker, seconda punta, wide forward... regardless of where you play him, he is ALWAYS a liability because you can't predict if he'll have one of his rare good games or one of his many days off.

Sure, it's extremely poor taste now for the press, who were so quick to praise him and making a tabloid-celebrity out of him, to turn on him, and it's even worse that his teammates are now taking cheap shots at him because he's the ideal scapegoat they can use to sacrifice to the angry mobs.

But the doubts about Balotelli's tactical and mental qualities for the NT are still 100% valid and should be taken into account by whoever will take over next.

The one game we won was the one where we played the three midfielders and kept the ball. The first half against Costa Rica, again with three midfielders (albeit Thiago Motta for Verratti) was decent, chances were created. Then he took Thiago Motta off, and it was ****.

I maintain the win against England wasn't as impressive or "epic" as they made it out to be.. It was a decent enough effort, but then again, it came against a side whose midfield was equally slow and technically inferior (England failing to win a single game can't be a coincidence...)

IIRC against Costa Rica the best chances came via through balls on the counter... aka direct football. Which wasn't what the double-playmaker was meant to produce.

Too much praising after that win, and they all believed they were through already... leading to a tactical suicide against both Costa Rica and Uruguay.

So no, I stand by his (generally successful) attempts to get us playing football. His ideas were good, it was giving in to clueless idiots who wanted 3-5-2, Cassano and Immobile that contributed to his and Italy's downfall.

His ideas were good, but he never had the right players to execute them. When it was clear to him he didn't have all the players he wanted for his beloved 4-3-1-2 (and I still can't believe Montolivo can be considered a key player for any side) or that the system wasn't working as well as he expected, he sort of panicked and began to toy around with other formations and players, to the point of changing lineup and tactic almost every single half. That generated confusion and insecurity.

The list of questionable choices is rather long and I don't feel like going through it again.

You'll surely disagree, but in fairness there's very little to salvage from Italy's world cup.

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Mario posted this

“I am Mario Balotelli, I’m 23 years old and I did not choose to be Italian. I wanted it strongly because I was born in Italy and I’ve always lived in Italy. I was hoping for a lot from this World Cup and I am sad, angry and disappointed with myself. Yes, maybe I could have scored a goal against Costa Rica, you’re right, but then what? What is the problem after that? Maybe that’s what you all wanted to say? Don’t blame it all on me this time because Mario Balotelli have given everything for the national team and has done nothing wrong on a personal level.'' “So go and look for another excuse because Mario Balotelli has his conscience in place and is ready to move forward stronger than before, with his head high. He is proud to have given everything for his country. Or maybe, as you say, I am not Italian. The Africans would never heap everything on one of their ‘brothers’. Never. In this sense us blacks, as you call us, are light-years ahead. Shame isn’t that you can miss a goal or run more or less. Shame is those things [i've mentioned].”

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People who talk about themselves in the he form are never right.

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Man...

For once in his life, Balotelli had the pefect chance to get all the support and sympathy he wanted, and instead of being sensible about the whole thing, he blew it by playing the race card in one of the few instances were it was completely uncalled for.

Had he tweeted "I'm disappointed myself in how I played. I'm sorry" he would have saved face AND made the Veterans look bad. Instead he wrote one line of apology and ten lines of aggressive and self-centered nonsense.

Seriously, if that's was the BEST he had to give for the NT; he should be more or less done. Along, of course, with many of the teammates who are now playing the blaming game with him, as if they had flawless and gutsy performances.

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I'm no Balo fan and that's putting it mildly, but I think he has a point when he says that he is not going to quietly be the fall guy for the collective failure of the team.

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He's right in a way, but let's just say his dialectic let him down once again...

Speaking of failure, who do you guys think should still be involved with the NT and who has to go?

This is my list:

Keep (long term)

Sirigu, De Sciglio, Darmian, Chiellini, Verratti, Cerci, Insigne, Immobile

Keep (short term, until a better or younger replacement is found. "best before" Euro2016)

Abate (ASAP), Bonucci, Barzagli (ASAP), De Rossi, Marchisio, Candreva

Thank you, goodbye

Buffon, Paletta, Motta, Aquilani, Parolo, Pirlo, Cassano

Balotelli will have instead to be judged FAIRLY by his performance in the league, without getting a free pass because he is "potentially" a world class player and without being excluded a priori because he's an insufferable tool inside and outside the pitch.

For the record, he should still have made the squad for Brazil 2014 based on performance, but as a rotation option.

Also, I know some of the cuts may seem too harsh, but it's seriously time to say goodbye to aging legends who have already stuck around for too long. Sure they'd stretch their career out to reach Euro2018, but what would be the point? The next two years can be used to test the younger generation, to give them a fair chance to establish themselves.

Wasting that time to preserve the declining form of the Old Heroes won't solve a thing, and in two or four year's time we'll have a bunch of unexperienced 26 yo completely unready to take over.

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Balotelli does have a very valid point though, whether or not it's seen as playing the 'race card'.

Of course he does. He should have been more subtle with how he did it - he basically took the race sledgehammer out and used it. But he's right, and it's an unfortunate part of Italian society. You only have to go back to page 1 of this thread and you'll see he was racially abused in training before the World Cup. Now that Italy have bombed, he's the natural target. Team failed = blame the black guy.

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Does he mean scapegoat from fans or from media also? The media aren't singling him out, surely?

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The media are just going with the flow, as usual...

Two weeks ago Balotelli was the Hero, now he's the villain. It's disgusting but hardly surprising... He and Prandelli are taking the blame, while his teammates are getting away with both terrible performances and lack of professionalism.

But we all know Balotelli is too big of an asset to the media (especially to tabloid-like ones) for them to turn their back on him for good... He'll be back with some inane gossip and after the first league goal next season he'll be hyped to the moon as if nothing happened.

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I don't see anything wrong with what Balotelli said including the "race card" part. He's just shaming the racists that call him non-Italian and using him as a scapegoat because of his race.

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I disagree about the reasons he's been used as a scapegoat...

It's just more or less what happened in England with Beckham after the red card against Argentina... The Poster Boy of the NT has let "the people" down and they're not going to give him a break.

In Balotelli's case, add all the exaggerated media hype, the fact he was Prandelli's pet project and apparently quite a disliked presence in the locker room, so now many people can feel free to take a shot at him.

There is indeed a portion of Italian fans who dislike him because he's black, but they have been attacking him regardless of how he was playing. Those are two separate issues: the shitstorm he's facing now is much bigger and widespread as many people are angry/frustrated.

As I've said, he could have avoided half of it just by tweeting a simple apology for his poor performances. Many would have appreciated the honesty and would have turned to some other target (Prandelli, the old guys, the referee, Suarez)

It's just par for the course that the leading figure of the team gets all the blame, even if it's not all his fault. Moreso if he's perceived as the teacher's pet who got there because of that and not on merit.

After Euro96 there was quite a backlash against Zola because in many's opinion, Baggio should have played instead. Ditto for Del Piero after France 98 and Euro2000.

The latter never really recovered from that final and in the eyes of non-Juve fans he still is "the one who lost us the Euros".

Sure, it never reached the peaks of Balotelli's hate, but in fairness Zola and Del Piero can't be compared with him in terms of personality and perceived image.

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I don't see why he should apologise on twitter or do it in such a weak way. I much prefer this Balotelli. The only people it's going to wind up are the racists and idiots.

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The media are just going with the flow, as usual...

Two weeks ago Balotelli was the Hero, now he's the villain. It's disgusting but hardly surprising... He and Prandelli are taking the blame, while his teammates are getting away with both terrible performances and lack of professionalism.

But we all know Balotelli is too big of an asset to the media (especially to tabloid-like ones) for them to turn their back on him for good... He'll be back with some inane gossip and after the first league goal next season he'll be hyped to the moon as if nothing happened.

his teammates arent getting away with anything. yes they had a poor tournament but everyone knows the main culprit is prandelli with his cluster**** decisions and his failing forward who if his name was not balotelli wouldnt be anywhere near the squad. everyone is blaming crapdelli and balotelli and rightfully so. the guy is more concerned with his stickers and hair and disrespected the whole group going onto the bus while everyone waited outside. the guy likes to play the role of a victim, but he deserves everything coming his way.

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Because all the others players were blameless?

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