Accomplished Italian football all-time low?

Italy will receive tonight in Milan Sweden, looking for a ticket for the world Cup in Russia. The four-time world champion should be a 0-1 defeat in the heenwedstrijd retrieve. No mirakelscenario but given the years of decline and the current internal bickering, is a first world cup without Italy, since 1958, a very realistic vision of the future. What is the matter?

Gian Piero Ventura and Gianluigi Buffon © Belga Image

A football world Cup without the Azzurri: it is an almost unthinkable scenario. Great powers such as England and Spain, reason and, occasionally, a crooked skate but Italy has been there since 1958, always, in good times and bad.

Those bad times seem to last years, however, more and more of a constant. In the search for explanations for the state of emergency, the attention on a friendly encounter with Portugal in 2015, a typical eindeseizoensverplichting in which Portugal is the longest at the end won.

A few weeks later there appeared to be a double bottom to hide in the Italian defeat. Italy tumbled a few places down the FIFA ranking and was in pot 2 during the world cup kwalificatieloting. The FIFA linked Italy then to Spain, making its way to Russia already from the outset, with a false note began. Without that financially lucrative international match, the Azzurri if seed is probably a safe-conduct given to the world cup. In reality, it ended up Italy, as expected, as the second after Spain and ended up in the always nerve-wracking play-offs against Sweden.

After the wanvertoning of Friday evening, the selection of a coach, Gian Piero Ventura is still ninety minutes to get to the sinking ship right to withdraw.

Head number one for the malaise is, according to the national press in Ventura itself. After the european CHAMPIONSHIPS in France seemed to be the Genoese, however, a logical choice as successor to Antonio Conte: 69 years, respected throughout the country for its passage in Torino and tons of Serie A experience, in short, the ideal profile for a modern coach.

© Belga Image

Since he is the most prestigious trainersjob in the country bite, Ventura, however, changed in an uncertain and tough man. His sentence for the more adventurous of football is completely gone, as if he fears that with every novelty of his resignation to usher in. Especially the 0-2 defeat against Spain in early september, has Ventura and his players mentally broken. In Madrid gave the Azzurri a solid performance but was the height difference with Spain was painfully exposed.

Against Israel and Macedonia, sloshing the team will then head towards the play-offs but Friday was there in Stockholm no question of improvement. Former captain Andrea Pirlo, who recently retired announced, described his ex-team mates as ‘a fearful team that just was out on a 0-0 draw.

While the whole nation is crying out for a 4-3-3 set-up, hold Ventura back to the outdated 3-5-2 according to the Juventus template. In addition, nailed his society firmly closed, an unnecessary lock on the door against a weak Sweden.


Also in his selectiepolitiek follows Ventura strange twists. Midfielder Jorginho was for months a selection attributed by the media but Ventura kept yet the leg stiff. When the Brazilian federation suddenly interest began to show in the services of the born Brazilian, sent Ventura to him, under pressure from the federation, an invitation for the play-offs.

© Belga Image

Ventura took a called Simone Zaza, known because of his missed penalty kick against Germany at the european CHAMPIONSHIPS, back with the Azzurri. The unexpected new doelpuntenmachine of Valencia fell last week, injured for the first leg but it is still the question of whether he is effectively in the plans paste of Ventura.

The coach pulls since the loss against Spain once again the map of the old guard, led by ex-world champions Gianluigi Buffon and Daniele De Rossi, who according to the rumors, the highest word in the dressing room. By their participation would striker Eder, bankzitter at Inter, a preferential treatment of the bondstrainer. Seven of the eleven basisspelers in the Stockholm Arena were older than thirty years, three of them were eleven years ago on the field at the last Italian world title.

Stephan El let-off, in bloedvorm at AS Roma, was one of the victims of Ventura’s new approach. Also the handling with Lorenzo’s Badge in the heenwedstrijd called the necessary questions. Team mate Dries Mertens to Napoli got as a winger, of course, no place in the 3-5-2 and occurred only during the last quarter.

Because Ventura is stiff to hold its formation, ran Badge, then behind the facts, as a replacement of playing point guard Marco Verratti. Verratti himself was until then invisible, a common ailment in the blue shirt for the anticipated new star of the calcio.

On the purchase made Ventura no use of a third switch, making creative crowbars, such as Alessandro Florenzi and Federico Bernardeschi on the bank continued.

Ventura himself was, however, aware of no evil, and called the defeat was mostly ‘undeserved’, an unfortunate decision that he the criticism on his person only, but it did swell. In addition, complained he about the aggressive approach of the home team, allowing Leonardo Bonucci after one minute with a battered nose had to continue to play.

The tactical plan of Ventura, including the confidence in the Italian 3-5-2, it ran as immediately all damage. With his choice for the 3-5-2, he wanted to also return to the glory days of Euro 2016, where the Azzurri egg so after the last four reached, and on the way Sweden was beaten.

In France, the qualitative anemia still camouflaged by the tactical promptings of Antonio Conte, just as in 2012, the individual class of Pirlo Italy in the european CHAMPIONSHIP final brought. That outliers have, along with the return of Juventus to the European summit, the illusion that it is so bad not going with the Italian football.

Since Calciopoli, a widespread corruption-scandal, in 2006, the Series A sporting and economic grandeur, however, lost. Today, the star of service at the top clubs, especially foreigners, an indication that there is firmly to quality is lost. Ventura has simply not more about the wealth of which his predecessors could enjoy. Attacking talents such as Francesco Totti and Pirlo, no longer to the conveyor float to the top. For many years, gave Italy world star after world star but the last few years dried up that source. Euro 2016 was a sign of the acute loss of quality. The place in the last eight was celebrated as an unexpected windfall by the four-time world champion.

Red alert

Despite all the negative atmosphere awaits Italy tonight, although a heavy but not impossible task: a backlog of one goal get in your own home. Verratti should be the contest of necessity from the stand to follow due to suspension, but given his recent performance his absence might be a blessing prove. Opponent Sweden would, moreover, in all the circumstances for the axe must go. With a favourable draw, a vormpiek, and a dose of luck at a few key can Italy than just the semi-finals to reach in Russia.

If it goes wrong tonight, the Italian nation with a huge hangover now. That red alert might finally bring on structural changes, beginning in the youth and the stadionbouw, by analogy, of France in the early ’90s, and Germany in the late ’90s. Or how a national trauma in the long term, a revolution can mean.

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