Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has underlined that his side can’t just rely on the playmaking skills of Andrea Pirlo.
The Juventus man dictates the tempo for club and country, but he wasn’t given much room to operate in the two World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta.
“Malta pressed Pirlo,” the tactician stated after the 2-0 win in Modena. “They defended with nine men and stuck one man on Pirlo for the entire game.
“We have to thus do what we did at the European Championship. If Pirlo is not free then we need to use other players such as Thiago Motta or Riccardo Montolivo.”
Italy started the game with an attacking midfielder behind two strikers which should have given them more of a chance to create, but Alessandro Diamanti failed to shine.
“We played better in the second half with two wide attackers, whereas we struggled in the first with the Trequartista.
“Also, by playing with an attacking midfielder that means that the two forwards – Mattia Destro and Pablo Osvaldo – become reference points for the opposition.
“We’ll have to analyse these situations so that we don’t make the same mistakes against teams who just sit back and defend.”