Friday June 7 2013
Giovinco doesn’t deserve Italy 10

Sebastian Giovinco will wear the Italian No 10 shirt at the Confederations Cup, a jersey which Dave Taylor thinks is too big for him.

Did you see Lorenzo Insigne’s goal for the Italian Under-21s against England in midweek? Now that’s what a No 10 should bring to the table. Furthermore, he was absolutely outstanding in the first half and – along with several others – should be in the Azzurri’s World Cup squad next summer.

The way he caressed the ball and twisted through England’s defence rekindled memories of past greats, Italian legends such as Roberto Baggio, Alessandro Del Piero, Francesco Totti, Gianni Rivera and Giancarlo Antognoni. They too were all fabulous players and could change a match in an instant. Furthermore, they all had one thing in common – the No 10 shirt was their second skin.

Sadly, the strength and prestige of that mythical number today has been very much diluted. Some may think it’s just a figure, but there are those who believe the 10 should not be handed out willy-nilly, especially in Italy where it’s not just a number but a calling card.

It is the shirt that is worn by the individual, like any of the above, who has unparalleled vision, the player who floats between the front line and the midfield as well as linking them. He is that special character who is blessed with an ability to see two or three moves in front of his teammates and exploit it accordingly.

In Brazil later this month, during the Confederations Cup, that special shirt will be handed to Juventus’ Sebastian Giovinco. For all his diversity, the Juve No 12 is hardly a salute in the direction of the greats who wore the shirt before him.

Clearly that number is not exclusive to the very best any longer after players of differing character – including Daniele De Rossi, Antonio Di Natale and Pablo Osvaldo – have worn it in the recent past.

What is mystifying, however, is how can Giovinco be a No 10 for his country when he has failed to claim the same unused jersey in Turin? It just doesn’t feel right. For a player to wear the 10 shirt for their national team, particularly on the peninsula, you would expect him to wear it for his club side.

Of course, not too long ago, it was expected that he would become the new Del Piero, but that has just not materialised. His only relevance to Pinturicchio, in reality, is that he is playing for Juventus. He may have been one of the Old Lady’s top scorers in the past campaign, but he rightly has his doubters – even amongst the Juve faithful.

There’s actually an argument over whether Sebastian should have even been called up to the Azzurri squad, never mind being handed the biggest shirt of all. There are a number of Under-21 internationals who Prandelli has admitted are pushing for full selection and Giovinco could be a victim of that talent which is coming through.

Right now, at best, Giovinco will only come off the bench in an emergency situation. He is certainly no driving force behind this side, not a player who can change the match in an instant. And he’s definitely not big or atomic enough to be given the sacred Italian No 10 – no matter how thin the squad may be. 

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Have your say...
Ok Marco Verratti I think will be good in the future but his hype that he is getting now is behind ridiculous. Everyone is making him out to be world class already he is so young and still has quit a bit to learn. I've watched him play a lot and I wasn't extremely! impressed like everyone else seems to be. didn't play that great against England a couple days ago either. Struggled for PSG this year Ligue 1 sucks it has 2 good teams same with La Liga. Serie A is the real test to see what he can do
on the 7th June, 2013 at 5:29pm
Alberto Aquilani is the closest number 10 player in this senior Italian squad. He should play ahead of Marchisio who never impress in the nazionale. Prandelli is focusing too much on juve players. This is what happened in 2010 and 2012 where Aquilani was missed.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 4:49pm

No one has gio's quality?? Are you kidding me. The guy spend more time laying on the field and then actually playing. He miles away from deserving #10. He's not even being used in juve while they currently have not very highly rated forwards. Goo is mediocre at best. A

In England where they have more respect for players?? You should really do your homework. Football doesn't seem to be your sport. No offense
on the 7th June, 2013 at 4:33pm
To me their is only one Number 10. Del Piero.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 4:21pm
Football has changed over the years Teams do not play with a true number 10 anymore unless you have someone of the Messi quality. A number 10 is often a luxury player that is given the freedom of the park. Most teams opt to play a more rigid formation with every player given a task. This is why you often see the classic No. 10 style players will often shine at smaller sides that can afford to give a player a free role but not at top sides where the team rigid formation is more important.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 3:55pm
Giovinco is being played out of position at Juve, he plays his best football ripping defenders apart down the wing. Conte doesnt know how to use him at Juve, when Gio played under Donadoni he was a superstar. If Prandelli is smart he'll go with a 4-3-3 starting Gio-Balo-Cerci on the forward line
on the 7th June, 2013 at 3:28pm
Excellent blog. Giovinco has been overrated ever since he bacame a footballer and now that he is 35 he should have no place in ANY team.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 3:23pm
did you see where Insigne played the other night? Left wing! Which is where Giovinco should be playing and every single time he gets the slightest chance in the national team (even though he's usually overlooked for far less talented players like Diamanti Cerci and Candreva) he plays as a striker which is not his position, same goes for Juve.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 3:14pm
Totti?? did he deserve the number 10? spitting in faces of players? the true 10 was Del Piero and he had to wear 7!! Anyway its not like poor giovinco has to worry De Rossi has worn it also!! I want Insigne in it he suits it I hope Napoli play him regular next season so he can go to Brasil!
on the 7th June, 2013 at 3:06pm
Poli sucks and Diamanti,Giaccherini,Aquilani,Giovinco,Candreva,Cerci,Astori, all have to go and aim skeptical about SES to not fully convinced. Maggio is not to great either.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:55pm
For all those comparing Giovincos U21 performances to Insignes...Im wondering did you even care to watch Giovinco at this time or see his stats? In over 20 games he netted only 2 goals for the azzurini...Nothing special about that. Lorenzo on the other hand has played just over 10 matches and has 6 goals to his name...No comparison. Not too mention Lorenzos composure on the ball, his vision, he ability to use his teammates is far beyond Sebas. Mentally and physically Sebastian is very weak.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:50pm
NO! GIOVINCO SUCKS!!,HAS NO FUTURE SIMPLE AS THAT. Pirlo is the only worthy one of 10 but he is not a striker and always wore 21. If we fail to reach the semi final or the finals of the confed cup it should highly be considered for Prando to be axed. He has made some horrible squad choices, calling up non worthy players. We by fare don't have the most complete squad and best talent available for Nazionale. WC2014 is right around the corner something has to be done quickly.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:49pm
Raed who????
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:44pm
For those saying we haven't had a good enough n.10 in the last few years - cassano maybe? The only problem is that cassano isn't used effectively as a striker, a bit like gio as his playmaking skills are excellent, he just doesn't fit in wih the system
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:44pm
No one has giovonco quality.. stop hating the guy for being small ..he never played for italy.if prandelli used him against spain on 2012 surely wouldn't be 4 nothing ....giovinco should go to england where fans have more respect.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:36pm
The good news is that there are plenty of potential number 10's coming through: Saponara, Bellomo, Tassi, etc. Then you have the likes of Bessa & Mastour-if they decide to play for Italy instead of Brazil/Morrocco. Verratti could quite easily be a number 10 with his vision, skill, composure, and fantastic passing range; although I think he said that he could not play as a trequartista because of his lack of pace. I disagree with him on this: Totti & Zidane never had pace.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:31pm
Although the situation is improving, Many Italian coaches still have this perception that if you are 23-25 years old you are still considered young. This is an outdated theory, if you look at all the worlds best players most of them were key players in giant teams by the age of 23, not young inexperienced players still finding there feet. Giovinco (26), Candreva (26)Diamanti (30)Giacherrini (28) are not going to suddenly become world class.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:13pm
If both Prandelli and Conte used him as a trequartista even if its not for the whole game but last 30 minutes or first 60 minutes I believe that he would put in performances like we saw in the 2011 season with Parma. A player of his size and quickness should not be recieving the ball with his back turned to goal. He should be taking on players and threading that final through ball. Technically he is impeccable and if people like Dave Taylor do not see that than they have never played football!!
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:08pm
As far as i'm concerned Italy have a batch of players I would class as "untouchables" (Buffon,Chiellini, Barzagli, Bonnucci, Pirlo, Montolivio, De Rossi, Marchisio, Balo, El Sha) After that the rest are so so, I don't really see the value in calling players like Candreva, Diamanti, Gilardino, Giacherrini into the squad when none of them are particularly young, and they are pretty average players. I think Prandelli should give the likes of Poli, Verrati, Insigne, Bonaventura more match experience
on the 7th June, 2013 at 2:08pm
Giovinco was superb for the U21 and the Olympic team when they last qualified....
on the 7th June, 2013 at 1:57pm
Bring Totti to the World Cup.......YES PLEASE!!!!!!
on the 7th June, 2013 at 1:54pm
the game has evolved and changed quite a bit from the yester-years. the # has become more or less irrelevant now of days, a player can wear any #, doesn't matter to me. as a fan, i think the quality & character of the player is what makes him stand out, and not by the # he wears. whether he wears #9 or #19 or even #99, it shouldn't make a difference. whether he is in attack or all the way back in goal(GK). i judge by quality & character, and NOT by numerical expectations!
on the 7th June, 2013 at 1:11pm
Come time for the world cup there should only be one person wearing the number 10, Francesco Totti because NO Totti NO Party. Prandelli are you listening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
on the 7th June, 2013 at 12:55pm
Like Ruida rightfully points out: Sebastian Giovinco were just as dominant in the under-21's as Lorenzo Insigne are right now. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Insigne went on to have a similar career development as Giovinco. Mazzarri showed no faith in him what so ever. Hopefully Benitez look at him differently. But please, do not compare him with the likes of Roby Baggio, Ale Del Piero, Francesco Totti, Gianni Rivera and Giancarlo Antognoni. Insigne will never have a career like that. No way.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 12:51pm
Well the only players in the squad that have the characteristics of a number 10 are Giovinco & Diamanti. I still think that we would see a lot more from Giovinco, if he was playing on the left hand side of a forward trident. In a 352 he gets little space through the middle. The same could be said for SES, Insigne, & Totti. Totti looked magnificent drifting in from the left in Zeman's 433. In the cup final, when played in the hole, he was nowhere near as effective.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 12:30pm
Times of Del Piero, Totti, Baggio, Inzaghi etc. have passed, we have very few attacking options available. Even if im not a fan of Gio's i think he deserves a call up. Insigne is still young and there is no need to take him away from the U21. Come Brazil he will be called up to the senior squad anyway. As for the #10 Jersey i don't think Gio deserves it but it's not exclusively his and considering who else wore it recently & since we don't have a genuine #10 player why worry about it!?!?
on the 7th June, 2013 at 12:24pm
The worse caps given are to Giaccherrini! Useless player.. He doesn't even play for Juventus
There really isn't a #10 in the italian squad for the Confed cup
on the 7th June, 2013 at 12:02pm

Poli deserved his caps and should have made the Confederations Cup squad ahead of Giaccherini.

Diamanti is a top player for Bologna but aside from an assist and a winning PK at Euro 2012, he hasn't done much. I'd still keep him.

I totally agree about Giovinco. He shouldn't be in the squad or have the #10 jersey. He should leave Juve and go to a smaller club.

I don't think anyone is really worthy of the #10 jumper and Pirlo and Montolivo don't play like typical #10s to get it.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 12:01pm
Giovinco just as good in the U21 as Insigne, even better. So...

Btw, Giovinco realy doesnt deserve NOW the 10 shirt, but maybe he will prove in the Confederation that we wrong.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:57am
No one made this kind of article when Osvaldo and Candreva wore the supposedly magical number, and suddenly it's a big thing when Giovinco wear it, cute.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:51am

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