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...
Giovinco is a Set-Piece Specialist by the way...
Nevertheless, I agree with you
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:49am
Kinda agree with the title, but then it's written by Dave Taylor, and I stopped reading after the comparison with Insigne, bias.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:49am
I completely agree with your article. But! In Gio defense, he was given this huge responsiblity of emulating ADP and that is a huge wieght for one to bare, imho. that being said, gio does not deserve the 10 shirt. Its kind of an insult that he was given it, given that it means so much to football and italian football as a whole. Prand doesn't have that much to work with but he has been wrong with gio. Gio can still grow, theres no doubt in that, but at this moment in time, he is nowehere near it
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:38am
Agreed with Rosario and the article. Not sure why the guy is even here. I really like Prandelli but never cared for how he has left out guys like Pazzini and Cannavaro. Honestly I think Quagliarella should be there over Giovinco. Hopefully when Giuseppe Rossi returns he;ll take the spot.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:35am
Rosario - I think that's a bit harsh especially if you look at the players coming through. But we don't have a No 10. We have to adapt to new systems to reflect this. Weirdly the reason I think we failed to win anything in the 90s is because we had a weak midfield (sorry Albertini). We had great defenders and strikers but a weak midfield. Then Pirlo and Gattuso (at his pomp) came along and suddenly we won the world cup with the best midfield partnership in the tournament.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:29am
Juve's number 10 shirt worth million times more than italy's number 10 shirt
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:29am
Italy simply do not have a No 10. It seems that the future lies in wider, pacier attackers. Insigne is not a No 10 either. The only people who could lay claim to that number in the current set up is Pirlo (who prefers 21 for some reason) and Balo (who is more of a No 9). In the future it might be Verratti. The whole number has been devalued. Wasn't there an article on here about the different No 10s at club level [FI: Yes]. I mean we've had to get used to Boateng at Milan.....
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:24am
Giovinco shouldn't even be in the squad, let alone being given the N.10 shirt. The sad but truthful reality is that he wouldn't have got into the Italy D side 10 years ago. Unfortunately though standards have slipped and hence having players like giovinco, diamanti and even Poli making the national team. Prandelli has done a great job given what he has available to him, but the reality is that he does hand out cheap caps. too many cheap caps.
on the 7th June, 2013 at 11:16am

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