Zdenek Zeman criticised Italy’s approach against Costa Rica and warned “you need to move more than your opponents.”
The Azzurri were beaten 1-0 in Recife, following on from a 2-1 victory over England, meaning they need at least a point against Uruguay on Tuesday to qualify.
“The climactic conditions certainly had an influence, as in Italian football we are not accustomed to running that much,” Zeman told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Costa Rica caused problems and the high line made it difficult to create moves. Italy were penalised by having too much possession.
“In my view football is a sport of movement. If you move more than your opponents, then you can find an advantage.
“Right now it is difficult for Italy to play against any national team, as the others don’t have these issues.”
Zeman, who is set to take over at Cagliari after he was fired by Roma in February 2013, also commented on the individual Azzurri.
“Mario Balotelli is a talent, but right now he is more of a player for the media. Against Uruguay they must be wary of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, but the others are guard dogs and won’t let you get away with anything.
“If we start saying a draw will be enough, then it doesn’t look good to me. I hope Italy can reach the last 16 for the good of Italian football, as we don’t deserve to be made fun of.”