Cesare Prandelli prepares for Italy-USA and admits he must “reconstruct the attack,” but again warns Mario Balotelli cannot keep breaking the code of ethics.
The Coach has dropped Balotelli and Roma’s Daniel Pablo Osvaldo after they were suspended for reaction fouls or violent conduct.
“Balotelli has already been banned for eight rounds in the Premier League this season. That’s a lot if we consider this is a striker,” noted Prandelli in his press conference.
“A great player has to know how to deal with provocation and not react. He could have an extraordinary career, but there is no justification for certain behaviour. I am not a purist, but I am someone who respects the rules.”
Their absence and injuries mean the all-new partnership of Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Matri will start tomorrow evening.
“With 100 days to go until Euro 2012, we have to reconstruct the attack. I want to wait until the last minute for Giuseppe Rossi and Antonio Cassano. Matri gives us depth, while Giovinco is good at finding his position between the lines and can score goals too.
“It did not seem right for me to call Antonio Di Natale so soon after an injury. It’s not as if he needs to be tested out, as I already know where he can play.”
Daniele De Rossi is on the bench, although the Coach assures it has nothing to do with the fact he was frozen out at Roma this weekend for turning up late to a meeting.
“I want to experiment with other midfielders, so no, De Rossi was not late to anything here... We are missing a classic trequartista, but are following the progress of Andrea Cossu and Alessandro Diamanti.”
When asked where Italy can finish in the European Championships, Prandelli asked the media for help.
“The pressure is building. It also depends on the general climate around the team. We cannot sit around debating the way we interpret the code of ethics, as that’s just disconcerting. We can’t reach Euro 2012 with fragility in technical or psychological terms.
“The top opponents are going to be Spain, Germany and Holland. We must above all focus on our group, though, so Croatia are just as frightening as Spain.
“There will, I hope, be another two friendlies before the tournament. Tomorrow with the USA is an important test and I need it to see how interesting this striking partnership could be.
“I also want to know whether youngsters like Angelo Ogbonna and Fabio Borini can be part of the squad going to Ukraine and Poland. We must evaluate alternatives, even if I already have a starting XI for Euro 2012 in my mind.”
Italy: Buffon; Maggio, Barzagli, Ogbonna, Criscito; Marchisio, Pirlo, Nocerino; Thiago Motta; Matri, Giovinco