NEWS
Saturday September 23 2017
Ventura: 'Spain-Italy critics harsh'

Italy Coach Giampiero Ventura feels criticism after the defeat to Spain was unfair, focusing on youth and building “a new era.”

The former Torino boss was brought in to replace Antonio Conte after Euro 2016 and his first job was to significantly lower the average age of the squad.

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Friday September 22 2017
Official: De Biasi moves to Spain

La Liga strugglers Alaves have appointed former Albania boss Gianni De Biasi as their new Coach.

A statement on Alaves’ official website confirms De Biasi has signed on until the end of the season, with the option for another year.

It marks a return to Spain for the 61-year-old, who coached Levante during the 2007-08 campaign and took several Italians with him, including Damiano Tommasi, Bruno Cirillo and Christian Rigano.

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Friday September 15 2017
Buffon ‘frustrated’ by Spanish defeats

Gianluigi Buffon explains why he is frustrated by his Spanish defeats. “I’ve always had to greet the same faces and congratulate them…”

Buffon kept goal during Italy’s 3-0 defeat to Spain a fortnight ago and Juventus’ loss to Barcelona by the same scoreline, as well as the Euro 2012 Final and the Bianconeri’s Champions League failures back in May against Real Madrid and two years ago.

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Wednesday September 13 2017
Abete: ‘Italy problems exaggerated’

Former FIGC President Giancarlo Abete believes the gap between Spain and Italy has been exaggerated.

The Azzurri were beaten 3-0 by Spain in their World Cup qualifier, while last night saw Juventus thrashed by the same scoreline at Camp Nou, and Roma drawing 0-0 at home to Atletico Madrid.

“Italy’s problem has always been playing too few games, all of which are decisive,” Abete told ANSA.

“There was the possibility of being in the play-offs even if we’d drawn though.

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BLOG ITALIA
Wednesday September 13 2017
One step forward, two steps back

Roma’s encouraging draw with Atletico Madrid was overshadowed by Juventus and Italy's heavy beatings to Barcelona and Spain, writes Jack Stevens.

Italy’s match against Spain at the beginning of September was more than just a qualifier. It was a chance for the Italians to test their new-look Azzurri against the best Europe had to offer, and it was a chance for them to assess their progress under Giampiero Ventura. Consequently, the 3-0 drubbing the Nazionale received was a kick in the teeth, a stark reminder that they have some big decisions to make come Russia in 2018.

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Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

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Friday September 8 2017
Don't blame Buffon

Italy supporters’ excessive criticism of Gianluigi Buffon is unfair, argues Matthew Santangelo.

One week after winning UEFA’s goalkeeper of the year award, Gianluigi Buffon notched his 170th appearance for Italy last Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu versus Spain, a feat deserving to be honoured. However, a whirling buzz-saw Spanish side spoiled the party, fleecing the Italians 3-0 in a rout which theoretically rules out a Group G victory in World Cup qualifying.

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NEWS
Thursday September 7 2017
Reports: Ventura to scrap 4-2-4

Giampiero Ventura will reportedly scrap his much-maligned 4-2-4 system for a 3-4-1-2 going forward after Italy’s poor international break.

According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Ventura will adopt to three-man defence and a No 10 when Italy conclude their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign next month.

The CT switched to a 4-2-4 for games against Spain and Israel, but the formation came under fire after the Azzurri lost 3-0 to La Roja and struggled to beat the latter.

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Tuesday September 5 2017
Little Italy

The Azzurri stuttering their way to qualification for a major tournament is no reason to panic, says Giancarlo Rinaldi, but business as usual.

If Italian fans were hoping for a big reaction after the misery they endured in Spain, they will have been sorely disappointed. Even against more humble opposition, the much-criticised 4-2-4 formation failed to deliver the tonic the tifosi craved after a performance which had left them feeling distinctly queasy. And yet, somehow or another, by the end of the night against Israel, they were a shaky step closer to the World Cup next summer.

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NEWS
Tuesday September 5 2017
Buffon: 'Italians hate possession'

Gigi Buffon hit back at the fans who jeered Italy’s 1-0 win over Israel. “In Spain if they make 200 passes in 20 metres, everyone applauds.”

The Azzurri dominated the game in Reggio-Emilia, but only a Ciro Immobile header proved the difference.

“Yes, there were jeers at times when we couldn’t find a way through, but that is part of our philosophy,” smiled Buffon on Rai Sport.

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Tuesday September 5 2017
Verratti: 'Italy fans are pessimistic'

Marco Verratti does “not agree with the jeers, nor the criticism” after beating Israel 1-0. “Italy fans are always pessimistic.”

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder was jeered on his substitution and the entire team booed off the pitch at half-time, as the 3-0 defeat to Spain has not been forgiven.

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