Wednesday November 15 2017
A new Azzurri dawn

The best way to deal with Italy’s painful failure to qualify for the World Cup is to concentrate on change for the future, writes Chloe Beresford.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that,” goes the famous Martin Luther King Junior quote. Of course, he was referring to matters much more serious than football, but there are still lessons to be learned from his wisdom in all walks of life.

The Italian national team experienced one of its darkest days on Monday evening at San Siro, failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after a 1-0 defeat to Sweden over two legs. As if that wasn’t quite enough for the Azzurri fans to take, stalwarts Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Barzagli and Gianluigi Buffon all retired from international football, the captain in floods of tears.

That those legendary players weren’t given the chance to play in one last World Cup was a terrible shame, but what’s done is now done, and Italy must move forward in order to pull themselves out of the abyss that they have found themselves in.

As a first step on this journey back to prominence, removing Giampiero Ventura as CT is an absolute must. A million reasons why the former Torino man has been an abject failure in charge of the national team have already been covered in detail, and the bottom line is that his tenure is unsustainable.

Next must come the introduction of players that should have been in the starting line-up long ago. Lorenzo Insigne – inexplicably left on the bench at San Siro – now at 26 years old should be one of the very first names on the team-sheet, and so too must his Napoli compadre Jorginho. A look at the first half of that return leg showed what a difference the latter should have been making to the Azzurri, but instead he has been largely left at home along with the rest of us, pondering what could have been.

The likes of Stephan El Shaarawy and Federico Bernardeschi provide plenty of attacking options, and with the retirement of Buffon, Chiellini and Barzagli, Italy will now be forced to look at some of their many young alternatives in defence.

Mattia Caldara, Alessio Romagnoli and Daniele Rugani are just a few of those youngsters who are ready to make the leap to the first team, and the FIGC must now ensure that the right Coach is appointed to lead them. This should not be someone akin to Ventura, who promised to deploy the young players only to spectacularly ignore what he previously said.

Italy need a leader who is ready to revolutionise the squad, so that we will one day look back and realise that Monday night’s apocalypse had to happen in order for the side to start again and finally look to the future.

It has been this inability to let go of the past that has been hampering Italy in recent times, but there is no need and no excuse for half-hearted attempts to turn things around. The wounds are still very raw, but the Azzurri must hope that the light will start emerging from the darkness soon. 

Have your say...
Just read this article again and three months on after that nightmare of Italy not qualifying for the World Cup we still haven’t got a CT . Italian football is at its lowest iv ever seen it , I can’t name 1 world class player we have anymore , there’s no Italian players playing in the later stages of the champions league anymore and I doubt that day will come soon . We definitely need to focus on increasing the amount of italians playing for the top clubs and form that core for The Azzurri .
on the 25th February, 2018 at 12:17pm
Euro 2020


Rugani bonucci romagnoli

Zappacosta Darmian

Florenzi verratti cristante



Exiting!!!! Forza Italia
on the 4th December, 2017 at 1:08am
Italy will be back and the word will know it. Serie A is having another good season with real competition. In a few years, the program will be back where is rightfully belongs..
on the 29th November, 2017 at 4:52pm
can't save @ white feather

it won't happen !

Carletto loves ££££££ trust me
on the 22nd November, 2017 at 6:03pm
This is what needs to happen for the othes to put pressure on that old fool to resign.

He will.
on the 19th November, 2017 at 7:10pm
Glad to see coach after coach turning down the Azzurri job. I hope Ranieri will follow suit.

Tavecchio needs to get the message and get out.

Those who say "shame on Ancelotti" have no clue. If anything, he's doing Italy a great favor because by accepting the job we will be back at square one with no fundamental changes.
Think about the big picture, think long term.
on the 19th November, 2017 at 3:26am
All is going to plan so far!

Tavecchio has FAILED to lure Mancini, Conte, Ancelotti and now Ranieri?

If that's not a sign they all want him and the rest of his dud colleagues gone from the FIGC before any of them consider a job coaching the Azzurri I don't know what is.
on the 19th November, 2017 at 12:24am
@ Scirea

Absolutely no shame on Ancelotti if he doesn't answer Tavecchio's call quite the opposite in fact because if Tavecchio can't lure a top class coach there will be even more pressure on him to resign which is exactly what is needed, it's crucial for Italian football!
Once that parasite and the rest of them @ FIGC are replaced with people of integrity and honour a top class coach will come knocking.
on the 18th November, 2017 at 11:34pm
on the 18th November, 2017 at 9:54pm
It's way past the time for some of our I love Italian football brigade to step forward and show they care as much as us . Get Tavecchio out but please not at the expense of our beloved Azzurri.7GHF
on the 18th November, 2017 at 7:06pm
Gab Marcotti reckons with his "zen" that losing semi in 90 and final in 94 felt worse than this .... I like you Gab but on this occasion you are 100% wrong this is heartbreaking and if Carletto doesn't answer his country in our moment of need then shame on him also.
on the 18th November, 2017 at 5:19pm
News just breaking is that Ancelotti has turned down offer to take up Nazionale job. Conte was my first choice and I hope he takes up the CT job at the end of the season. Till then youth team coach Biagio can take over. And also before that pressure can be put to see Tavecchio and likes out of FIGC .....
on the 18th November, 2017 at 2:19pm
Bosman ruling means that clubs can't place limits on foreigners. There are other ways of getting young Italians back into top level club football just need to look at what Germans and Spanish are doing with their youth academies.
Also why the hell does Italy always have the most player transfers in all of Europe year after year? I suspect this has something to do with the demise of the La Nazionale.
on the 18th November, 2017 at 12:57pm
Foreigners are the problem.I suggest you read the history of Italian football. The banning of foreigners lead to a rejuvenation in the late 60s and 70s. Is it not better to have 85% of the total players pool to choose from rather than 45%. Foreigners drain funds from clubs and block kids. The other big hindrance is the stupid academies parents are having to pay for resulting in a 65% reduction in children participation.
By the way Darmian, Parolo, Veratti, Immobile are not up to it.
on the 17th November, 2017 at 2:27pm
It is frustrating people dislike of foreigners is overriding their ability to be logical.

Some of the best sporting minds in world football are Italian yet they are spread out over the world without being offered any kind of role in the FIGC while is mostly made up of businessmen and politicians.

You have national coaches being appointed with no real top level experience not being challenge or assessed in a intelligent manor. Easier to blame the foreigner i guess.
on the 17th November, 2017 at 10:35am
It is seriously sad that people are blaming foreigners for Italy not qualifying, this is why the FIGC gets away with being incompetent. Other countries have qualified despite having larger amounts of foreign players in their largest leagues. In any case it falls back on the FIGC for not having a scheme which encourages the development of Italian coaches and managers. what about a FIGC board made up of people who mostly have no sporting experience as a manager or player making sporting decision.
on the 17th November, 2017 at 10:25am
Damiano Tommasi, head of the Italian Players’ Union YOU ARE A LEGEND! TELLING IT AS IT REALLY IS ..UNCOVERING THE FILTH THAT IS THE FIGC WITHOUT FEAR OR REMORSE. YOU REPRESENT THE PLAYERS AND US DIE HARD FANS BROTHER.. WE ARE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY! WE NEED TO GET RID OF THOSE FIGC SO WE CAN REBUILD..DON'T EVER GIVE UP. Btw. I'll never forget your 100% legit goal you scored against South Korea @ WC 2002 which was outrageously disallowed by that ref Byron Moreno!
on the 17th November, 2017 at 10:18am
@ 34388206Forza lol come on this easy you have 555 players in serie a 296 classed as foreigners try for yourself to work out the % value. Spain France England and Germany all qualified despite operating a similar amount of foreigners in their leagues. As for other assertion in the last round of matches out of 198 players who started 85 were Italian which is roughly 43%. It is not fantastic however it isn't indicative of a league which starts players foreigners all the time of domestic players.
on the 17th November, 2017 at 10:03am


on the 17th November, 2017 at 1:04am
Italian sport papers now focusing on Serie A. Tavecchio and co have weathered the media storm now it's business as usual. Monday is crunch day for FIGC and Tavecchio but I suspect nothing will change. Too many corrupt big clubs support him so it's unlikely he'll go. Immagine if Spain or Germany were in this dire situation right now!...there would be hell to pay!.. drastic reform would follow as soon as possible but Italy just keeps rotting with these FIGC holding on for dear life!
on the 17th November, 2017 at 12:57am
On another note France,Germany,England,have quite a number of foreigner's in their league's and they made it...LIKE I SAID JUST GOIN OUT ON A LIMB HERE,WE MUST RISE TO THE OCCASION AND BECOME PROTAGONIST'S WE ARE ITALY.
on the 17th November, 2017 at 12:11am
I'll go out on a limb here folks but all this talk about foreigners invading our national shoreline's and stealing our players spotlight or starting 11's in their respective clubs etc etc.I for one see it a little differently may I add.For one,Our Italian players should fight and merit their spots at their clubs in other words be motivated to play better than their foreign counter parts,Plus, for example playing with Dybala should make you a better player cause you'd wanna raise your game.
on the 17th November, 2017 at 12:03am
75%? All foreigners (and apparently they're flops) play instead of Italians? What are you on, mate?

If you're that convinced, nothing will change your mind. I doubt mine will, neither, but I haven't seen any reason to actually blame foreigners. They play because they're better, and there's already restrictions to guarantee Italian favouritism in a sport of results. Arguing for more will actually be the death of football, so I'd be careful what I wish for.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 11:41pm
@ glass houses you must not be watching the same Serie A I am? Try more like a 25% Italian 75% foreigner split! Okay, I'll even take your incorrect statistic of 53% foreigners in Serie A. How many of those foreigners (flops) are playing? You guessed it! All of them! How can Italy cultivate any of their own talent if the Italian players are on the bench? Do you think there is any correlation between the Azzurri failures of late and the increase of foreigners in Serie A?
on the 16th November, 2017 at 9:59pm
"continue" I would very much like to see any of these coaches considered the problem is they also lack the Int'l Exp like Ventura did. So it's a very difficult choice. I don't think Italy should rush into this, it needs to be well thought out. Eusebio is getting the Int'l exp with Roma atm and lets not forget over the course of "2" games at CL he outplayed Conte's Chelsea. Italy really need to think hard and make the right choice if they want to get back up in the football world.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 8:39pm
"continue" to try and win the game he opted to play it safe and go for the draw and lost. In 2006, Lippi instead of playing to a draw with Germany, went for it in the final half of the game. The rest is history. Italy won the WC. Ancelotti also has International exp but he also realizes I think that something more is needed, a change of philosophy. There are many good coaches in Italy atm playing very good football, Eusebio (Roma), Simone (Lazio), Sarri (Napoli) and Luciano (Inter). "continue"
on the 16th November, 2017 at 8:32pm
The next CT is a really hard choice tbh. I'm surprised nobody has really emphasized the irony of DeRossi telling the staff to bring on Insigne. It just keeps running over and over in my head. Although Conte is perhaps the most qualified to take the job he has some of the traits that I think have plagued Italian football for sometime. While we blame Ventura of not knowing when to attack I recall Conte committing the same mistake with Germany in the Euro, instead of bringing on Insigne "continue"
on the 16th November, 2017 at 8:21pm
The entire FIGC needs to be cleaned out. Remember when Baggio was in charge of youth development; he wrote a dossier on reforms needed and they ignored it. He left, but the people who ignored him are still in place. Tavecchio's attitude this week lacked any class or elegance needed during a period like this. This is like Brazil missing a world cup, catastrophic. Serious reforms are needed. Also, Im very happy the 'Senatori" of this team resigned; they blamed Balotelli for 2014 when it was them.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 6:19pm
Part 2
I think part of problems will be fixed by coach as Ancelotti / Conte / Allegri could all do better than Ventura.

But there needs to be change in management. It looks like Tavecchio is staying, and the clubs are not really asking a change, as they may be looking for their own personal interests.

I hope someone like Albertini comes and challenges Tavecchio. In 2014 election, only 3 serie a clubs chose him, but that must change now.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 5:42pm
Part 1
The loss was a huge disappointment. Surely there is a great amount of talent, and I have been following last 15 years. Maybe there was not much talent in 2010, but it's not the same now.

It's Ventura's arrogance to use 3-5-2 and 4-2-4 that cost WC qualification. Moreover, even if he only knows those formations, if he used 3-5-2 vs Spain and 4-2-4 vs Sweden, when we needed to attack, result would have been atleast WC qualification.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 5:27pm

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