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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...
And this deserves to be announced as many times as it takes: the players remaining are actually good. Maybe you'd still prefer 06's winners but even that team is worthless without true team spirit or leadership.

Last campaign, the group lacked in many areas, and that won't change in the next. However, you already have greats with records to prove it and those that will develop in due time. I refuse to insult them and blame their foreign teammates to boot.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 12:47pm
@glass houses
You're barking up the wrong tree. People whine about foreigners in nearly all aspects of life.

In football, the 2 best players in the world are foreign to the league they play in. Many club legends found in every great club also happen to be foreign. The last Serie A winner of the Ballon D'Or was foreign.

At best, this is a distraction. Worst, people are admitting that Italians are too mediocre to prove their worth, and need (more) systematic favouritism to thrive. Good luck.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 12:36pm
ancelotti is the absolutely right man, right now for italy national team. Whatever he beleive but without any doubt he will make the most vintage national coach currently. With his style give him command respect and five years contract time, the rebirthe shall running dandy!. This italy team simply cant ignore insigne, giovinco, jorginho, berardi and further more balotelli who should be included with minimum focus behind belotti and immobile. And talking about infrastructure, tavecchio or not minimum 3 italian player in starting xi and 10 player in 22 man squad is mandatory. Many bizarre rules has comes up now but this one will serve some real balance. ITALY NOT PLAYING IN 2018 WORLD CUP IS VERY VERY BIG STATEMENT. RIGOUR UPHEAVEAL THROUGH EVERY UNIT ITALIAN FOOTBALL MUST BE TAKEN. SUCH A DAYS FOR ITALIAN FOOTBALL. #RISE_THROUGH_THE_DARK #ITALIAN_FOOTBALL
on the 16th November, 2017 at 9:41am
for those blaming foreigners let look at teams like England those premier league is 67% foreigners or Spain la liga which is 42% made up of foreigners or Germany bundesliga which 52% foreign or France ligue 1 which 50% foreign i guess serie must have more than England wrong 53% of players in serie are foreign. Virtually all the owners are Italian 18 of the managers are Italian there are 15 team captains who are Italian. The FIGC is the problem they need to change.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 9:18am
Sorry people need to stop blaming foreigners and start looking closer to home. The FIGC has failed in it primary duty of choosing a manager capable of taking that team to the world cup. You have a organisation made up of politicians and anonymous businessmen deciding the future of Italian football, the name that you might recognize looking at the management structure is ulivieri and he spent most of his managerial career in the lower leagues. They all need to go they have failed time for change.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 8:54am
The seeding system is all wrong.Friendlies should not be counted.Only results in tournaments and qualifiers.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 8:06am
Getting top managers like Conte or Ancellotti should not be the only answer.We need to create a conveyor belt of great players constantly being produced so that even an average manager could do well with the national team.Look at Barca and Real.Even with average managers such as Enrique and Zidane they do so well because they have the players.Ok in their situation they buy the players and don't produce them however you get my point.

Let's not get a top manager then sit back and relax.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 8:05am
No one honorable would dare to take a position in the FIGC atm that's how rotten the federation is. How could someone honourable like Baggio, Maldini, Baresi or Pirlo ever put up with the rot that's taking place as we speak in the FIGC that's exactly why Baggio walked out and Conte ran away. They were constantly up against a brick wall of rotting corpses in the shape of Tavecchio, Uva, Ulivieri and co.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 3:45am
can all the coaches stop with what your selections would be every player has a skill set get it through ur heads that it takes personality the right mind set and desire and proudness a coach doesnt teach playeres at this level skills they aready have them a gr8 coach would know each and every player he has at his disposal from his personality to his skills then he would put in place the formation and tactics and put players who he knows will compliment eachother look 06 wc team it all gelled
on the 16th November, 2017 at 3:31am
can all the coaches stop with what your selections would be every player has a skill set get it through ur heads that it takes personality the right mind set and desire and proudness a coach doesnt teach playeres at this level skills they aready have them a gr8 coach would know each and every player he has at his disposal from his personality to his skills then he would put in place the formation and tactics and put players who he knows will compliment eachother look 06 wc team it all gelled
on the 16th November, 2017 at 3:30am
Appointing someone like Ancelotti will make little difference
unless a completely overhaul of the FIGC takes place and besides Ancelotti stated himself that he wouldn't even consider the job without complete football reform in Italy 1st and foremost.
To be fair with all due respect to Ancelotti we don't need him right now better off with someone young like a Inzaghi, Pirlo, Gattuso ie.someone the young players can look up to with total respect unlike that old arrogant fool Ventura.
on the 16th November, 2017 at 2:43am
No 'New Azzurri Dawn' I'm afraid just more of the same from the rotting establishment that is the FIGC. What a sad state of affairs when a sporting disaster of this magnitude still does force immediate and desperately needed change. Sacking Ventura is just the tip of the iceberg and is just covering the deep cracks within the FIGC. Tavecchio, Uva and Ulivieri need to be removed asap now!
on the 16th November, 2017 at 2:30am
Sansone? Berardi? Soriano?
on the 16th November, 2017 at 1:24am
Bit left field and not the highest profile, but why no Sansone and especially Soriano?

Playing well for a top 6, top 7 side- Soriano especially last season had a good year. Surely superior to Parolo and Eder for the squad??
on the 16th November, 2017 at 1:22am
Ventura to be paid 860k???? He didn't even apologized to the fans! Saying "I only lost 2 games"!! He is a stupid person a one with no dignity & not a patriot. I hate his guts. Tavechio should be next, if he has any honor he quits. Hoping next CT will be the worthy one. Forza Azzurri...
on the 15th November, 2017 at 10:44pm
Can this happen ... Ancelotti to Chelsea and Conte to Azzurri ??!!
on the 15th November, 2017 at 9:52pm
Lets be honest- Ventura a disaster. Continually changing style and ignoring skill players. Yes there are to many foreigners-but that's the same in every league and most of them qualified. We need a coach who can get a settled side and way of playing. Then we need to take every game seriously. There is a lot of talent. It needs to be used right. The people in charge are to blame.
on the 15th November, 2017 at 9:49pm
The Paolo Cannavaro "Mummies" article is all you need to know. He's spot on! I'm sure Juve, Inter, Milan and the rest of the owners in Serie A are all anxiously awaiting their turn to pluck and award handsome contracts to the Swedish national team players. How can anyone actually watch the Serie A games? No pride whatsoever. An absolute embarrassment!
on the 15th November, 2017 at 7:43pm
It certainly will be one now, but at what price? Italy's historical embarrassment? Gigi's tears and retirement+other senior players? ~€1m prize for Ventura's foolery!?

I support current players, and hope there's further reform in the horizon, but nothing will convince me that the Ventura era needed to happen. For reference, Portugal 2016, vastly inferior to 2004, outdid their predecessors. You need team spirit and grinta, even without superb talent. Devoid of both, Ventura's Italy was hollow.
on the 15th November, 2017 at 7:34pm
This is the Italy squad I hope to see at the next Euros:
Goalkeepers: Donnarumma, Perin, Meret/Scuffet/Sportiello
Defenders: Rugani, Romagnoli, Caldara, Bonucci, Florenzi, Darmian, Conti
Midfielders: Verratti, Marchisio, Bonaventura, Jorginho, Barella, Pellegrini
Forwards: Insigne, Orsolini, El Shaarawy, Chiesa
Strikers: Belotti, Cutrone, Balotelli/Zaza/Immobile

I also like Pinamonti, Lo Faso, Berardi, Kean, Diawara, Del Sole, Verdi, Pellegri, Locatelli, Murgia, Mandragora, Gagliardini...
on the 15th November, 2017 at 6:03pm
This is the Italy squad I hope to see at the next Euros:
Goalkeepers: Donnarumma, Perin, Meret/Scuffet/Sportiello
Defenders: Rugani, Romagnoli, Caldara, Bonucci, Florenzi, Darmian, Conti
Midfielders: Verratti, Marchisio, Bonaventura, Jorginho, Barella, Pellegrini
Forwards: Insigne, Orsolini, El Shaarawy, Chiesa
Strikers: Belotti, Cutrone, Balotelli/Zaza/Immobile

I also like Pinamonti, Lo Faso, Berardi, Kean, Diawara, Del Sole, Verdi, Pellegri, Locatelli, Murgia, Mandragora, Gagliardini...
on the 15th November, 2017 at 6:02pm
Nothing will change its as you were, Whoever is coach until its rebuilt from top to bottom. which Looking at Italy the country, its history, it's culture to many people with vested interest. The football is a reflection of the society rotten to its core. Lather, rinse, repeat. see you when we fail at the euros. Just to clarify l am a pride heartbroken Italian
on the 15th November, 2017 at 5:33pm
Can there be a Italian petition to get TAVECCHIO OUT?? He is ruining Italy - apparently he doesn't want to resign, why? He's 74 an ultimately responsible for our worst failure in history (worse than 1958), he needs to take responsibility, no one wants the negative stigma attached to him. Infantino comments about VAR are irrelevant to the national team, any president could please Fifa, Tavecchio doesn't even understand how the rankings work, which is why we ended up with Spain. HE MUST STEP DOWN!
on the 15th November, 2017 at 5:23pm
Surely there has to be a vote of "No Confidence" by the other members of FIGC to force Tavecchio out.
on the 15th November, 2017 at 4:53pm
We should be second to no one. A manager that manages a team like Italy is on the wrong track when he says we are going to finish second becuase we were in the same group as Spain. I don't care how many cups spain have won we are second to no one. We go to the competitions to win not make up the numbers, we are italy not England. Would mancini/Ancelotti/lippi take a job and say we will finish second?
For a new dawn to arrive we need to look at the youth system in italy first!
on the 15th November, 2017 at 4:29pm
Send Gigi to the coaching academy and then appoint him permanent coach...
on the 15th November, 2017 at 4:02pm
Like in every league the teams are only interested in themselves and not producing players for the national side.The only way to get our young players to play is to someone make it a requirement that X amount of Italians should be in the starting line-up of every league team however finding a legal way to do that will be very difficult if not impossible.
on the 15th November, 2017 at 3:13pm
Like in every league the teams are only interested in themselves and not producing players for the national side.The only way to get our young players to play is to someone make it a requirement that X amount of Italians should be in the starting line-up of every league team however finding a legal way to do that will be very difficult if not impossible.
on the 15th November, 2017 at 3:13pm
Cont..

Veratti
Candreva
SES
Florenzi

This is a decent list of vets to start with. Hopefully the 25 and under will begin to flourish
on the 15th November, 2017 at 2:56pm
The veteran presence is important because you cannot have an entire squad of 21 year olds. Lets define a veteran as a player 26 or older who has played regularly in a top league and has some experience with the national team (at least several caps) and perhaps CL or Europa experience.

The following players meet this criteria and will likely be on a future team striving for a Euro qualification:

Bonucci
Immobile
Jorginho (will be 26 next year)
Insinge
Zappacosta (will be 26 next year)

TBC..
on the 15th November, 2017 at 2:55pm

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