Tuesday November 19 2019
This is not your usual Italy

An Italy side that scores nine goals and is hungry for more, this is definitely not the Nazionale Martin Mork is accustomed to, but points to a fascinating future.

Roberto Mancini’s Italy had already qualified for Euro 2020, setting a new standard by breaking Vittorio Pozzo’s record from the 1930s, but they weren’t ready to stop there. Rewind one year and who would have thought this Italy would be the one going into the history books?

The perfect 10 was completed with an astonishing 9-1 win over Armenia, as if there weren’t enough records to be broken at once. The 11th win in a row and with 10 out of 10 this calendar year, the biggest ever win since 9-0 against the USA in 1948, and Mancini has made Azzurri look like a real contender again.

If you had ever given up on Italy, now it’s time to have faith again. It seemed like people still didn’t want to believe in Italy, even after their first record-breaking 3-0 win over Bosnia. The problems have been highlighted and underlined so many times, by pundits and former players. Even if there are still some issues, despite this only being the qualification phase and that it remains to be seen if Italy could really compete with the best European nations next summer, this moment should be enjoyed.

It didn’t take long until the party had started at the Renzo Barbera. There were four goals within 33 minutes, as Ciro Immobile had scored his second for the night, adding to the goals from Nicolò Zaniolo and Nicolò Barella, was enough to make sure the game was done and dusted at 4-0 up when the Portuguese official Tiago Martins sent the teams into the dressing room for 15 minutes.

This could give them the chance to get the job done without making too much effort in the second half. In a week when a youth team coach was sacked for winning 27-0 and ‘disrespecting’ the opposition, Italian football showed why it lacks a killer instinct and tends to step off the gas at a ‘decent’ 4-0 result.

But remember, this is a record-breaking team. It couldn’t really end with a classic Italian side moving the ball around the pitch, making sure they went back to their respective clubs without too much fatigue from the international break. This is the future, not those old-fashioned ideas. They were determined to continue in the same manner.

The second half against Armenia represented something that was missing from the Azzurri before Mancini’s reign. All the players were running for each other, enjoying their time together on the pitch in Palermo in a way that I can’t remember seeing previously. Debutants like Riccardo Orsolini and Alex Meret were eager to get on, even at 6-0. The smiles are back, and they are genuinely enjoying playing for the national team again.

Federico Chiesa had an amazing night, involved directly in three goals, and every time Italy went forward, he had a say. The same can be said about Orsolini coming on to make an instant impact in the second half. When the Italy games would normally die down and lose a bit of intensity, Mancini spurred them on by injecting hunger and youth.

The step overs, the one-twos, the tackles and the spirit shown by this young Italy team was extremely pleasing. During a football match, you often get time to criticise players during poor spells and break in the play. Talk about why he shouldn’t be playing for Italy, or who would be a better solution. On Monday night, you didn’t have time to reflect on anything before the full-time whistle had gone. And it was refreshing. You couldn’t look away. Something might happen.

Because when Orsolini came on for Barella at 4-0 up, Italy made sure the locomotive steamrolled an obviously frustrated visitor. After Zaniolo’s second for the night and Alessio Romagnoli’s second ever for Italy, Orsolini was tripped to give Jorginho a goal from the penalty spot. Then, two minutes later, he combined with Chiesa to send them 8-0 up. Armenia got a consolation goal from long distance, when Edgar Babayan beat Meret only two minutes after the Napoli goalkeeper had come on for his debut, but Orsolini and Chiesa quickly made sure they would forget about it, when they combined for another goal in the 81st minute.

Seeing Zaniolo, Sandro Tonali, Chiesa, Orsolini and Barella put in such mature performances also increased the regrets over Italy’s European Under-21 Championship flop. The players were ready just a few months ago, they simply needed a good coach.

Performances like this are very rare and it goes to show that this Italy team are ready to keep us locked in front of the TV screens whenever the Azzurri are going to play. Who would want to miss out on another great show, not me! I’ll be watching.

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Have your say...
Another issue is why people keep talking about Balotelli and Kean they are in consistent players with chips on their shoulders and attitude problems. This will not only distract but bring the team down with them. italy have who they need enough talk about these scrubs that should not even be contemplated into squad. The game is more mental then physical and they are not capable of that.
on the 20th November, 2019 at 8:15pm
Hey Anonymous,It was against Armenia... Aremenia. My answer to you is England played Bulgaria,...Bulgaria. What kind of opinions do you have.You hide yourself under Anonymous.All nations have improved and the so called scores of 9-1 are not often so give respect where it is due.Italia has achieved 10 victories just like RM wanted.I know we will do well at the Euros.Just wait and see and for you, just go and support England who had an easy group at the WC18 and still did not reach the final!Ha Ha
on the 20th November, 2019 at 2:24pm
With Barella,Tonoli and Zaniolo its looking good for the World Cup in 2 years.
on the 20th November, 2019 at 9:46am
@Butch,, dont make rush duh. I said parolo is out of it. Donna is not currently allison now.. will be sure but has been criticized as been bonucci and i choose rugani over romagnoli as a sheer insight as he has bonucci's cool demeanor when defending and twice as young. D'ambrosio and Darmian have solid defensive identity from Torino background. I tried to replace florenzi with equal gravity as well stability....
on the 20th November, 2019 at 6:42am
@Butch,, dont make rush duh. I said parolo is out of it. Donna is not currently allison now.. will be sure but has been criticized as been bonucci and i choose rugani over romagnoli as a sheer insight as he has bonucci's cool demeanor when defending and twice as young. D'ambrosio and Darmian have solid defensive identity from Torino background. I tried to replace florenzi with equal gravity as well stability....
on the 20th November, 2019 at 6:39am
Sensi may be the best of the lot of mids and he wasn't even playing die to injury! The midfield is definitely shaping up well.. We may not all agree but IMO the midfield is the engine.. that 2006 team had everything but the midfield was critical to that victory - starting with the Maestro...

CF are a bit overrated... I think you need a good one with a nose for the net (Think Inzaghi). I think they will be fine for scoring goals even agains the big fish.. I am a little worried about their D
on the 20th November, 2019 at 3:34am
@spirit_willy, and what a spirited willy you are. You need to get over your penchant for old and tarnished meat. Parolo, Darmian, my goodness!!

Experience is indeed important, and with Bonucci and Chiellini to come back, not to mention Mancini and Vialli's presence in the dressing room, I think that we will be fine.

This squad is gelling nicely. It would be foolish to disrupt it by including players of inferior quality, players that are past it, players that are performing below par.
on the 20th November, 2019 at 1:04am

And Sig before Donnarumma LOOOL
on the 19th November, 2019 at 10:27pm

Lol Rugani before Romagnoli.. Jesus
on the 19th November, 2019 at 10:26pm
At long last Italy have exciting forwards and some of the best midfielders in Europe. What Mancini needs now is to play against the top European sides,namely Spain France Belgium Portugal Germany England and Holland. Only than can we gauge the progress Italy have made.
Having watched Italy for almost 50 years this is probably the most promising collection of youngsters since Vicinis under 21's in the late 80's, which interestingly included one Roberto Mancini.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 10:17pm
Fabio mention me like that "this spirit willy guy" then went into normal direction. Who are you hippies?? And to pinturiccio, man you will be banned from this blogsite if you cant controll your zipper.. oh oh watch out. Fabio we are different people here all over the world with different opinion. If florenzi don't wonder you then why darmian does?? just because he lost the lime light?? If u consider bonucci then romagnoli izzo rugani three defender at their prime cant play..Thank you.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 8:38pm
@Fabio... "The best ball playing centre back in the world" hahaha, thanks for the joke, had a good laugh! Agree about fullbacks though!
on the 19th November, 2019 at 6:54pm

ignore that dumbass spirit_willy, he makes retarded comments, then makes low-blow comments and classless personal jibes when you try to deconstruct his idiotic comments with logic.

4 blogs within 1 week regarding the same topic... Really scraping the bottom barrel there, Football-Italia....
on the 19th November, 2019 at 6:26pm
Spirit willy I can't take you seriously. You must be a troll. No need to try and insult people that counter your argument. I agree experience is important, but so is picking the best players for each position . There are currently 10 full backs better than Darmian.
And bonucci fallen from grace or not, he is still arguably the best ball playing centre back in world football. And always performs brilliantly for Italy.
Thanks goodbye.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 5:45pm
That's the correct result for a nation that has football in the blood. Just wish they would have been forced out of their shell sooner. Let's hope these players and this coach continue to have revenge on the mind and a point to prove going into the Euros and the WC.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 5:45pm
@Fabio,,lol short term memory loss. It will be hard for you to decipher but think deep. Italy aren't currently having plethora of talents other than in centre of the park. Darmian was our long long standing fullback apart from a flying Florezi. Going to a important tournament EXPERIENCE COUNT... giong for every new plaer that popped up doesn't count much. As for Bonucci: have you ever heard of fallen stars like kaka was in his real madrid time??
on the 19th November, 2019 at 4:58pm
Why do people keep saying top nations germany, france spain belgium, Italy have (4) world cups behind Brazil and tied with Germany. France have (2) belgium have none. With this new look you have to give credit to progress. How do people mention England in the same sentence they never go anywhere the EPL is a joke along with LIgue 1 and la liga. Its only matter of time before this train goes full steam ahead. The quality and intelligence is there.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 3:51pm
Italy probably had one of the easiest qualifying groups, but that doesn't change the fact that this Italy has become a very strong and very competitive team. I don't think there are too many other national that are outright superior to this team. Should be a great tournament next summer!
on the 19th November, 2019 at 3:44pm
We cant have our cake and eat it. Either we score 9 and concede chances or we win 1 nil and defend it and most of you will agree that was the problem we have had for many many years.
Refreshing even before last night to see the mentality finally changing and us going for the jugular instead of the crap served up under previous managers.
Mancini is not only changing our style of play he is changing the whole ethos we have had to endure for generations..
Long live Mancini.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 3:41pm
This spirit willy guy. Not a clue what you are smoking. There are 10 Italian fullbacks currently better than Darmian.

And no bonucci? The best ball playing centre back in the world.

Enough said.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 3:35pm
Balotelli??? The opposite. Maybe Kean can if he comes back to Italy in Jan? Some of last nights play was thrilling though like Bonucci's through ball to Barella! Chiesa twisting n turning. The intricate link-up play. Zaniolo's goals n Orsolini did well too. Yeah. The fact they kept going too.I hope they do fly under radar n that pple continue to underestimate em cause they'll be in for a shock once they do play em!
on the 19th November, 2019 at 3:15pm
Today at my office we have this moment when Inter fan, Juventus fan, Roma fan, Napoli fan and Milan fan congratulate each other in the morning, having lunch together and then goes on celebrate this rare goal-fest victory with some bottle of beer and snacks after office hours. What a day.

Forza Azzurri per sempre from Indonesia.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 3:10pm
I saw the 2nd half n they were a joy to watch. Some pple it seems don't wanna give em credit but if 10/10 n 9-1 isn't enough then maybe nothing ever will be! U can tell from that pic alone of Tonali, Zaniolo n Chiesa that this isn't the same Italy as even 1 yr ago! Only possible issues I saw was playing out from the back sometimes n maybe the no 9 against top teams but they're scoring more than enough at moment. Maybe Belotti could be that 9. Immobile is prolific but isn't proven in big games.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 3:07pm
Unfortunately Italy still lack that top player in attack in comparison to the rivals. England have Sterling, France - Mbappe, Belgium - Hazard. Until they have that quality they are still behind. I hope Zaniolo and Chiesa can make that next step. The ageing defence is also a worry. Romagnoli and Rugani don't fill me with confidence.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 2:55pm
It was against Armenia....Armenia
on the 19th November, 2019 at 2:52pm
I have been saying it along that the future is Bright, the future is Azzurro.We are doing well from the grass roots.We just need those bloody clubs using our players more that they do. Everyone keeps saying that we had an easy group.Sorry so did England and France struggled a lot. Armenia is not San Marino or Faroe Islands, it has a good side and was just mauled over. Great to see my nation do well. Great coach in RM. Over the moon that he has resigned. Bring back the Azzurro and not the Green.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 2:27pm
Its really an improvement, Mancini has done some good work but, we really havent been tested much. Factor in the youth and inexperience and I dont know. I dont this this gives us any clue as to how they will perform next summer against heavyweights. I will say this, Zaniolo is good physical player but highly highly overatted. He cant even dribble.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 1:51pm
Either of darmian or d ambrosio deserve a slot,, you cant left of roma duo and inter duo. So the tonalli and veratti duo as of parolo needs to take a stand and so the other midfielders as our midfield is HOUSEFULL!!!. My line-up. I can not left darnian and sirigu out of it so here it is..4.4.2 between the stick 1.SIRIGU 4.DARMIAN 2.RUGANI 3.CHIELLINI 6.BIRAGHI 7.VERATTI IN FURTHER MIDFIELD 8.BARELLA 5.SENSI 10.ZANIOLO IN FURTHER MIDFIELD. 9.CHIESA/BERNARDESHCI I SEE HIM PERFORMING IN THERE 11.Be
on the 19th November, 2019 at 1:25pm
Going to a top tournament you keep every sort of cards under your sleeves hope mancini knows that.. if any player got disappointed over not getting selected tgeres a reasoning in him. Look.. you cant selected orsolini now out of no where. His slot is the joker the untame hero but that is zaniolo for now.......
on the 19th November, 2019 at 1:04pm
Was this England in disguise? I couldn't believe what I was seeing taking an opponent to the sword. Brilliant! The hunger and passion was there for all to see and get behind.
However, this was Armenia and Italy allowed them a couple of goal scoring opportunities before they actually did score. Armenia had seasoned pros and put man behind ball and Italy found their way through with great vision and passing.

Bravo and Forza Italia. Tonali is very impressive.
on the 19th November, 2019 at 1:04pm

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