Saturday September 8 2012
Predictable Italy

Azzurri fans may as well accept it, says Susy Campanale, they are never going to get a good performance in September.

Oh Italy, will you never shake off your summertime blues? Are we ever to see a performance in August or September that isn’t desperately disappointing, disconcertingly sluggish and half-hearted in its execution? Probably not, so let’s just accept that little quirk of the Azzurri experience and grab the point in Bulgaria.

In a way, this game saw all the Nazionale’s worst traits squeezed into a single game. Players put more energy into berating each other than actually trying to get the ball in the first place, tactical indecision was rife whether using 3-5-2 or the diamond midfield, chances were wasted in attack and Christian Maggio confirmed his complete inability to defend.

The ultimate problem remains the same as it is in every August or September outing: tempo. Serie A starts later than other Leagues and they have at most two games under their belts before beginning a qualifying campaign, but still that total lack of drive is inexcusable. What does Prandelli have to do in order to shake these players up? He tried picking younger figures who want to prove themselves like Sebastian Giovinco, Emanuele Giaccherini and Angelo Ogbonna, but even they struggled to get out of second gear in Sofia. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo scored a brace, though the second goal was via a massive deflection.

Prandelli also crammed his faults into this nutshell of a match. Once again, the Azzurri had to end the game with 10 men after Daniele De Rossi limped off with a thigh strain. Was the Euro 2012 Final not enough of a clue that you shouldn’t blow all your substitutions early? Italy were winning at the time when he made the changes, so considering the Bulgarians equalised moments after a switch from 3-5-2 to diamond system, Cesare might want to avoid excessive tinkering in future.

After all, the only benefit of being predictably poor in the summer is at least trying to learn from those recurring mistakes.

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Have your say...
God knows what the under 21s where doing tonight losing 4-2 with Ireland who finished with 9 men, we also missed a penalty. I know it doesnt matter as we are in the playoffs after beating Liectenstein but still a very very poor result. All I can think is complacency, if I was the manager I would be fuming after that really fuming. Please give us something tomorrow night to cheer, a big win and a good performance.
on the 10th September, 2012 at 7:06pm
Stop using the fitness excuse. The two points lost against Bulgaria indicate far worse problems. CP at times seems clueless. To play 352 you need a team that runs not strolls. If Juve can do it in 2 games than why can’t Italy when the core players play for Juve? Also for an effective Pirlo you need a Vidal not an unfit De Rossi and when your best wb (Abate and Balzaretti) are unavailable you don’t use this formation. If you want to use Giovinco make sue he receives the ball to feet not use long balls. A three year old understands this why can’t CP? Maggio should not be called up and Bonucci shouldn’t play for Juve let alone Italy. Also when the team is being outplayed in Mid you enforce it and don’t waste the subs when you’re playing unfit players.
on the 10th September, 2012 at 10:41am
Prandelli is proving to be a bad decision for coach of italy esp seeing as we ended up with 10 men twice without getting any reds, not to mention the change of formation that led to another goal but,maggio is hopeless, and in all fairness italy as a whole had a horrible game.I would start gio against malta because they're not as big physically as Bulgaria meaning he might be able to work some magic.If he doesn't manage against them then remove and try someone else.
on the 10th September, 2012 at 10:20am
@Francesco, you can also try Italia 1 on Charlotte Street (nearest tube is Goodge Street). Haven't been there for a long time, used to be £6 to watch the match and they'd throw in a panino & bibita.

But you should get there early, esp. for Roma matches as it gets quite busy.

If you do go, say hi to Felice.
on the 10th September, 2012 at 9:05am
Personally more than just summertime blues, some absentees also prevented Prandelli for picking the right options for players. Although he does made some strange choices, mainly Giacherrini and pushing De Rossi who was unfit. During an early season, he should give more chance to those who are playing in the league and doing well. Moreover, 3-5-2 doesn't seem the right formation for Prandelli, he should just scrapped it and set his own idea instead just copying things.
on the 10th September, 2012 at 3:49am
Mike I prefer this:

Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Criscito
De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio
Insigne/Destro, Osvaldo

I would only use Giaccherini as a wide forward, not as a wing-back, or central midfielder. I would not drop Buffon! All the other keepers are terrible at dealing with crosses.
on the 9th September, 2012 at 4:37pm
CP has to change major players and formation, i believe in italia the great, i say 4-3-3 is the best for azzurri, i also do not want to see buffon and i do not want to see 7 juventus players for starting line-up! that makes me wanna thraw up!
my line-up is consistent as it is, i show you;
S. Sirigu
Abate - Ogbonna - P. Cannavaro - Crisito
Nocerino - Verratti - Giaccherini
Diamanti - Insigne - Destro
i must say it is a superb line-up, yeah!
on the 9th September, 2012 at 3:08pm
no problem, slow start so what!
the opponents are not of the highest standard.
Armenia and Malta ehm azzurri will trash them.
Denmark hard but efm azzurri will demolish the danish.
Cechs easy road and home games.
who else left? anybody shall fear the azzurri the team of all teams. the best of the best.
just mark my words.
on the 9th September, 2012 at 2:53pm
We always have excuses, and its just not acceptable. Against spain in euros italy were out played and honestly crap, I'm sick of hearing that the players are tired or unfit- they earn more in a week than you and I will earn In a life time so as soon as a player turns up and puts in a performance like some of those did against Bulgaria they should be left out. Balotelli would have been worse,he's the laziest player ever so don't think hed av made the diffrence!
on the 9th September, 2012 at 9:03am
Denmarks draw with the Czechs was the best possible result for us,pleased with that. We need to find a way to start putting the lesser teams to the sword. The issue against the weaker teams is away from home. Although we only scored 5 goals away in Euro 2012 qualfiers we managed 15 goals in 5 games at home which is far more acceptable and conceded 0. Perhaps away we need to show more fight and hunger, but again as I keep saying show a far greater composure in front of goal.
on the 9th September, 2012 at 7:02am
agree on prandelli. Stop screwing around with the formations, making incomprehensible substitutions, and for gods sake, dont ever leave the team in ten at the end of a game again. Mattia Destro and Osvaldo should start against Malta. We have no more room to screw up in this girone.
on the 9th September, 2012 at 12:31am
As Susy explained, us Azzurri fans shouldn't be too surprised. Lets all face facts, our league starts later than other European countries, consequently resulting in our players not being at peak condition. One point in Sofia is not the end of the world.
I won't comment on certain individuals but CP didn't help matters but he took responsibilty for making changes in formation.
History has proved that Italy are slow starters and will only improve. I am unconcerned by all the fuss!!! Forza ITALIA
on the 8th September, 2012 at 10:11pm
Remember Italy's dreadful performance vs Cyprus?
on the 8th September, 2012 at 8:25pm
The game in Sofia showed us Prandeli's mistakes

1. The timing of formation change from 3-5-2 to 4-3-1-2.

2. Why Maggio was allowed to play for 90 minutes while Giacherini who was one of the few last night good performers was substituted.

3. Why using all your subs 18 minutes before the end.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 6:08pm
Thankyou Susy, will check out those links
on the 8th September, 2012 at 6:04pm
Our beloved Italy has a pass mark for raising the Blood Pressure bof her fans world wide.I am always more confident of the resukts when we play big guns like England,Germany and Holland.But against smaller oppositions, Italy goofs more often than not. The problem with this Azzurri squad is "conviction", especially in front of the opponent's goal. Consistent strikers needed in the squad. Road to Brazil 2014 I am afraid,may be tougher than we could imagine for this Azzurri squad.Wake up or else...
on the 8th September, 2012 at 5:21pm
If only Baggio was still young, we will never have a player like him again. I must admit after any bad results I always say this. We have some great players, and players with potential, although none of this was shown last night which was very disappointing. I am starting to question Prandelli a little, and agree with the comment made regarding does he know his best team.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 4:42pm
On reflection the whole team where poor, although I do feel Maggio was by far the worst. We need a big win against Malta and a good performance with lots of goals. Hope Insigne gets a chance at some point not a big Pazzini fan but he is going to be full of confidence after his hatrick last week so start him. Really mad as a big roma fan about de rossi injury. Prandelli called it a valuable point, its a point no more. The Danes and Czechs are a better team than Bulgaria and will be more of a test
on the 8th September, 2012 at 4:24pm
Giovinco was very poor, he has done nothing in an Italy shirt, good at club level but international level seems to struggle. We always struggle at this time of the year, but I am sick to death of the same excuses. We need to score more goals and be more clinical against the lesser teams. In Euro 2012 qualification we managed only 5 goals in 5 games against Estonia, Faroe Island, Northern Ireland, Slovenia and Serbia in the AWAY games we should be scoring that in one game against those teams.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 4:12pm
Painful Painful Painful. A terrible performance against a very average Bulgaria team. Osvaldo was great the only positive. Buffon made some great saves although the first goal he should be saving. We always struggle against the so called lesser teams. England can score 5 in moldova, bosnia can score 8 in lietchenstein yet we cant beat Bulgaria. Defensvely without Chiellini we looked vulnerable, Maggio was awful, no idea how to defend at all. Missed Chiellini, Motta, Montolivo, Cassano, Balotelli
on the 8th September, 2012 at 4:07pm
Mister made some terrible decisions. Giovinco is B list and should never start for gli Azzurri. Destro and Borini please. The left wing back is not a wing back. Maggio is not a RWB. To change formation and cost us the lead was criminal too.

I'm starting to worry that the coach can't see his best players. Against Spain Borini was ignored, injured players started and the formation was all wrong. After Bulgaria CP needs to get a grip quickly.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 3:55pm
Giovinco over rated is not the word. He hasnt shown no promise dont care what anyone says. Insigne, Destro, Borini, Rossi, Balotelli, Osvaldo, Pazzini, they can do good things. verratti is young and will be good but just not yet. I stress the call up of Cigarini he is more technical, can play in good balls has great vision and also is a good on the defence side of the ball. Imagine in midfield Pirlo, De Rossi, Nocerino, Marchisio, Cigarini, Diamanti, Giaccherini. that would be solid.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 3:36pm
There are problems and they were there before the Euros. Reliance on Pirlo.The defence is suspect. Maggio is not up to this level. Giovinco has a lot to prove. As for the squad Insigne has done nothing yet and Verratti as shown against England is not ready. It will be a hard road to get to the world cup.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 3:33pm
Let's not forget that Balotelli was injured for this game and he IS our BEST striker like it or not. Giovinco just needs to be more consistent. Stop playing Maggio he's no good for Italia giaccarini is great but not a wingback. Ovswaldo is good but balotelli is better. Destro borini look promising. Isinge I'm not sure about he has to score 15-20 goals in seria A not seria B and those goals must come agaist real teams with good defenses like Juve inter lazio Milan and Torino (they have good D)
on the 8th September, 2012 at 2:52pm
maggio was not that bad 2 b singled out repeatedly...!!
it was in line with the overall bad game of the team...
keep ur heads high...
forza azurri...
on the 8th September, 2012 at 2:48pm
Too relience on Pirlo, playing bonucci & Maggio, calling of bench warmers at their clubs to Italy squad, inconsistant formation and playing injured players are the problems of Azzuri. So, Prandelli should note that.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 2:06pm
Ogbonna offers nothing to the side. He didn't beat a single player and got a stupid yellow card. Pazzini scored a hat-trick last week and he didn't even get a look in. The article about Paolo Cannavaro is true, he's been the rock at the back of Napoli's defence for years now and he doesn't even get a sniff. Remarkable.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 2:00pm
Italy just needs to find cohesiveness. Its a good sign that even on a bad game like that they could have won. I really hope Insigne and Verratti get to play in the next game. They almost never disappoint.
on the 8th September, 2012 at 1:48pm
Azzurri = unfit players. Injuries. a team that can not pass the ball. once again playing a game with 10 men. wow were rubbish. Lets hope this really is the game where we got out bad performane out the way. Next aganst Malta
on the 8th September, 2012 at 12:55pm
Francesco - You can watch Serie A and many Italy games live on your PC. Click here for further details, though some international restrictions apply.

We also already have a forum affiliated with the website:
on the 8th September, 2012 at 12:55pm

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