Wednesday November 14 2012
Chiellini: 'Another friendly defeat...'

Giorgio Chiellini was the captain as Italy lost to France and admits the Azzurri are frustrated with their dire friendly record.

The 2-1 defeat at the Stadio Tardini was their fifth consecutive setback in international friendlies.

“The result was not important in terms of points, but you could tell we wanted to do well. It’s a shame, as France scored with their only two opportunities and we are left talking about another friendly defeat when overall we deserved a draw.

“If we have to lose, then it’s better to do so when it doesn’t count. We wanted to overturn this trend of losing in friendlies and got off to a strong start, but instead we must try to take the positives from the evening and improve,” said the defender.

“I am reminded of the games with Uruguay and the USA, so perhaps unconsciously we are lacking that little bit of determination in friendlies to close down the chances when our opponents score with one of their only opportunities.

“At times it can be just a fraction of a second, but that makes the difference at this level.”

Cesare Prandelli experimented with a 4-3-3 system, but it seems as if the 3-5-2 used at the start of Euro 2012 has been shelved.

“The Coach tried to use a three-man defence, which can be useful and reflects what he saw in Serie A, but I think the four-man defence remains the stable identity.”

Chiellini also commented on the performances of youngsters Marco Verratti, Alessandro Florenzi and Stephan El Shaarawy.

“The young players are all gaining valuable experience at club level, so they definitely belong here and are doing well.

“Verratti is a great talent and really does look like a future Andrea Pirlo, although we ought to take this label off him as that is a very heavy comparison. I am sure we will soon hear him described as Verratti and that is all.

“Florenzi has shown in the first few months of the season with Roma that he can do great things and is very dynamic, so if he keeps this up then he can be very useful for Italy.”

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