Thursday June 13 2013
Confederations Cup concerns

Italy drew 2-2 with Haiti in midweek and Giancarlo Rinaldi has warned of more disappointment during the Confederations Cup.

I think I celebrated when the news was confirmed. Finishing runners-up at the European Championships would mean Italy would get another crack at the Confederations Cup. But now, as the tournament looms, I'm starting to wonder if my joy was a little bit misplaced.

It is always nice, of course, to test yourself against some of the very best teams in the world. However, a look at the Azzurri of late does not suggest they are in the finest form going into the event. And their previous participation four years ago was a total nightmare.

Despite Cesare Prandelli's best attempts, Italy seem to remain indifferent to these friendly encounters. In addition, many of their number look jaded or demotivated after lengthy and demanding seasons. The omens are not particularly good.

Sometimes that is just the incentive La Nazionale needs to defy the odds. In the face of adversity, they have given some of their finest displays. But, try as I might to convince myself, I struggle to see that happening in Brazil.

The Juve-Milan block is a grand concept but it must be hard to gee those players up for this FIFA party. The Bianconeri gave their all to clinch another Scudetto while the Rossoneri had a to-the-wire fight for a last Champions League place. Now you are asking them to gear up again for another battle without any time to recharge their batteries.

And, in typical Italian analysis, what is to be gained by doing well at the Confederations Cup anyway? Certainly the last time around their flop in South Africa was a pretty fair warning of how they would perform in the World Cup 12 months later. But even a set of smashing results this time around would be no guarantee of glory in 2014, assuming the Azzurri translate their current group lead into qualification.

Of course, it is probably a profitable time for Prandelli in terms of getting to know his troops. He gets precious little "hands-on" experience with his players nowadays and that, at least, will be welcome. Perhaps he will learn some more about who is ready for inclusion in his squad next year and who is not.

But, from a supporters point of view, I wouldn't expect very much. Recent friendly displays have been pretty much universally underwhelming, often relying on individual excellence to turn around lukewarm team performances. It is hard to think that will change in South America.

That is why I will be watching with my emotions in check as the games unfold. I have faith that the Azzurri can do well when the World Cup rolls around, but much less so in this warm-up competition. I'll be happy to be proved wrong but, for now, I'm thinking that taking part in the Confederations Cup was not the blessing I first thought it would be.

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Have your say...
Towards the 2014 World Cup, the potential is there, the question is what of type team does he wana build and who fits in there and who will provide an extremely good result in return for him, the team and the fans ! #PassionateAzzuriFan lol
on the 13th June, 2013 at 1:07pm
From Giuseppi Rossi, Destro, Borini, Balotelli, Immobile, and even between Cassano and ovasaldo if they really wants to be brought back in the squad which I don't trust in them to step up, but the strikers need to work there socks off to give prandelli a headache!! And competiton is there even for di natale qaugliarella matri and pazinni but the big question is who's going to score more goals than the other guy, is up to them, prandelli needs to Widen his choices and watch everybody carefully in
on the 13th June, 2013 at 1:04pm
Can play in these inside forward or winger positions and all provide goals or creativity l, same with Younger talents like Fabrinni Insinge and Giabindini, who are much stronger in strength and pace then others, and our main striker is ourbiggest prblem we haven't got the fire power of the 6 who went to 2006 World Cup (inzaghi, Iaquinta, Toni, del perio, gilardino and totti) who were all much younger and brilliant then, which is why this season we need more determination and solid all season app
on the 13th June, 2013 at 12:56pm
Italy shouldn't bring in Insigne, he has yet to make an impact in Serie A because Mazzarri couldn't use him properly. Italy would be too much of a big step next year as it'd probably stunt his growth if you bring him in too early whilst he has yet to improve with us. Let him grow with the under 21 because I do not want another Giovinco in italy
on the 13th June, 2013 at 12:55pm
Di Scigilio. But what worries me the most for this Italy team is the more attacking options, we have our creativity from pirlo Montolivio Marchisio verratti an ball winners such as Luca marrone de Rossi and Noccerino who I think deserves more playing time, even Andrea Poli could be a good choice but upfront to choose giacherreni and candreva even diamanti in the future are late bloomers but still doesn't provide Italy with its full fire power or potiental where as giovinco balotelli el Shaaraway
on the 13th June, 2013 at 12:50pm
Hopefully prandelli will see this as a golden opportunity to see the what he needs in the team to succeed in next years World Cup, whilst keeping an eye on the U21 team, I like the idea of using astori but preffered barzagli to rest for the season coming up and call In Ogbonna for the experience, even call up brilliant talents such as Crisitio and santon who we are not taking advantage of !! Then a back 4 line would be solid with a wide range of choice!! But I'm always content on abate and
on the 13th June, 2013 at 12:46pm
Verratti has to play and if Prandelli plays thre eup front, you have to go with Insigne, Balotelli and SES based on their seasons (assuming he did recall some U21 starlets.

Giaccherini shouldn't even be on the bench.

De Sciglio
De Rossi
on the 13th June, 2013 at 12:11pm
I'm not going to worry about a draw against Haiti. It just shows that the Azzurri doesn't respect Haiti or the players have applied their interpretation of "respect". The Azzurri must thrash these teams or put out reserves if the regulars aren't going to try.

The Azzurri will start trying against Brazil but if your players aren't giving their all, don't play them.
on the 13th June, 2013 at 12:03pm
After the U21s then we need to bring in Verratti and Insigne. My starting line up: Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio, Giovinico, SES, Balo.
on the 13th June, 2013 at 11:54am
Chiellini clearly doesn't work at left back so its De Sciglio and Abate at full back and Chiellini and one of Barzagli/Bonucci probably Barzagli. Midfield he has to make a call between 3 of Pirlo/De Rossi/Marchisio/Montilivio and we have the players to play 4-3-3 so we should play 4-3-3 with one of Giovinico/Cerci/Candreva/Diamanti NOT Giaccherini. Balo starts up front with Gila on the bench (this is working with the current squad)
on the 13th June, 2013 at 11:52am
All good points. I think it's because of these points that Prandelli should not panic too much. We need to get a fixed starting line up and formation(with options on the bench and alternative formations up our sleeves). Therefore Prandelli should choose a starting 11 and stick to it. SES is clearly suffering from a lack of confidence (not necessarily form in my opinion) so should be given a run of games to get his confidence back. We should have a clear idea of who are back 4 is.
on the 13th June, 2013 at 11:49am
The attitude to frienlies is pathetic. How can players complain of not being picked and then turn in poor performances when given the chance. Let's not forget that the Czech game wasn't a friendly but the level of performance was very poor. The last confederations cup was a nightmare and so was the world cup after it. Lets hope the same thing doesn't happen again. More effort should be made when representing your country. Whatever happened to pride and professionalism.
on the 13th June, 2013 at 11:39am
Also getting use to brazilian climate before next summer is very important.Cassano still has a big part to play for us, and I am all for giving youth a chance but for Cassano to not have played since euro 2012 final in my view is very wrong. We need a mixture of experience and youth all contributing quality to the team.Disappointed Ogbonna isnt in the squad, it would have been good experience for him. How Astori gets in above him is beyond me. People can argue but Ranocchia doesnt cut it for me.
on the 13th June, 2013 at 11:27am
The confeds cup is about testing out players and tactics, its useful to pick the right players though.If what prandelli keeps saying about how tired we are physically then why play in this tournamnet when next summer is the world cup. Hopefully the Confed cup will make Cesare finally see the dead wood. Praying under 21s win the euros, please not spain again, sick of the spainish winning everything, although there teams are amazing. I may appear harsh on cesare but he worries me.
on the 13th June, 2013 at 11:20am

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