Sunday June 23 2013
Not all bad with Brazil

Italy were defeated 4-2 by the Seleçao, but Susy Campanale saw plenty of positives in Salvador de Bahia.

If nothing else, at least this Confederations Cup campaign can silence those armchair pundits who still believe Catenaccio exists in Italian football. Conceding eight goals in three group games – and scoring just as many – is the antithesis of ‘go 1-0 up and shut up shop’ clichés. At times the Azzurri played football every bit as spectacular as the Seleçao, complete with Mario Balotelli’s scorpion back-heel flick to set up Emanuele Giaccherini’s goal. As always, what they lack is consistency, but there were flashes of something truly wonderful and they can build on that.

Perhaps Cesare Prandelli ought to surreptitiously move all the clocks so the team think a game is going to start an hour earlier. It might finally get the players to wake up some time before the 30th minute of a match. I’m so tired of seeing Italy start with what looks like a hangover, stumbling around at half-speed and passing the ball straight to their opponents. The side always picks up in the second half for a rousing performance, so the problem has to be psychological. I’ve never seen so many misplaced passes in such a short amount of time, so it was no wonder Italy couldn’t get out of their own half in those early stages. You could also blame Prandelli for these poor starts, as his initial tactical choices rarely prove correct and adjustments contribute to the team settling in during the game.

There were plenty of positives to enjoy in Salvador de Bahia. A team without Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi still managed to put Brazil under sustained pressure and a 3-3 draw would’ve been a more fitting result. Mattia De Sciglio is growing in confidence at his tender age and even Christian Maggio put in a half-decent performance as a right-back. Antonio Candreva and Giaccherini may not be glamorous figures, but they are very handy utility players when called upon. Was finding strength in depth and gaining international experience not the reason for playing in this warm-up tournament?

Much of the criticism from fans and media has been aimed at Gianluigi Buffon after these three Confederations Cup games. People are bandying around phrases like ‘he’s past it’ or ‘it’s time for a younger goalkeeper.’ I shan’t stand for it. Buffon remains the best goalie in Italy and any disappointment with recent performances is just a reflection of how much he has spoilt us over the years. We cannot always expect Gigi to come to the rescue with miraculous saves, so it’s about time the rest of the team step up and give him some protection. It’s true he has started parrying a few too many shots into danger zones, but I am confident he will watch these videos and work on that weakness in training. Let’s not start writing his career obituary yet!

There are good things in this 4-2 defeat to Brazil. Prandelli, his men and the fans must focus on the positive and build on promising foundations rather than get out the wrecking ball. 

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

Have your say...
we played with our 2 best ballhandlers out ad where subjected to physical attacks(fouled) which the referres let go unpunished. 3 of or guys cant play against spain. anyone can win if the games tactic is to wipe out the best players in the other team early?
on the 24th June, 2013 at 3:01am
i cant belive no one is mentioning the brutAl challenges brazil made against our guys. 3 players cant play vs spain after they where mauled by these brazilean convicts! Anyone can win if there tactics are to take out one or 2 of the other teams key players out of the game.
on the 24th June, 2013 at 2:54am
This Italy is shameful. 8 goals against is horrendous. Spain is going to humiliate them once again just like the Euro final. Italy has lots of work to do. We all know next year they will have the excuse lined up....Serie A is a long season and the heat in Brazil is tough to play in.
on the 24th June, 2013 at 2:29am
By not playing 3CBs Prandelli pushes players into roles they are not used to. He plays the Juve CBs in a back two. He plays Maggio as a RB. He plays Aquilani as an attacking midfielder. Italy would be MUCH MORE competitive if Prandelli played his players in positions they are used to. Prandelli does this because he doesn't care about the backline. Prandelli was satisfied with the 2nd half against Brazil even though they conceded 3 goals! Prandelli is a JOKE.
on the 24th June, 2013 at 1:22am
With balotelli out for spain italy have the one and only gilardino!!!! What a joke! Prandelli let us down with this squad selection! Hes likely to even experiment buffon upfront!!!
on the 24th June, 2013 at 1:13am
I don't think Prandelli will ever be open to ONLY playing a 3CB system. Today Prandelli said (just after his backline conceded 7 goals to Japan and Brazil) that there will be very little change to the system. It's clear that Prandelli cares more about playing "attacking calcio" than winning. Prandelli thinks that being "attacking minded" is a victory even if that brings defeat. I am SICK of this man as our manager. Italy should be focusing on winning, not on "attractive calcio."
on the 24th June, 2013 at 12:42am
Playing 3-5-2 is so obvious and it's ridiculous the Italian national manager doesn't see this. The best defensive unit in Italy for the last 2 years has been Buffon-Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini. They know each other's game's inside out and work together perfectly. I would play Giaccherini and De Sceglio as wing-backs, De Rossi, Pirlo and Montolivio as the midfield three, Balotelli and El Shaarwry up front. Marchisio should never play for the national team or Juventus ever again.
on the 24th June, 2013 at 12:27am
@ Daniel Gaimbrone

Supporting Buffon is not blind sentimentality, it's all about something you clearly know little about, respect! You state than Buffon has done well under Conte because he has had so little to do for the past 2 seasons! That is just ridiculous and disrespectful. By that rational, Casillas and Schmeichel are not great goalkeepers, because they play or played behind top defences. You do not win the title's these great goalkeepers have won without being a legend of the game.
on the 24th June, 2013 at 12:07am
Got to go 3-5-1-1 to have a chance v Spain.


Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini

Maggio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchiso, De Sciglio


on the 23rd June, 2013 at 10:21pm
i believed in prandelli at the euros, now im bored of excuses and constant changing of players and systems. Barzagli/maggio/Aquilani all but to name afew of the mistakes prandelli has made. then theres the constant changing of 4.4.2 to 3.6.1 to 3.5.2 its like a lottery. we have conceded more goals since the WC2006 than we did over 20years before the WC win! We have no security from the defence,we leave strikers on the bence and play mifielders up front, Balo is not superman he needs help!!
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 9:31pm
If Prandelli doesn't switch to a 3-5-2 formation for the match against Spain, the Azzurri might as well book their early tickets home...
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 9:08pm
Too much experiment from Prandelli. He should go back to 3-5-2, because Chiellini and Barzagli are no Nesta or cannavaro. They need extra protection, or else these aging defenders will keep creating problems at the back.

No matter how much Azzurri entertain against average teams, their good work will be undone when they come up against Spain or Netherlands.

Such experiments and mistakes may not mean much in Confed Cup, but they will be too costly in World Cup.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 9:07pm
There are no positives in a 4-2 beating. It's like saying in the cage "just got my but whooped, floored with a hook then submitted on the floor, but I lasted until the final round". I don't look forward to the silver lining blog after Spain torture Italy again.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 8:45pm
If Prandelli doesn't switch PERMANENTLY to 3 CBs he needs to be fired before the world cup. I don't want to throw away a chance at the world cup. This is Prandelli's last chance, I can't take it anymore.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 7:47pm
Enough with the only 2 CBS ! I can't take it anymore. This is a good game to start a PERMANENT shift to 3 CB systems. Prandelli needs to have some patience with 3 CB systems. Don't get rid of it after one game. Play all the upcoming matches with 3 CBs. It will be good training for the World Cup. Experiment with 3-5-2, 3-4-2-1, 3-4-3 etc. Just always keep the 3 CBS.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 7:15pm
This is not the italy that will turn up for World Cup. personally i really like prandelli, he is a forward thinking coach, that can also make mistakes and tactical errors, but at least he tries to play not like Trap and Donadoni. But his Italy reached Euro Final beating a strong German side. Italy lost that final because of a superior team, tiredness and bad injuries. Also Maggio hit the bar, could of been 3-3. And 2 brazilian goals were lucky, 1 offside and Neymar was not a free kick.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 6:53pm
I think Italy did really good, and outplayed Brazil actually. Considering the circumstances with injury, missing key players and bad refereeing, they still managed to almost create a 3-3 draw anyway, so im proud of Italy. You have to remember that two of Brazil's goals were offside, even the Brazilian commentators noted that. And Neymar is becoming a diving phenomenon, everytime he is touched he falls straight to the ground. Anyway, Spain 4-0 win was very inflated, i expect a good match.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 6:12pm
All in all I agree with the the comments that Italy did not bad too. It Could have ended 3-3. And then we would have said what a come back!
So get behind the Azzurri as their approach to football since the Euro has been positive.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 5:37pm
....midfielders: unfortunately as Italia are stuck with the clueless CP and I underline clueless!!! I invite him to pick the most efficient 8 midfielders in Serie A (5 regulars for 352) and 3 subs!!! otherwise, I for one will be counting how many goals scored against our mighty Azzurri!!! Really I am just disgusted. What most disgust me is the same old confessions from CP: "I see improvement" what a JERK!!! 8 goals in 3 matches and "You see improvement"!!! Well, I see no improvement! convince me
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 3:54pm
not bad?
2-4 trashed by minor-side brazil and you said not bad. oh my god. i wish Susy Campanale will write a blog after we get ripped 0-4 by Spain in semifinals.

Prandelli is just too stupid to play Montolivo ahead of Marchisio. That's just a plain stupid decision.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 3:53pm
Mm, mixed feelings really is it a lack of quality or do italy seem bothered by this tournament? I hope that italy were just saving their energies for spain. Im so glad pirlo and de rossi were out to adapt to new players after all pirlo isnt going to be around 4 eva so need to get ured to that. De sciglio looked better suited to life on the right he had a had game as did defense was not normal service id play giovinco pirlo de rossi giacherini in midfield against spain defo 3-5-2 balo an sharawee
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 3:53pm
Dante was offside when he scored, and Neymar had to dive to get his goal scoring free kick. Brazil, on home turf, committed 27 fouls (Neymar could have gotten several yellow cards), as well as several unpunished penalty offences. All in all, a proud display for the Italian team, but for next year's tournament they have to radically improve their defence.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 3:47pm
... CP keeps on hurting the Azzurri with experimenting several formations and not looking at the DEFENCE problems that are ever causing a humiliating results.
I have never ever seen a record where Italia in group stage has allowed the opponents to score 8 goals total.
this has got to stop and immediately.
The best formation where mostly the players are adapt to is 3-5-2; and I wish I only wish for G.Rossi to be back and strong because Azzurri needs him at the attack with Balo. Midfielders...
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 3:40pm
Numbers talk! Conceived 8 goals in 3 matches! It is so shameful for a football world class team such as Azzurri. Damn you CP! on what have you done of a total DISGRACE. Really, I have no more words to say! I am very upset and I only pray that semi-final game against Spain (most probably) will not turn to humiliating game against Italia! Any smart coach in the world, any would notice the weak points of his team and use the right formation best suits the players & tactical view. But our dear CP...
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 3:34pm

What a shocker. That you picked 5 juve players and butchered Milan starting 4. Pathetic

De scigilio and abate clearly should play
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 3:21pm
What are Aquilani and Gilardino doing in the squad?? Shocking!! Agree that Buffon is not past it yet but he needs to stop punching the ball or he will quickly become known as Buffoon!! I blame Prandelli for the poor choice of tactics and formation.. we are not creative enough to play 4,3,2,1.. lets stick to basics until some flair players move up from the U21's...
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 3:08pm
To offside goals, horrible linesman, and questionable refereeing!!. At best, Brazil only deserved a tie. I agree about employing a 3 man central defence especially when Prandelli brings central defenders who are used to playing that way. Problem is not sure the wingers on this Italy team are as good as Asamoah and Lichsteiner but if given a chance, Di Sciglio may prove he is. Right now he isn't go up.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 2:59pm
any person in here who believes that there are positives after being hammered 4 2 by a average team is clearly deluded i have not seen any positives at all from any of the games italy have played. all of their games have been sluggish slow paced, passing and possession have been shocking and the fact that it looks like higuain would rather join a 4th placed team in the prem than the champions of italy sums up italian football and where it stands in the world game soon to be taken over by france
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 2:56pm
Although buffon has been poor in last 2 games he has had no defense in front of him and been very unlucky with some goals. Question marks are there, i love him but im been honest. Sirigu is overated, marchetti is a good option. For me bardi and leali are the future. I thought bardi was excellent for under 21s. 352 with spain or we will be hammered. For god sake cesare see what everyone else sees.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 2:43pm
Buffon is number 1 until HIMSELF decides to stop. That's how influential he is. Anybody who ever said something bad about him should feel highly ashamed and stupid.
on the 23rd June, 2013 at 2:35pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.