Saturday May 3 2014
World Cup Squad Selector: Giaccherini

With an abundance of wingers available for Italy, Aman Sehdev argues Emanuele Giaccherini’s experience and versatility may be decisive.

Versatility is key in modern football, players that can cover multiple positions and fit into different tactical systems are an attractive proposition for international Coaches, especially in big tournaments. This is an area in which Emanuele Giaccherini has an advantage over the other wide players he faces competition with, to make Cesare Prandelli’s 23 man Italy squad for the World Cup.

The Sunderland midfielder is primarily deployed on the left wing, but he can cover both flanks seamlessly and can play a more defensive wing-back role, as he did in a 3-5-2 formation on his Azzurri debut in the 1-1 draw against Spain at Euro 2012.

A substitute role in Brazil may be the best way of utilising the 28-year-old’s talents. La Nazionale’s opening contest against England in the searing heat of Manaus will call for an injection of energy in the latter stages of the game and this is where Giaccherini fits in. His quick feet and turn of pace could unnerve an England defence that is sure to tire in the second half.

This is assuming the Tuscan native makes the squad. Never before have the Azzurri had such a surplus of attacking wingers in the national pool to choose from, a relative weakness in years past. Lorenzo Insigne, Antonio Candreva, Alessandro Diamanti, Alessandro Florenzi and even Stephan El Shaarawy figure to be Giaccherini’s main competition for a squad place, with Alessio Cerci a virtual lock to be included in the squad and indeed a starting place if Prandelli opts for an attacking 4-3-3 formation.

Giaccherini made a great start after moving from Juventus to Sunderland and became a key player under Paolo Di Canio. However since the Italian tactician was fired and Gus Poyet instilled as manager, Giaccherini’s fortunes have suffered a set back. He has failed to hold down a regular starting shirt under Poyet and it is seen to have affected his chances of making the Italy squad.

A recent run in the team towards the end of the season and a goal and assist in a 20 minute cameo during Sunderland’s recent 4-0 win over Cardiff has seemingly put him back on the radar, though. He will hope to end the campaign on a high to convince Prandelli he is worth selection.

One aspect in his favour is Prandelli’s faith. The Azzurri CT gave the midfielder his first cap, in the high pressure environment of Euro 2012 against World and European Champions Spain and the former Juventus man didn’t let his Coach down, with a solid performance.

He has since gone on to make 18 appearances and has performed at a high level in the international game, playing a pivotal role in Italy’s third place finish at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, appearing in every game and scoring a wonderful goal against hosts Brazil.

With all that in mind it will be the Sunderland winger’s performances during the remainder of the season that may hinge on whether he makes the trip to Brazil or watches at home on television.

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

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with

Have your say...
Prandelli should pick him for WC squad. He takes his game up a notch with the national and has proven himself, and as we've all said he is very versatile. That might be the most important factor since he will be a sub anyway.
Maggio/ De Sciglio, Barzagli/ Bonucci, Chiellini, Balzaretti/Criscito
Insigne, De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchissio/Diamanti/Motta/Giaccherini
on the 11th May, 2014 at 3:18pm
Goal: Buffon, perin bardi
def: chiellini,bonucci, paletta, de siglio, cristito, abate

mid: Verratti, pirlo, de rossi, marchiso, candreva, Insigne,

Forwards; Balotelli cassano rossi cerci immobile/ destro/ berardi
on the 9th May, 2014 at 6:25am
I wouldn't start him, but his skill set gives you so many options off the bench. He can play as a LW/CM/LWCB I think he was the one player missing from the Juve team that could of won Europa. He is able to give more to the 4-3-3 then Giovinco
on the 6th May, 2014 at 9:39pm
He's proven to be a dependable player and had a great Confederations Cup, but he has not played enough Football to warrant a place in the squad. I think he should only be considered if in an emergency we suffer a late injury crisis. As I said, Mr Dependable.
on the 6th May, 2014 at 9:00pm
Versatile player, could work in his favour, we have better players but he's never let the azzurri down, wouldn't be to disappointed if he went.
on the 6th May, 2014 at 4:45pm
I would understand his inclusion for continuty reasons, and can see why prandelli trusts. He is a usefull utilty player and is very versatile which is in his favour. However we have many more players with superior technical ability. im sure marchisio could play as a wing back if needed and players like insigne and verratti are younger and far more talented.
on the 6th May, 2014 at 12:24pm
@ Jenkins Are you on the right blog/planet?
on the 6th May, 2014 at 9:28am
If however Prandelli decides to approach his squad selection like a club manager where he picks players he knows and trusts regardless of form and other people's decisions then he should go because he's never let Prandelli down before. In the age of managerial and player roundabouts where I'm sure teams will make wholesale changes again this summer perhaps the latter approach ensures more stability. I would not be against his inclusion.
on the 6th May, 2014 at 9:25am
It depends on how you think Prandelli should approach his squad selection. If you believe he should only pick based on form subject to other people's decisions (both other managers and chairmen) then he shouldn't go. Juve (seemingly against Conte's will) sold him to lowly Sunderland. That should've spelt the end (although with Serie A now sitting in 5th place in the UEFA coefficients this could be said to be a step up).
on the 6th May, 2014 at 9:21am
Balo this, Balo that, ad if he is Meazza reincarnated. The striker Balotelli, this little pet puppy of Prandelli, is clearly protected and wanted by Giancarlo Abete, president of the Italian Football Federation, the employer of this inept coach. So, he will go to Brazil. Yes, he is depriving strikers like Immobile or Cerci, hell even Quagliarella, an opportunity to shine (and score!). And where are Cigarini, Flor, Verrati, Astori, Totti? What an absolute tragedy.
on the 5th May, 2014 at 4:07pm
Please please please do not take him. He played well in a confederations cup that didn't really matter, but he is a mediocre player at best who cannot break into the sunderland first 11. Florenzi, insigne or diamanti are all better options,
on the 4th May, 2014 at 10:18pm
Sunny h think that is a good call on squad. Personally I would not take insigne over diamanti, insigne gets lost in games and his time will come. Diamanti is impressive when he plays for Italy. My only other quibble would be I'd find space for Parolo which would leave Cassano out if Rossi is fit.

Giaccherini is a must for the squad, will be fresh and we need to have some natural left footers in the squad. Again been brilliant for Italy under prandelli, raises his game for us.
on the 4th May, 2014 at 8:56am
@ sunny h
Good squad .... Minor adjustments needed.
Giacherini out veratti in
Insigne I don't mind but cp will pick another number 9, probably osvaldo .
I like the way you have chiellni to cover left back as criscito has shot his bolt .
Also DDR Can drop back into CB if needed .....
We have such strength in depth In this squad , we are being underrated !!
on the 4th May, 2014 at 6:56am
Starting line-up:


Barzagli Bonucci

Abate Chiellini

De Rossi

on the 4th May, 2014 at 1:11am
No! Use to be a good player but now he's at sunderland he does not even start and they are going to get relegated! He needs to move club to get back playing for italy.
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 10:09pm
He can be the new Simone Perrotta...
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 9:20pm
Yes. He always puts good performances for the Azzurri. He comes up with some benificals, not like the useless chicken heads: Osvaldo, Gilardino and many others.

Forza Giacchi
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 7:56pm
Gk: Buffon, Sirigu, Perin

Def: Chiellini, Bonucchi, Barzagli, Paletta,
De Siglio, Abate, Maggio

Mid: Pirlo, De Rossi, Montolivo, Marchisio, Motta,
Candreva, Giaccherini, Insigne

Forward: Balotelli, G Rossi, Cassano, Immobile, Cerci

Remember where you read this first !
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 7:09pm
I do wish that Motta would not come out with the trash talk! He'll only look a fool if England beat us: they don't need any motivating. I'm actually worried about the first game. Italy always start WC's in an economical fashion & this could bite us on the backside as England will look to make the most of their fresh legs in the opener. England have unearthed some very good players recently & if Hodgson selects them, they will cause us problems.
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 5:05pm
I feel a bit sorry for Giaccherini. He is unfashionable, and most fans don't like his inclusion; but he always puts in a good shift for Italy & is our most versatile player. I do like him, but who's place would he take? I wouldn't include him, but wouldn't be too upset if CP did. Osvaldo & Gilardino are the ones that I do NOT want on the plane.
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 4:52pm
No way, he runs about like a headless chicken and nearly always makes the wrong decision.
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 4:13pm
No! No! No!
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 12:34pm
Take him...he's not the best or my favourite, but he always adds something to a game when he's brought on. In the Brazil heat, key substitutions at the right time is where games will be won and lost at this year's WC.
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 12:32pm

He has a good attitude and played well at the Confederations but there are(or should be at least), plenty of better options ahead of him at the moment.
on the 3rd May, 2014 at 10:40am

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.