Italy have players of subtlety. There are times when a lock has to be picked, a code must be cracked. The likes of Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi are perfect for that. However, as Monty Python taught us, there are also occasions when the only solution is to load a cow onto a catapult and fire it at your enemies - and that is why Simone Zaza must go to Euro 2016.
Though not a regular for Juventus this season - making just four Serie A starts between September and May - the former Sassuolo man played the role of super-sub, scoring five times. He may not be subtle, but he’s effective.
Witness his performance in the Coppa Italia tie with Torino back in December. Zaza played with such ferocity that it was tempting to conclude that Coach Max Allegri keeps him locked in a cage at Juventus Stadium, occasionally rattling the bars with a stick and blowing a whistle only the striker can hear.
The 24-year-old could have been sent off at least three times. In the opening stages, he scythed down Bruno Peres, before clattering into Daniele Padelli in the Granata goal. Later he roughly showed Kamil Glik into the advertising hoardings. Yet the Bianconeri won 4-0, and Zaza scored twice.
Zaza was given just 32 minutes in what was arguably the deciding match in the Scudetto race when Napoli visited Turin in February, but still found time to score the winner. Indeed he scored against Palermo, Sevilla and Verona despite playing just six, 10 and 11 minutes in those respective matches.
Simone Zaza doesn’t do subtlety. He has no time for flicks and tricks. He simply gets the ball onto his left-foot and smashes it as hard as he can. A volley against Cagliari in 2014 - BANG. His opener in the aforementioned Derby della Mole - SMASH. A shot on the turn to open the scoring against Inter last season - POW.
Every Azzurri fan wants to see Conte’s men play with flair and style this summer. But there may be occasions when teams sit deep. When they frustrate. When a bull must be introduced to the China shop.
Powerful, hard-working, good in the air - Italy do not have another striker with Simone Zaza’s qualities. He has proved this season that he has an uncanny ability to make an impact - often literally - after coming off the bench. The Azzurri can’t afford to be without him this summer.
So, to paraphrase a rude French knight: Antonio Conte, fetchez la vache!
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