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By: Toni Canale-Parola, Toronto
When Will Italy win?
That's what we sang, "Italia Ma Quando Vicero"...after the big game.
We never got to pop our collars.
This morning started off well, I arrived at Giobean Espresso Bar, was hooked up with a fresh chocolate cornetto and Italian Cappuccino.
Italian fans slowly started arriving 1 by 1, filling up the place, then a couple of guys with drums arrived as well, and a camera crew from the local news too.
Now in Kelowna, BC I had found a venue with "atmosphere", finally.
During the game we sung, chanted, prayed and then cried.
It was over, Italy's 2010 World Cup Run Done; the returning champions did not even pass the knockout stage.
Disappointing. Disgusting. Heartbreaking.
In a game Italy had to win or tie, they lost. When playing against stronger teams (i.e. Paraguay) they played much better. Italy usually known for their defense had none.
Who is to blame?
Sure many will blame him, including myself. He took the easy route; by bringing back many players he already worked with in the last campaign, and left many gifted and younger players back at home (i.e. Cassano, Miccoli, Boriello, Balotelli, Aquilani, and Rossi). He should have known better - look at the 1982 winning squad, when they returned to defend their title in 1986, they were just as bad.
Only Victorio Pozzo was able to defend the world cup title the 2nd time around in 1938, where he used only 4 players from the original 1934 world cup winning squad. Lippi should have done the same, bringing back only Pirlo, Buffon, De Rossi, Camoranese, and Zambrotta. Others like Gatuso and Canavaro are legends, but too old to hack it with the young guys featured on the other teams.
The Line up?
The starting line up was wrong. I heard Lippi was to start Camoranese and DiNatale, but we only saw the later start. He should have started Maggio and left Crisito on the bench. Then he could of added Pirlo, Quadriella, and Camoranese, instead of just the 2 of them. With the introduction of Pirlo and Quadriella, we saw better ball movement, passing, and attempts at goal (and goals too). Had Camoanese been there moving around, he may have created more chances.
Canavaro, too many mistakes and late tackles, lucky he only received 1 yellow card during the match. Iaquinta should have stayed home or on the bench, he barely played for Juve this year, Lippi could have brought in Amauri instead who played more games for la vecchia signora this year. He may have created more chances, but I would rather see neither of them on the squad.
DeRossi, was he even playing this game? The commentator calling his name sometime in the 2nd half made me realize he was on the pitch, otherwise I did not see him do anything this game. Another player who did not perform this game was Zambrotta, we never saw him, and in the last 2 games he was running up and down the side creating chances. I think these 2 guys were tired out or something.
Marcetti had the worst game ever, did not look confident on the ball, punching out balls instead of catching them, and letting in 3 goals. Most of the goals came in from unmarked men who had plenty of space, where was our defense?
The Refereeing was pretty good, the called most things well, except for goals that were ruled out and constant time wasting down by Slovakia. The score line should have been Italy 4 - Slovakia 3, as Italy scored 2 goals that were not judged correctly. The one that the defender "saved" had rebounded off his leg which was past the line.
The 2nd was called offside, but after watching replay he was on side, mind you right on the line, the Ref could have let it go, but no, especially not against Italy as everyone seems to always hate them and they never get calls their way. Unless you count the Australia penalty from 2006, but we never seem to get goals called our way (i.e. World Cup 2002), but always seem to get goals called against us - goals that count for the other team which should not have been counted (i.e. New Zealand Goal, that was taken from offside player).
What now for Italy? Let the rebuilding process begin. We as Italians' already knew our fate weeks ago when Lippi and his hard head decided on "His team", this was not our team and that is why they lost. Even the FIGC did not have faith in Lippi as prior to the World Cup already signed up a new coach Caesare Prandelli.
Hopefully he can work some magic, rejuvenate the squad, and get them hungry for goals and wins again.
We shall work on the winning the European Cup first (as we have not since 1968) and then we can focus on redeeming ourselves in Brazil in 2014.
Where I hope to be watching live - CBC would you like to send me? Please?
Hopefully by then, Italy can get back to their winning ways, and I can finally pop my collar.
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