The shock of the World Cup has just emerged today as the defending champion, Italy crashed out from the tournament in a depressing and shocking fashion after loosing out to Slovakia 3-2 in a very intriguing and emotional game. The Azzurri just left everything late on the game which pretty much showed the outcome of the game as they have to trail twice and only came up close without manage to save the game, although there were some controversial decisions that could actually goes their way.
As I predicted, Lippi’s cautious move in the start of the game by fielding Gattusso-Montolivo-De Rossi as their midfield line up pretty much cause their very slow start as they were awful in the first half, letting Slovakia take control of the game and scored through Vittek after an error by De Rossi’s. Beside the midfield line ups, I can’t quite understand the option of fielding Simone Pepe as a wide attacking forward as with the need to win, it would be better in fielding a pure attacking forward than a winger like the new Juventus player.
On the second half, Lippi did made a bold move by putting Quagliarela on as Italy looks to change the 4-3-3 back into 4-2-3-1, it’s not a bad move although I’m bit puzzled by the other early sub, Napoli’s Christian Maggio as they I don’t really think they need another wing back. However, the biggest mistake would be taking to long for Lippi to introduce Andrea Pirlo, who did improve the movement of Italy’s attack right after he enters the field. Sadly, just as I said it was all pretty much too late for Italy to work anything as the longer they get frustrated the easier for Slovakian players too hit them on the break.
Without denying some of the controversy that happens such as two possible goals for Quagliarela, which one was being verdict as hasn’t crossed the line and the other was offside, Italy just too late in taking the initiative, if they only play their game just like what they did in the last 20-25 minutes of the second half, they would have won the game. Surely, Lippi will be the one that will be attacked by the press and fans as not only because of his stubbornness but also the small mistakes he made that in my opinion cost them a lot in the tournament.
One of my biggest critics about Lippi, aside from the players that he left out is his insecurity over the formation that he tends to play and also the composition of the players he picked to play it. He start of with 4-2-3-1, change it into the classic 4-4-2, than back in using the old 4-3-3 before in the second half against Slovakia he once again uses the 4-2-3-1. There’s nothing wrong with playing with different tactics, but changing them a lot even in one game kinda showed that the former Juventus coach doesn’t really have a clear play of how his team should play.
Surely, going out of the World Cup in the group stage is a humiliation for the defending champion as there will be a huge and heavy critics coming fro the whole team, especially towards Marcello Lippi. His stubbornness in leaving out some of the hottest talent and inform players in the serie A for his favorable players has already been highly critics by many people in Italy, now surely it will all be brought up again. Personally, I can understand some of his choices, however I just can’t really get why t Lippi seems so clueless in the tournament? he might argue that two of his most important players, Buffon and Pirlo, were injured in most of the games but the fact that he doesn’t seem to have a back up plan is what caused their failure this year. After France, the World Cup now said goodbye to another footballing country power house who before the tournament was being predicted to walk away easily from this group.
photo credit: Abdullah AL-Naser