Nations League Italia vs Portugal and U.S. Friendly

Discussion in 'Italy: National Teams' started by toronto_soccer, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. r0adrunner

    r0adrunner Member+

    Jun 4, 2011
    London, UK
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    But Portugal is in the final four, while Italy is out.

    Before you say NL is irrelevant, remember tournament football helps players to grow and develop, something the current Italy squad missed out on at the WC this year. That risks undermining their development as elite int'l players, providing they have the ability to become so, that is.
     
  2. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Question as I don't understand this. The 4 group UNL winners qualified directly for Euro 2020 and won't have to play anymore qualifying matches?


     
  3. gumbacicc

    gumbacicc Member+

    Dec 7, 2004
    USA
    Wow, just wow, reading the comments on this thread. We are just a year removed from missing out on the World Cup, having played shit football, under possibly the only manager in Italy that could have accomplished the feat of not qualifying for the World Cup. I'm not sure how anyone could have watched the last three matches and not be convinced that there was clear improvement in this squad under Mancini (and I say that not as any great fan of his).

    The quality of play against Poland was encouraging, and that first half, in particular, against Portugal was excellent. You'd have to be blind to watch that game and not recognize that we were head and shoulders above Portugal who are defending European Champions. I recognize that Portugal aren't all that great, particularly without Ronaldo, but still, this is a whole lot better than what we saw over two legs against Sweden.

    As most correctly recognize, we have a real issue converting chances. In large part, that is because we have a donkey like Immobile leading the line. However, I'm not sure that we should abandon the system because of that. Chiesa and Bernardeschi are players on the up. If either of them develop their scoring touch, this side immediately looks better. Also, the Verratti, Jorginho, and Barella partnership is finally starting to play up to the level that many of us thought it capable of. Why go away from that?

    While I think many of you raise legitimate concerns about our finishing, you're way too harsh on this side. We dominated that game yesterday for large spells playing beautiful football. I saw 11 guys that worked their asses off for the Italy shirt in a way I haven't seen in a long time. We didn't have to watch Balotelli walking around complacently. We pressed them deep in their half. Just watching the way the boys sang the national anthem was encouraging. For the first time in a while, the arrow is pointing upward with this squad and I am encouraged by what I am seeing.
     
  4. joe83

    joe83 Member

    Nov 4, 2009
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Yep, I agree.
     
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  5. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    The main reason on why we are all scrutinizing now is because there is more light on the national team games than ever before. No one cared when Italy didn't make the 72, 76, 84 or 92 Euro because they always made the WC tournament and did well at the finals. It was always a given that Italy would do well at the when the WC began and so no one cared. Also games were rarely shown or even talked about. Since the TV , Internet and iPhone age, things have changed.

    Just got off the phone with some cousins in Italy and emailed others on facebook and no one is crying that Italy tied Portugal 0-0. All everyone is talking about is Juventus -Spal, Udinese -Roma, and Inter -Frosinone.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. Nek Sanalet

    Nek Sanalet BigSoccer Yellow Card

    AC Milan
    Italy
    Dec 30, 2013
    NYC
    Club:
    AC Milan
    #106 Nek Sanalet, Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    I agree 100%. I said this in an earlier comment. Italy is a consistent goal scorer away from being able to legitimately compete again. Mancini has made a huge difference (and I'm not a fan of his either) with this squad. Under Ventura, we were all witnessing our midfield getting overrun almost every game. With Barella, Verratti, and Jorginho (backed up by Pellegrini), we have now dominated for three games in that area of the park... while also keeping two clean sheets (something we couldn't do for 8 straight games). I just don't understand all the negativity either. The only other problem besides the lack of a number 9, is possibly depth. What happens if two of those four mids are out injured at the same time during qualifications? Do we have other players who will be able to step in and keep the same fluidity/quality? I guess we will have to wait and see.
     
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  7. Insigne4BalonD'or

    SSC Napoli
    Italy
    Apr 6, 2017
    In Hiding with Sal's mom
    Not for anything but our strikers aren't playing on world class teams so they're not used to big game situations and therefore are unprepared. Our defence, goalies, and midfielders have always played for top teams and that's why they're always so prepared and perform on the international stage.

    Lazio, Torino, Udinese.

    These are the 3 teams our strikers play for. Their "big games" are Europa League ties and playing Juventus. Immobile needs to move to a Champions League club and so does Belotti. Moise Kean looks promising and so does Cutrone but they need to be playing more "big game matches" at that age. Okay Kean has more time, but we se time and time again 20 year old Spanish players, Brazilians, Argetnines, playing in the Champions League.


    When and who was the last 20 year old Italian playing in the Champions League?
     
  8. Calcio Pauly

    Calcio Pauly Member+

    Jun 17, 2012
    Club:
    AC Milan
    Could you get anything more upside down than this? Please don't answer.
     
  9. 'Uaglio

    'Uaglio Member+

    Jun 8, 2004
    NYC
    Falvo,

    The final four of the Nations League does NOT qualify you for Euro 2020. It just gives you some more back door opportunities to get in. Very complicated. The final four just play for the honors of winning the Nations League this summer in a mini-tournament.
     
  10. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    If that is the case, it sounds kind of useless tournament. I mean if you have to play the qualifiers anyway, what's so great about winning or even qualifying for this UEFA NATIONS LEAGUE? Seems like a waste of time to me.
     
  11. 'Uaglio

    'Uaglio Member+

    Jun 8, 2004
    NYC
    Keep in mind...Portugal played really really tough defense in their catenaccio formation. They were tough to break down. Ton of bodies in the box.

    Thing is...we did break them down...fairly often. Unfortunately, Immobile cost us. He needed to bury that rebound..or at worst just lob it up because Chiesa would have had a sitter. On his second chance, Verratti sends him alone in on goal. All he had to do was slightly chip the keeper and its over. He instead powered it into his arms and body. There actually were 2 other chances that Immobile could have done better with but his first touch SUCKS.

    Solve the center forward problem and this team becomes really good because that midfield is packed with talented players.
     
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  12. 'Uaglio

    'Uaglio Member+

    Jun 8, 2004
    NYC
    Mostly it is a way to have more competitive matches rather than friendlies. Basically, it gives you a second chance. If you do well in Nations League, but FAIL to qualify during normal Euro 2020 qualifying, then you get a second chance to qualify by participating in these mini-playoffs for 4 wild card spots (the last 4) left for the Euro2020.

    Not a ton of value I agree, but for a team like Italia which is very young, it has still been good experience.
     
  13. indestructible

    indestructible Member+

    SSC Napoli
    Jan 14, 2007
    Mercato Professor
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    #113 indestructible, Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    But he’s not in shape and hasn’t been on good form for a while now
     
  14. indestructible

    indestructible Member+

    SSC Napoli
    Jan 14, 2007
    Mercato Professor
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    I think Italians above all should know that possession means shit if you can’t score as the entire ethos of Italian soccer is the opposite of this. The difference between that Spain and Italy (besides their midfield of champions) is that they had no shortage of strikers who could bury the ball. Italy doesn’t have a David Villa or anyone close. The end product was there.
     
  15. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Just looking at the Croatia England game this morning. Croatia dominated in the first half with their veteran players but ran out of gas in the second half and lost.

    It seems to me that they are hanging on to a lot of their old guard. Modric, is a great player but he is 33 and will be almost 35 when the next Euro takes off. Same with Chiellini who is now 34 and will be about to turn 36 at the next Euro if they make it. Defender or GK notwithstanding, that age is way too old for a national team player at a tournament or for a qualifier.

    I'm all for more games and that is a good thing but friendlies in my opinion could prove to be more valuable in the long run as they can give younger players more experience in a national team fixture.
     
  16. krado33

    krado33 Member+

    May 23, 2014
    Club:
    AS Roma
    It's mostly useless for the Euro Cup, but it's set up so to achieve a better FIFA rankings system. You can't game the system (like Poland were doing for years), and you also get big points for qualifying in the final 4.
    As it stands, we'll be again in Pot 2 for the next world cup, and everybody will be wondering what went wrong as we end up in a qualification group with France or something.
     
  17. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    A better Fifa ranking? What’s so great about that?

    In May 2006, it was Brazil, Czech Republic , Holland , México and the USA.

    Italy at that point was #13 and they won the World Cup tournament exactly 6 weeks later.

    Rankings mean nothing! It’s all about skill , team work and quality.
     
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  18. krado33

    krado33 Member+

    May 23, 2014
    Club:
    AS Roma
    FIFA rankings determine seeds.
    In 2006, Italy's big rival in qualification was Norway, because Italy was seeded in the top 8 European teams.
    No seeding in 2016 and we got Spain.
    Maybe you think it means it nothing. Conte and Tavecchio thought it meant nothing too and that's part of why we didn't qualify. The draws/groups are set up to help big teams qualify because a play-off is 50-50.
     
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  19. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    #119 falvo, Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    Are the seedings all that accurate and do they mean that much? It's hard to believe the Czech's, Mexico or the USA were seeded teams because they were playing great and ranked high.

    Even so, seeded or not, you can't be afraid of the higher seeds because you still have to score goals, play and win the games or groups. If you can't beat crap as well as good teams or can't score a lousy goal, I don't believe you deserve to make and then advance in a given tournament regardless of how high an opponent is seeded.
     
  20. Calcio Pauly

    Calcio Pauly Member+

    Jun 17, 2012
    Club:
    AC Milan
    This:

     
  21. falvo

    falvo Member+

    Mar 27, 2005
    San Jose & Florence
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    #121 falvo, Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    Pot 2......I was on pot while on the pot too...

    Hahahahaha!
     
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  22. r0adrunner

    r0adrunner Member+

    Jun 4, 2011
    London, UK
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Rankings - almost perfectly - reflect the quality of teams. People can object to this but it is largely true, perhaps with the odd minor exception here and there.

    Italy is currently a team one level below the best teams in Europe (yes, I know, partly because there are one or two big holes in the team, like in attack) and its seeding reflects this.
     
  23. totti fan

    totti fan Red Card

    Jun 24, 2010
    Club:
    SSC Napoli
    Nat'l Team:
    Italy
    Portugal were barely trying. Sides know that the Italian side is toothless and that its relatively easy to adopt a defensive posture to lock out an ineffectual midfield and attack. NFW this side is making it to the last 4 in the Euros and as far as I'm concerned if they can't do that then what is the point?

    What mental gymnastics can I expect from you to justify Italy's upcoming inexplicably poor performance against the US? Unreal.
     
  24. gumbacicc

    gumbacicc Member+

    Dec 7, 2004
    USA
    If Mancini is going to stay with a front three, I think he had the idea right in the last match against Poland. Just play our three most talented attack-minded players in Insigne, Chiesa and Bernardeschi and hope that enough chances are created such that someone can bag a goal, much like Biraghi in that match.

    I don't see the point in continuing to insist upon a donkey like Immobile who is so wasteful in a possession-based system. Someone had mentioned that our attackers need big game experience and will need to move to a big club to get there. In Immobile's case, he has had plenty of opportunities to do that. He was discarded by Juve because they know he isn't up to snuff. He couldn't cut it at Sevilla or Dortmund. He is only useful on the counter--not going to help Italy much if they play this system.

    Unless Belotti regains his form, or we see someone like Cutrone win a regular spot for Milan, I would play the three noted above.
     
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  25. gumbacicc

    gumbacicc Member+

    Dec 7, 2004
    USA
    You can't be serious? They were barely trying? These are all professional footballers. Is that why Portugal changed tactics in the second half?

    The only reason Italy were toothless is because they squandered a couple of easy chances. It's one thing to say that a side are toothless because they lack quality in attack and don't create chances. Italy are not that.

    The point of this tournament is to see what works. In that regard I think we have seen some encouraging stuff over the last few matches. If we have a system and an identity, Mancini can continue to experiment with what players are the best fit. I'm not sure what you want him to do. It isn't as if he hasn't selected all our best players. Do you want to revert to the shit football we played under Ventura?
     
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