Sad comment on the future

Discussion in 'Italy: National Teams' started by SueB, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. SueB

    SueB New Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Waterbury, VT
    I posted this in the U-17 team thread, but I thought it might generate more discussion if I also posted it separately:-

    I found this interview with U-17 national team coach Francesco Rocca at the federation website:-

    At one point in the interview, Rocca says -
    "In the youth sector there are some very interesting players as far as quality is concerned, but if a player is good at dribbling but is late on the ball, no individual talent counts anymore."

    This is the most explicit statement I've seen that tackling ability is rated as more important than skill. This guy has the job of identifying and developing future talent for the national team, and he's screening kids out at age 16-17 because they can't tackle? :rolleyes:
  2. sardus_pater

    sardus_pater Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    Sardinia Italy EU
    Cagliari Calcio
    Nat'l Team:
    I hope this is just the view of a national coach who has to choose rather than the most talentuos in prospect those who at that time have an overall bigger impact on the field.

    This is also the reason why those who makes the U-17 are never the same ppl that makes the U-19 and even less the U-21 team (not to talk about official NT).

    The various team youth sectors can work on their talents trying to improve their skills where they lack especially if they are phisical ones. A process that could happen even when the player is older than 21.
    A national coach cannot and will not, he will choose the best ones at the moment.

    There always be Zola's who start to play in serie a when they're 23/24.

    I have no doubt that when Zola was 16 he matched Rocca's description perfectly.

    p.s. One of my uncles (sadly a gobbi fan :)) started to "hate" Cagliari when he was discarded because of his physique (talking about late 50's).
    At that time this was an issue much more than now.
  3. SueB

    SueB New Member

    Mar 23, 1999
    Waterbury, VT
    But if that's the case, then it begs the question - is the purpose of the youth program to develop successful youth teams or to develop players who might play for the full national team someday? If it's the former, then Italy is doing a really good job because they have pretty good youth teams. But I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I'd rather win one World Cup or European championship than a dozen U-21 European championships.

    Unfortunately, it seems the FIGC is excellent at developing work-a-day players who play within the "system" but is leaving the discovery and development of the brightest stars to the clubs.
  4. bobarino

    bobarino New Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    You're not alone Sue. But the fact that we do not parlay those U-21 Champions into WC or EURO Championships is summed up in your next statement.

    IMHO, this is not an assumption, but an existing fact. Too many times we see individual "stars" from the larger clubs being selected for the senior NT and annointed as the squad's world beater (re: Totti, Vieri, ADP these past 5 to 10 years) instead of a team consisting of on-form, game fit talent developed and proven through achieved success at National/FIGC competitions.

    Sorry for ranting, but that article and Rocca's statements are a root cause for the majority of my frustrations with our NT. We are an incomplete product at this time. Take care.
  5. phillips10

    phillips10 New Member

    Oct 15, 2001
    New York Red Bulls
    I think any player with flair has to develop at the club level...

    I think this Rocca guy is just out there looking for victories to try and move up the coaching ranks. And he's most likely to win matches with two-way players who aren't "late on the ball"...I dont think he's concerned with development, but the youth directors at the club level are.
  6. nicephoras

    nicephoras A very stable genius

    Fucklechester Rangers
    Jul 22, 2001
    Eastern Seaboard of Yo! Semite
    I think part of the problem is the pride that Italy places on the achievement of these teams. For instance, do the French care how the U-anythings do? Not really. Neither do the English. The Italians seem to. Thus, if you want to keep your job at that level, you need to actually show you can win tournaments. So in that case, of course the coaches are going to cobble together the best "team" they can think of, even if that means 11 guys who properly understand how to kick a winger's ankle.
    Domenech was recently hired as France's NT coach, after a spell as the coach of the young'uns. Does anyone even know how well he did at his previous post? The development record speaks for itself. But wins vs. losses? I dunno; but I never hear about France's performance at U-anything tourneys. Italy's shackled by their own success.

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