As one-all draws go that was pretty encouraging. I was expecting something a lot more static, less exciting and generally less positive than that. Recently we have looked old (well, we are), lacking in ideas and grinta, short on fitness and liable to confirm all the worst stereotypes about the Italian style of play. Instead tonight we looked pretty lively, determined and what I want to call propositive but I know it's not a word in English, so let's move swiftly on. Paraguay offered a bit less going forward than I had expected but actual this was one of the most interesting games so far I reckon.
Some player comments: De Rossi was the Danielino of old rather than the imposter he's been for Roma for much of this season; Montolivo played really well, perhaps unexpectedly transferring his club form to the nazionale which he has often struggled to do in the past; Pepe I thought was great, and Marchisio and especially Criscito both made useful contributions. Camoranesi actually made a difference when he came on, so I will admit I was wrong in my feeling that it was a mistake to take him. Once again the forwards were a little disappointing, though not dreadful by any means. Apart from the error (shared with De Rossi) for the goal, Cannavaro looked much better than I'd expected too, and the defence looked fine if not amazing.
In fact I am much happier with this performance than I remotely expected to be, and I think I would take this over the stale and defensive 1-0 I was mostly anticipating. I celebrated by washing the bathroom floor - let's not get too excited, hey?