Monday, 14 June 2010

Italy 1 - 1 Paraguay

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?


Aussie Romanista said...

I struggled to agree with some of your comments here, which is unusual. Here is my humble opinion.

Firstly, Montolivo. How anyone, least of all Lippi (who used the word "straordinario" to describe his performance!) can say he played well is beyond me. So he did a few good things. But what were they, really? A few decent passes, and a couple pissweak shots. Well he's a central midfield playmaker, supposedly, so you'd expect him to hit a few targets, but how many did he miss? Long balls to a 1 v 3 up front. Wasteful. And what about his total pansie-ness? He is weaker than an 8 year old girl and looks even more like one. He can't tackle and he is feable! Worse than Pirlo. I spent the match cursing his existance and hoping to see some grinta from Gattuso. And Gattuso shouldn't even be in the squad! If you want to see how a midfield playmaker should play, just watch Xavi and Iniesta, both capable of providing a killer pass at any moment and dominating a midfield.

De Rossi needs to impose himself on a match and he didn't. Better than Montolivo, espcially in the "balls" department, but still... not good enough yet.

Di Natale. What a joke of a player. Came on and did nothing.

Pepe, limited talent but he doesn't stop. All heart. The kind of player any team needs, although there have been times he has been terrible but not last night. Good to see.

Marchisio, very average. Terrible delivery on the set pieces on the left in the first half.

Iaquinta and Gilardino weren't in it much. The former looked uncomfortable and unco-ordinated at times, but he did well to win the corner for the goal.

Zambrotta was excellent. Cannavaro not bad apart from the goal and gave the ball away once which he wouldn't have done 4 years ago but for the most part solid. Paraguay were never going to score from open play. The free kick that lead to their goal was non-existant, like a lot of free kicks given in this world cup so far. To be expected when you get hack referees from places like Uzbekistan. Powerful league that must be to referee in.

Everyone needs to step up. Paraguay were less than average. We dominated, but toothlessly. Lucky their keeper stuffed up a corner. We had a lot of the ball for very little return.

A very average performance overall, which showed a hint of promise

roswitha said...

I feel the same way, Spangles -- it was in no way a good performance, but it was better than I expected. I do think Paraguay restricted themselves severely by refusing to fight for balls and pass into Italy's half, so perhaps the team found it relatively easy. That's really, really not saying much.

But hurrah for Danielino and his awful beard.

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