Italy pays for all its mistakes. Switzerland is now going to the World Cup and the Azzurri are in the play-offs

JASON CAIRNDUFF via Action Images via Reuters

Soccer Football – World Cup – UEFA Qualifiers – Group C – Northern Ireland v Italy – Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland – November 15, 2021 Italy coach Roberto Mancini gives instructions to Federico Bernardeschi Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

No world championships, for now: Italy drew 0-0 in Belfast against Northern Ireland, while Switzerland, in Lucerne, overwhelmed Bulgaria 4-0. The Swiss finish in first place, the Azzurri, second, go to the play-offs next March. We paid for the Gozzanians “things that could have been and have not been”, Jorginho’s penalty mistakes, the lack of goals and strikers, a technical and psychological collapse evident after the glories of the European Championships.

In these world qualifiers we got lost, we lost confidence, character, game. And, now, we still have to fight to reach Qatar. Of course, we are in good company, with Portugal and Sweden for example. But that’s not a consolation.
Against the Irish we have shown all our current limitations. A frayed formation, which has created some good opportunities, but without demonstrating quality and continuity. On the contrary: the best opportunity happened to our opponents, in the 90 ‘, with a shot from Washington deflected on the white line by Bonucci. For the rest, a lot of trouble. Few ideas. And Roberto Mancini’s changes, this time, did not bring luck: even the strikers Belotti and Scamacca, who entered the second half, failed to create serious dangers on the part of Peacock-Farrell, a goalkeeper who plays in the third English series. And Northern Ireland has shown that they have a truly unbeatable, unsurpassed rearguard at home.

The disappointment, needless to hide it, is strong. But now is the time to roll up our sleeves, to react, to return to a bright, dazzling, dazzling blue. Nothing is lost, even if, of course, the specter of that world championship not played in Russia returns after the challenge with Sweden. We need to recover the “spirit” of the days of our success, of our happy time, of that unforgettable summer. We want to see that wonderful group at work again, a group capable of offering imaginative and concrete football. Mancini is right to be confident, but we need a return to origins: that is, to rediscover collective pride and determination. Another Cup without Italy: no, it’s not really possible. Guys, don’t play jokes …

Source: Huffington Post Italy Athena2 by

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