I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Chris over at the Roma Blog, and also to defend The Don, former Milan man, and exact look alike of my father…SCARY.
First of all I want to look back at the WC and one Marcello Lippi. I have never denied Lippi’s talent as a coach and tactician, but a motivator is another story. Italy played out of their minds last year at the WC, and got career performances from almost everyone on the pitch, many of the players played for the pride of Seria A, while others for Pessotto, everyone had their own vendetta. That is why that team was so scary, I doubt Lippi went around rattling cages, he just found a way to harness all that rage and make it a beautifully unstoppable calcio.
The Don’s lineup choices have been erratic and odd at times, but every coach who just takes the reins goes through this phase. The difference with The Don is that he is under the microscope because of Euro ’08. He was thrust into the job when Lippi resigned and barely had a chance to make sense of anything, if we can all remember he had a meaningful game while players will still literally hungover from WC parties. I have never been a big backer of the FIGC, and until Albertini stepped up there, it looked as The Don was standing in front of a firing squad. In all honesty he still is, he has gotten NOTHING he has asked for in terms of scheduling and player dealings, the poor guy seems to be handed a knife for a gunfight at times.
The Don is coping with the loss of Totti, a one of a kind playmaker,who when in the lineup changes the entire structural formation. I do not agree with his 4-3-3 in a country where experienced strikers have gone the way of the dodo, Inzaghi is by no means the most talented player out there but he does deliver when asked to, and that cannot be denied. The mere fact that he is in the lineup though should raise a red flag about the front line state of affairs. Pirlo and DeRossi are distributing midfielders that at times look as awkward together as Gerrard and Lampard in the UK. It is important that he toys with the lineup, but it is time to make a more consistent formation, I agree with Chris that the Lithuania formation may be the way to go but if those players are not producing you open up a whole new can of worms. The bottom line is The Don’s talent pool is not so hot right, especially if you factor in big game experience, which seems to be a key thing for him. We are asking Taddei to play for us for GODS SAKE.
I do also want to bring up my, Juve theory. Does anyone else find it odd that Del Piero and Camo have been brought back into the squad despite not exactly burning down the house? I agree that Perotta or Aquilani are more viable options but is something more at work at here? The Old Lady front office does have a way of getting what they want, when they want it. Just a thought.
As for real alternatives to The Don there are no glaring candidates other than Don Fabio, who I personally see as a good choice, but remember he was not available back then and may not be available right now. Lippi has made it clear that his tenure is done and I respect his decision. I am firm believer that The Don is warming the seat for Milan’s own Carletto, but who knows. These carousels are never fun to predict.
My main point is that The Don needs to be given more of a shot. He has really had a bunch of terrible luck with players, injuries, and the FIGC all together and I feel it is to soon to quit on him already. If he does not qualify for Euro 08 then I will give him the boot myself, but at least give him a shot to sink or swim, and support him in the process, I AM TALKING TO YOU FIGC.