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Marchisio, just not good enough?

Italy's Claudio Marchisio fights for the ball with Paraguay's Victor Caceres (L) during their 2010 World Cup Group F soccer match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town June 14, 2010. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER WORLD CUP)

Lippi has a strange team of players for this 2010 World Cup, while he’s decided to stick with some of the old guard, we’ve also seen him pick a couple of youngsters. But one thing is constant throughout Lippi’s selections, Marcello Lippi’s omnipresent affection towards picking and relying on Juventus players. This has led to him putting a lot of faith in Marchisio, who hasn’t performed up to the standard, so is the young Juventus midfielder just not good enough?

I’ve never been able to figure out what Marchisio’s best position is, while sometimes he’d shine on the left of midfield for Juventus, he’d also get lonely out there and loose his position. Other games he’d play behind the two strikers and be able to create assists and goal-scoring chances, yet he’d also disappear for long periods of the game hidden underneath a physical back four. So why does Lippi try and put faith in a player who hasn’t shown what his true position is, and has never been consistent, at club or international level?

Many will remember sublime chip that Marchisio scored against Inter Milan to give Juventus an epic 2-1 win this past season, a true piece of skill which showcased that he had plenty of talent. But scoring just 3 goals the past season isn’t a record that normally gets you into the Italian national team. So while Lippi may be putting faith in him after seeing the skill, maybe Marcello should just look at the hard facts.

Probably one of the most interesting things about Marchisio is that recently he has come out with comments against Lippi who has given him a lot of faith. Here are his recent comments about Lippi and Italy’s performances.

“At the World Cup many of our players are not in their usual positions because the Coach is performing many experiments changing so much has also prompted us to make mistakes and is creating confusion among us”

What do you think, should Lippi drop Marchisio from the starting 11 or stick with him? Comment below and vote in the poll!

Is Marchisio good enough for a starting spot?


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  1. Niccolo Conte

    June 24, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I know this may sound a bit strange, but I’m almost glad that Gattuso will start. I’m no AC Milan fan, and I don’t particularly like Gattuso, but I think in a must win game like this for Italy, he’ll provide that fight and spirit which could help the Azzurri win.

    Another problem is that while you have Gattuso and De Rossi, Italy will be lacking a defensive midfielder for World Cup 2014. I like De Rossi more when he moves up the field and can take shots, and other than him, there are no decent Italian defensive midfielders (that I can think of).

    The rest of the positions on the field I think are covered for the future, but defensive mid could be a bit of a problem considering we have to rely on Gattuso.

    • Rami S.

      June 24, 2010 at 2:29 am


      Those are exactly my thoughts about Gattuso too! I used to be a big fan a few years ago but he’s much slower now. However, he has the fight in him and he knows this could be his last game in a World Cup and for the Azzurri in case the win is not achieved.

      He will drive his teammates and play with grit. My only concern is if he gets a yellow card in the first-half then Lippi will have to replace him.

      I think De Rossi and Marchisio could be the players to stake a claim for defensive midfield role. Montoliv plays a central midfield role but he is not physical enough to be a defensive minded midfielder.

      You are right to be concerned about this. Let’s see what Prandelli decides to do once he takes over.

  2. Marcus

    June 24, 2010 at 12:45 am

    The lad has been shifted around everywhere for the entire season so it’s hard to say where is his best position but let’s not forget that it’s in centre mid where he first broke into the Juve starting 11. Last season, he did show that he plays much better when shifted to the middle of a 4-man mid or out wide in a 3-man mid of a 4-3-1-2 (with only 1 defensive mid). His outburst against Lippi is the culmination of a season of frustration with his role and misuse in midfield at club level.

  3. Rami S.

    June 23, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Rob,

    Pirlo will be on the bench because he cannot play the full 90 minutes. I doubt Lippi will use him unless Italy are desperate to score to win or are losing.

    It seems Gattuso will start! If he does, I expected Maggio to play on the right and Zambrotta to be shifted to the left but it seems that won’t happen. I just got concerned by the fact the Azzurri will have Gattuso, Zambrotta and Cannavaro leaning towards the right of the pitch in defensive duties with all three over 30 and much slower than 4 years ago.

    Maggio could offer attacking runs and complement Gattuso. I think it will be tough against Slovakia but let’s what happens. England were nervous against Slovenia but still managed to win.

  4. Robert

    June 23, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I think you brought up a point this blog brought up when the team was announced – the huge reliance on Juventus players. The same Juventus that finished out of European tournament contention despite a healthy Buffon. And there is only one player from the top two squads – while many of the Inter squad is foreign, maybe this is a troubling sign for the Azzurri in general.

    • Rami S.

      June 23, 2010 at 12:22 pm

      Not to defend Lippi, but Juve are the only big side to depend on Italians or at least feature Italians in the starting lineup in large numbers.

      Milan relied on Brazilians (Pato, Ronaldinho, Dida, Silva, etc…) while the only noted Italians was Pirlo who is clearly on decline. Leonardo barely used Zambrotta or Gattuso. Inzaghi is closing on the end of his career and was not used much. Only others were Abate and Antonini but Zambrotta has been consistent so far in WC2010 while Criscito or even Bonucci and Chiellini (both can play on left) are better than Antonini.

      The main concern is lack of younger upcoming talent but Lippi’s mistake once again is excluding a creative force as I mentioned in my analysis of the Azzurri: How can he exclude Cassano or Totti or even Balotelli when the strikers he picked are all finishers and not creative.

      Only Di Natale can perhaps create for others but he is not exactly a creative force.

    • Rami S.

      June 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      Hello Robert,

      I just looked back and found this piece I wrote which shows the majority of the site’s readers and the supporters wanted at least one of those three (Actually calling up all 3 players got most votes) Del Piero, Totti and Cassano on the team for WC2010. Too bad Lippi picked none:

      • Rob McCluskey

        June 23, 2010 at 5:46 pm

        I know this has been suggested to have something to do with Lippi’s relationship with Juve, but do you think it runs deep that officials at Juve who know him well want their players to get exposure and have urged Lippi?

        I agree with Niccolo, i’m never sure where Marchisio works best but I agree with Rami, I think Marchiso would benefit in a more central role, as opposed to playing off the front men

        Italy could work with two wingers and one striker up top and you could either play the two DMC’s which would probably be de rossi and palombo with marchisio just ahead of them, or one DMC with two MC’s, de rossi back and marchisio and probably marchisio and montolivio (although I’m not sure how long Pirlo will go for, he’s not the sort of player that i see age effecting too bad!)

  5. marco

    June 23, 2010 at 4:40 am

  6. Rami S.

    June 23, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Hi Niccolo,

    Marchisio has definitely failed to meet expectations but he is being played out of position. He is still young to be excluded from the squad but I think against Slovakia he should be left on the bench.

    I think Prandelli will get the best out of him by playing him in a more central role. At this point, the Azzurri have De Rossi, Pirlo, Montolivo and even Gattuso who can play in central midfield so perhaps Lippi felt forced to use Marchisio on the left.

    I think he is being wasted there. I believe he will be benched vs Slovakia and then Gattuso will start to cover for Maggio who will start as right-back while Zambrotta will move to the left. If Camoranesi starts, then I can see Zambrotta staying on the right.

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