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Prandelli Calls Up Zambrotta

June 24, 2010 - Johannesburg, Guateng, South Africa - 24 JUN 2010: Gianluca Zambrotta (ITA)(19). The Slovakia National Team led the Italy National Team 1-0 at half time at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa in a 2010 FIFA World Cup Group F match.

With an international break approaching, we get a chance to analyze the new Italy team which Prandelli is building. While he didn’t decide to call up Totti, he has included a player from the Lippi-days. Here’s the list of 23 players which Cesare Prandelli has called up:

Goalkeepers: Mirante, Sirigu, Viviano

Defenders: Cassani, Zambrotta, Bonucci, Bovo, Chiellini, Gastaldello, Antonelli, Criscito

Midfielders: De Rossi, Lazzari, Marchisio, Mauri, Palombo, Pirlo, Pepe

Forwards: Cassano, Gilardino, Pazzini, Borriello, Rossi

The first inclusion that I’d like to talk about is Zambrotta’s. While I don’t think he’s as bad as some of the other players which participated in the World Cup for Lippi, I still don’t think that he should be called up. And with Santon’s re-emergence for Inter Milan against Juventus (where he did well to contain Juventus and push forward), you’d think that the decision for the future would be the Inter player. So please share your thoughts on the decision to include Zambrotta.

An interesting choice which Prandelli will have to make is the one about the keepers. Which one do you start with? All three haven’t been truly outstanding recently, but none of them have had any bad games either. We’ll just have to wait and see who Prandelli decides to start with against Northern Ireland.

And the final question for me are the forwards, who will Prandelli start with here? While it seems obvious that all five will have some playing time, it’ll be interesting whether he’ll try the Cassano-Pazzini partnership, or maybe a front three with Giuseppe Rossi and Antionio Cassano behind Gilardino. I certainly hope that Rossi can find a way to shine, and force his way into the starting 11 for the second match against Serbia, but it looks like he’ll have some tough competition.

What are your thoughts on the Azzurri which Prandelli has called up? Share your thoughts below!

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  1. David H

    October 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Rami S.t — is Molinaro any worse than Simone Pepe? I know he’s had at least one good game so far this season, but he seems the very definition of one dimensional (though to be honest I’m not sure he always plays on the left.)

    Regardless, a lot of good teams recently have gone to Belfast & been punched in the nose. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen today.

    • Rami S.

      October 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      Molinaro and Pepe play different positions and I’ve never seen Molinaro have a good game while Pepe will have 1 good game every 10 matches.

      Pepe works hard but is just not up to the Azzurri level. I am surprised he was even signed by Juve but they can let him go if they don’t sign him permanently.

      As for Molinaro, I think some of his comical defending and other mistakes are well documented online whether on youtube or other places.

  2. Rami S.

    October 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    A couple of comments regarding a number of interesting replies on here:

    – I think Zambrotta’s presence might be good because the full-back positions for Italy are weak (interestingly, just like Juventus!)

    – Molinaro being called up is just a bad decision. How can Prandelli keep picking this player? He offers nothing other than speed. This shows lack of presence on left-side after Maldini’s retirement, Zambrotta’s nearing the end of his career and really no one of quality as a left-back.

    – Azzurri must win those 2 games. I am not sure how much experimenting Prandelli can do.

  3. christian ceccarelli

    October 7, 2010 at 3:36 am

    apparently, Gila and Antonelli are out for these two games and are being replaced by Molinaro and Floccari . . .
    Now there’s an interesting choice . . . Floccari?! . . I mean, I’m kinda stoked being a Lazio supporter, and I spose “everyone” deserves a shot.
    What do you all recon ’bout this?

  4. David H

    October 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    Zambrotta is clearly a decision to bring (more) much-needed experience to the squad. You’ve got Pirlo, De Rossi & Zambrotta as the only players with long-term, successful experience at this level, and while there are others available (Totti was never a real option) Zambrotta is the only one playing relatively well recently. He’s not a disruptive character & you know what you’ll get from him. The squad has plenty of experience, but not a lot of successful experience, guys who know how to win at the top level.

    I’d put Borriello up front, Cassano coming in from the left and…Hell, I don’t know. I just think Borriello’s the next Toni on this team — hard-working, can play with his back to goal, holds the ball up well. Kind of an old-fashioned way to play, but if you have the players might as well use them. Gilardino gets easily frustrated when things aren’t going his way, while Borriello knows that playing alone up front is a thankless task & he’s prepared to do it anyway.

    Of course, being a Roma man I may be biased (!)

    I’d play Sirigu, clearly the future. They’re all going to make the odd mistake, but for me he’s the most promising so, you know, the future is now. I don’t see any of them costing us a game, like Marchetti, who we won’t be seeing again for a while.

    • Niccolo Conte

      October 7, 2010 at 1:24 am

      Yes, I guess including Zambrotta isn’t a bad decision, especially just to provide a touch of guidance which might be needed.

      And I’ve noticed what you say about Gilardino, he does get annoyed, and he eventually just stops playing when he’s demotivated. I think Borriello is a great striker, I’ve liked him ever since he played for Genoa (I remember some great goals by him), he just hasn’t truly shown his worth for Italy.

      Thanks for the comment!

  5. Ben

    October 6, 2010 at 7:55 am

    I can’t wait to see more of Giuseppe Rossi. It was a shame he didn’t make it onto the World Cup roster and with as much talent as he has, it’s only a matter of time before he shines and shows us what he can provide for Italian football. I can’t say I’m surprised that Federico Marchetti was left off the roster but for a team without a solid first choice keeper, I think he could’ve found his way on the team. To me, the discussion of keepers is irrelevant and only a matter of who will anchor the squad until Buffon is recovered. By the way, what is the timetable for his return? I haven’t heard much since the Cup ended about his injury.

    • Niccolo Conte

      October 7, 2010 at 1:26 am

      Yes, Rossi seems great, and I hope to see him along with Balotelli one day leading the Azzurri attack.

      As for Buffon, he should be scheduled to return around the New Year, but it’s slightly uncertain with injuries like his, could be more, could be less.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • Rami S.

      October 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm

      Hello Ben,

      Marchetti is not even included on the bench for Cagliari. He’s not been playing at all due to his issues with the club after he demanded a transfer.

      Even if there were no issues and he was playing, Marchetti is not future of Italy in goal. He was unimpressive and very ordinary in WC2010.

  6. Niccolo Conte

    October 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Yes, I think that both of these matches are important, but I believe that Prandelli will try to experiment most likely in the second one against Serbia. He’ll have a chance to see how his players did, and he’ll try something new, possibly a Borriello/Rossi partnership?

  7. Robert

    October 5, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Who you start up front I guess depends on how you approach the match. If you want the Northern Ireland match to be a “must-win” I think you start Cassano and Pazzini, as you know those two play well together. If you want the NI and Serbia matches as a way to test rotations for 2012, then start Rossi at least one of the matches.

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