Tag: South Africa 2010

Will Wondolowski Get a Call Up to the National Team?

Chris Wondolowski has had a dream season.  He finally broke out this year with a league-leading 18 goals and almost single-handedly led San Jose to the playoffs, where they will try and pull out a win at New York tonight.  He has shown the ability to score and lead a team, and with the national team gearing up for a friendly in South Africa later this month, should Wondo be included on that team? Bob Bradley recently has looked at MLS play as an indicator of who he should call-up for the team.  As we all know, Edson Buddle and ... Read more

Azzurri: Cesare Prandelli Picks Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli announced his 23 man squad for the friendly against the Ivory Coast which will take place on Tuesday in England. Many of the names chosen by Marcello Lippi were dropped. Prandelli made some expected changes following the World Cup disappointment with Fabio Quagliarella the only striker remaining from the team selected by Lippi for South Africa 2010. Prandelli selected five strikers who were not part of the disappointing experience in the World Cup: Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, Marco Borriello, Amauri and Giuseppe Rossi. Lippi was urged and asked on more than one occasion why he would ... Read more

English Football Is Not Dead, But It's On The Critical List

There is a current malaise effecting almost everyone in England that follows the national side, from fans, retailers, journalists and TV executives. The finger of blame is being pointed fairly equally between Fabio Capello and the highly paid, highly hyped and self important members of the squad. Ashley Cole, despite being the only first team regular who can honestly hold his head high after the South Africa debacle, is now being accused of hating his country due to text messages apparently sent prior to the tournament. Yet there are two points that are seemingly being papered over and as long ... Read more

Rating Italy’s players in South Africa 2010

The Azzurri performed poorly throughout the World Cup and waited till the 80th minute of the match against Slovakia to start playing when it was too late to make a reaction to compensate for the failures in the previous 260 minutes of football. What is most troubling is the fact the Italian reaction was not due to team effort but rather down to a spark offered by Fabio Quagliarella who was behind one goal and scored another. Italy’s squad lacked the confidence and played some uncharacteristic football dominated by loose marking, lack of communication amongst defenders and poor defending from set-pieces. ... Read more

World Cup South Africa 2010 – Is this the Year of the Underdog?

As the final whistle shrieked like a gunshot into the eardrums of the Italians and sent the Slovakians into delirious celebrations in Johannesburg, the second giant killing of the tournament sent goose bumps down the spines of the millions, if not billions of people watching across the globe. I watched the game in a Nottingham bar, surrounded by spectators who may not be able to locate Slovakia on a map, collectively they roared every chance, goal and decision in favour of the European minnows, as suddenly the improbable became possible. This identification with the lower ranked sides in the World ... Read more

South Africa 2010 Analysis: Reasons behind Italy’s Struggles

Italy managed to draw 1-1 against both Paraguay and New Zealand while failing to impress despite having seen a lot in terms of ball possession, in particular against the Kiwis when the Italians had just over 70% in terms of ball possession. Pundits and fans alike are debating what has gone wrong for the Azzurri in South Africa 2010 with some attributing it to the Italian tendency to start slow referencing Spain 1982, USA 1994 and even Germany 2006. What some fail to acknowledge is the fact the Italian squads in previous editions of the World Cup in 1982, 1994 ... Read more

Italy can only draw against New Zealand

Yet another disappointing result for the Azzurri, while they drew with Paraguay last round of matches, that result seemed acceptable because New Zealand and Slovakia drew as well. But a draw against New Zealand, knowing that Paraguay had beaten Slovakia 2-0 is definitely a bad result. Lippi decided to start with a standard 4-4-2 formation, with a defense of Zambrotta, Cannavaro, Chiellini, and Criscito from right to left. The midfield was composed of De Rossi and Montolivo in front of the defense with Marchisio on the left and Pepe on the right as they supported the attacking pair of Gilardino ... Read more

Italy draw against Swiss in final friendly

Italy have just concluded their final friendly before the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and it seems like the Azzurri have been asleep for these friendlies. While a 1-1 draw is certainly better than the 2-1 loss they suffered to Mexico, the current World Cup champions seem pretty ordinary before the tournament kicks off. The game started and became very quickly an uphill battle for Italy, it was the Udinese man Gokhan Inler who started the scoring in the 10th minute. The Swiss man rifled a shot from 25-yards out into the bottom right corner giving Marchetti no chance. ... Read more