Italy + Donadoni = Negative Football – Fact!

Having watched the spectacle that was the Spain V Italy match for the quarter-finals of Euro 2008, we wonder how Italy ever made it through to the finals, let alone to the quarter-finals! The football they played bordered on the criminal – destructive, defensive football best suited to a lower division team playing a Premier League team in the 3rd round of the F.A. Cup! Spain didn’t exactly set the world alight with their play either, but at least they tried. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief around Europe (sorry everyone in Italy) when Fabregas slotted in the decisive penalty to give the Spaniards victory – victory that pairs Spain with Russia in the semis. And after watching the debacle that was Spain-Italy they won’t exactly be quaking in their boots!

When it comes to Italy’s manager, Roberto Donadoni, the Italian Football Federation has yet to come to a definitive decision in relation to his future as national team boss, especially in light of their miserable performances in Euro 2008. Surely there is nothing to think about, let alone deliberate! Italy are the reigning World Champions for goodness sake and with performances that should have made any self-respecting Italian football fan cringe with embarrassment, there should be no debate at all.

Italian Football Federation president, Giancarlo Abete, has disclosed that the pair are set for showdown talks but Donadoni must now know the outcome will only be one. Maybe he should do the honourable thing and fall on his sword before the meeting, that way it will save him the humiliation of being sacked and all that that particular scenario entails.

Donadoni took charge of the Italian team after the World Cup victory of 2006, replacing veteran Marcello Lippi. In their ultimate wisdom, the Italian Football Federation allowed Donadoni to sign an extension to his contract just prior to Euro 2008, presumably as a thank-you for getting such a rubbish team through to the finals! The old guys at the federation are not really that stupid though, as they inserted a clause into the contract that allows them (or Donadoni himself), to terminate the contract whenever they like! (N.B. That doesn’t sound like a very healthy contract to us!)

Probably the biggest understatement to have come out of the whole Euro 2008 competition is when Giancarlo Abete said, and we quote his exact words: “We are aware that our (Italian football team) overall capacity and skills have certainly not reached the level expected” – well, they could have fooled us…

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