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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being English I've unfortunately had plenty of opportunity to watch Italy and others progress through Euro 2000 and would probably be echoing the words of many a posting on 'Xtratime' in saying that Italy's defensive capabilities have impressed me as 'awsome'.

However I don't believe thats down in any shape or form to Zoff and the teams organisation. But instead the individual qualities of Cannavaro (is there a better man marker in the world), Nesta (titanic) and Maldini. A prime example was against Holland where both Zambrotta/Cannavaro and Maldini/Iuliano, struggled to cope with the wingers in the dutch system. Only when forced into a back four by the sending off did they almost by accident look adjusted to the shape of their opponents.
Even in the other games, where Italys formation was better served by facing up against orthodox front two's, it was more weight of numbers than a great disicplined shape which gave Italy the edge(deflandres overlapping runs for instance only quashed by both Fiore and Totti coming to join with Albertini and Conte deep in midfield).

Yet inspite of this no team has looked stronger at the back, and it is a credit to Serie A ( aleague I have somewhat foolishly scorned in the past) that it has produced such class, intelligent football players who can make Bergkamp, Overmars, Hagi and Wilmots look barely average, when against all others they looked superb.

Even though it won't happen, not unless Zoff resigns because of the press, I think the Azzuri would be better off under a coach more tactically astute(I know that sounds patronising coming from an English man) like Capello or Lippi. Don't let the quality of your players disguise the fact that under a better coach they could be an even better team.

P.S. I haven't seen a more complete keeper than Toldo since Schmeical at his best. How lucky Buffon got injured in Norway.

P.P.S Am I alone in thinking that Ferarra is a greater defender than Iuliano, and that a back three of:

Ferarra Nesta Cannavaro (Fabio does play on the left for Parma)

would be experienced ad competent inturn.

[Edited by Marc on 01-07-2000 at 18:28]
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