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Del Piero steps aside for Azzurri Saturday 18 May, 2002

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Alex Del Piero has opted to sit on the bench for tonight’s friendly rather than play behind the front two.


The Juventus star may have handed the Number 10 jersey to Francesco Totti for the World Cup, but he has no intention of replacing him in the squad set-up.


“I am a support striker and Giovanni Trapattoni knows this,” explained Del Piero. “I have certain objectives in mind for this tournament and I will not allow anything or anyone disturb that. At least I hope so.”


A recurring thigh injury ruled out Totti for tonight’s friendly in the Czech Republic.

Cristiano Doni is also not 100% fit, so Trap had hoped to keep the tactical set-up relatively unchanged by fielding Del Piero behind front two Filippo Inzaghi and Christian Vieri.


However, the Juve hero has always resisted being brought back into that role and refused to make this sacrifice for the Azzurri.


“Of course,” he added, “if the match had been the opening game of the World Cup then I would have thought it over and probably said yes.”


“But it is a question of consistency. I have played the entire Championship winning season as a support striker and that is what I am.”


With the absence of potential Totti alternatives Stefano Fiore and Roberto Baggio, this leaves Trap with precious few extra Trequartista’s.


Meanwhile, the Coach gave a stark warning to his players ahead of their final friendly before flying out to Japan.


“I can already breathe in the World Cup atmosphere. The team know they must give 100% and try to win this match, because this is the time when decisions are made.”


Italy will try to make history in Prague, as the record books do not show a tendency to do well in the Czech Republic.


The Azzurri have earned just one win and a draw here, losing their other seven trips to this country.


Silvio Piola scored the winner in their only 1-0 victory against Czechoslovakia in 1937. The draw was settled five years earlier.


The country was split in 1993 and since then Italy have faced the Czech Republic during the Euro ’96 tournament in England.


Luigi Apolloni was sent off as Arrigo Sacchi’s squad crashed to a 2-1 defeat.
 

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I find it hard to believe that Del Piero refused to fill the role. Or else he'd be out of the team in no minute and Fiore or Di Vaio would be going to the WC.

Unless Trap is a sissy (which he isn't).
 

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Trapp just really infuriates me. :mad:
I ain't worried about this friendly. What pisses me off is that Totti really wasn't healthy just as I thought. Now Doni has been injured too? And if this article is to be believed Delpi won't play there? Okay, great. :fero: Just great guys. Trapp repeatedly said he couldn't take a chance on injured players. Well what the fu&*%$ is up?? We brought injured players and no one knows when or if they will be healthy or if they will remain so.
 

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Tuscany i think.

fellas, the first question we should be asking ourselves is why the hell Inzaghi is starting???

i think its good what DP is doing, i have this feeling that both Del Piero and Montella are going to be played and used out of position. its obvious that inzaghi shouldnt be partnering vieri and either montella or del piero should be.

Hopefully this makes Traps realise that Fiore should be brought to the WC, DP, Montella etc....dont want to be playing the roles of Totti and Doni if they are injured.

Del Piero is a support striker and he's played great ll season and he has been scoring for both Juve and Italy. 20 goals for a support striker isnt too bad one would say, especially when his partner scored 32 goals all up. And he scored many goals for italy in qualifyers and friendlies.

He deserves to be a striker, not a player who just plays to fill injuries etc...
 

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Now, when we need Baggio the most, he's not with us. I'm sure if this was a competitive match with something at stake, Del Piero would play where he was told. In fact he should do that anyway, so I'm not really sure what he's playing at.
 

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What does ADP think he is.... when he is in a team he must play accordingly, if he wants to complain like a baby....he shld do it later (after the match). We need someone 'reliable', not someone playing for his own comfort/preference. Does he need to remind the opposition not to tackle hard also.:mad:
 

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So- Del Piero plays a cracker, delivering assists for the strikers to score in Totti's place... Totti takes the place if he can run, and DP is still on the bench.
Del Piero plays bad... Del Piero is bashed by the press.
He has been haunted by every non-Juve fan for his disappointing performances in other bit tournaments, and he just want the chance to perform in his position after a good year- going to the WC injuryfree for the first time. Now he's blamed because Trap only chose two playmakers who are both injured ?
Against Holland he played 100+ minutes as a wing back because he was told to, and as he said- had this been the WC he would have played where Trap put's him it of course.

Del Piero has played the entire season as a support forward- being the most productive support forward in serie A. He want s that place, or at least to be considered for it. Now he will play the second half in his preferred position, and thus get's a legitimate chance at showing Trap that he's the one to partner Vieri.

I simply don't understand how he can take blame for this, and Trap being likely to play GATTUSO (of all people) in a Totti like position only underlines that he should have selected someone else for cover- most logically Fiore.

Ciao.
 

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Gotta disagree Glen.

This has little or nothing to do with which exactly is Del Piero's best position. Doni and Totti can't play so Trap wishes to not change the system and play someone behind the strikers, obviously with the lack of any other trequartista Del Piero was only one able to fill the role. Why refuse it? And anyway, shouldn't a player always do what the coach says? If Trap says DP should play trequartista for that game, then DP shuts up and plays trequartista. If he doesn't like it, he can go home and this is what Trappatoni should do.

Del Piero has no divine right to demand playing next to Vieri. He is a candidate for the place. Yes, he had a very good season but so did Montella and Inzaghi.

That Trappatoni should have called another more creative midfielder instead of just destroyers since both his attacking midfielders had injury problems is a legitimate point, but this is still no excuse for Del Piero to refuse what the coach asks him to do, which after all is not THAT weird. Its not like he handed him a pair of gloves, patted him in the back and send him to play goalkeeper. Its attacking midfielder, a role which he has played in the past and will prolly have to play in the future too... And I doubt that if Del Piero had a "cracker" as an attacking midfielder Trap would not consider it a strong indication that he should play next to Vieri once Totti returns- come on.
 

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Most logically Fiore? I totally disagree. We all know who should have been picked. Saying it tho will open a whole debate that's already been burnt out, but we all know who should be our playmaker, both today and during the WC.
What's ironic to me is that the same fans, the same coach that warned us of impending doom and rancor among the team if Baggio was chosen, is now witnessing the very thing he worried about - not only from Delpi but also Montella. If the real #10 had been taken, this bozos wouldn't be saying nothing because they know they can't outclass the Great One. So the opposite turned out to be true. Now, all we can hope for is serenity down the stretch as we continue drifting, unorganized, toward the 2002 WC. :eek:
 

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Come on Primo, I said who Trap would logically pick, not who I would pick. Of course I'd pick Baggio (in the original 23 as well) but Trappatoni would pick Fiore, who is also among the reserves. Keep in mind, that if we exclude Baggio the third trequartista in my opinion should be Lamberto Zauli...

But I'm not Trap.
 

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I was replying to Glen actually Amo, you must have misunderstood. ;)
BTW, I think my thesis on us drifting was proven today vs. Czech. They gave us a good old fashioned as$-kicking, just what we needed before the WC :rolleyes:
Maybe Trapp will wake up and sense the danger before it's too late.
 

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Well Primo; I have no intention of opening up the old debate, but I suppose it rests on different perceptions as far as Baggio being a midfield playmaker or a forward is concerned (I suppose if we stay with that we can all keep it low on emotions ?).

In my view Baggio is a forward playing off a striker, and I don't think Italy is in need of that. Italy has two brilliant ones already, but Trap chose to let both start off the bench, and pair two pure strikers (different but pure strikers just the same). If you and others feel Baggio is still an offensive midfielder who takes on the game from deep in midfield- then I agree with you in principle. But not in reality as I think his force is the genius he still posses around the area.

Strikers/forwards needs at least a little support from midfield to dismantle defences- if not from good passes, then in the shape of midfield pressure opening up gaps for them to exploit. With todays support I can't lament abuse on either Vieri, Pippo, Montella or Del Piero, as there was nothing.

What Italy needs (IMHO) when the main midfield guys like Totti and Doni are unavailable is thus more a Fiore (even if I'm not fond of him) because he is able to contribute offensively from deep in the field. He is clearly no Baggio up front, but with regards to creating momentum and opportunities for the attakers- that's not really what's needed I feel. Other than that there's the usual thing about Corini adding what the hustlers in midfield has (hustling) along with precision and ideas in the passing department. You could always say the logical also- that Ambrosini has this too, even if I think he's clearly better than Corini defensively and allround, but not if we restrict ourselves to talking creative/offensive.

So- nevermind the pro/contra Baggio arguments- I feel it would CREATIVELY be a bigger upgrade to exchange Gattuso with Fiore than DP/Montella with Baggio.

Again- depending on "Baggio classification" as a forward or an offensive midfielder- I think it would be wiser to have more coverage in attacking midfield than having three segunda punta alternatives to play alongside Vieri.

Thanna: On the DP subject- I'll just let that rest, as we won't agree. Possibly because I understand and sympathize with him wanting to do well in what he regards as his position after all the abuse (more than partly justified) he has suffered since the other big tournaments misgivings, but also because I'm of course biased. Normally, and surely in any important game, I would agree with your POV.

Ciao.
 

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i think Glen is 100% correct on both posts.

everyone in the team gets to play in their normal position but DP has to perform and prove himself in positions which he never plays.

Holland in the euro, he plays right wing, plays great for someone who has never played there before, but next game, he is on bench again.

this Baggio thing is ridiculas, Baggio 4 years ago can play behind the strikers becuase he had his speed and he was fully fit and ready.

now he isnt fit, hasnt had enough games under his belt to suggest that he can perform better than the current candidates for his position being DP, Montella and Totti in your case Primo.

its obvious that either Fiore or even Liverani should have been chosen as they can play Totti's role and many other roles in the midfield.

AND, Inzaghi was injured for 90% of the season anyway, so his season wasn;t as good as DP. and Montella basically played lil over a half a season, although he dominated and played great, but Del Piero played good all season and was consistant in serie A and in the CL.

So, i do believe that DP is right in what he is doing, he doesnt want to be used as a player who is going to come on off the bench only when italy needs a player to play out of postion.

i'm sure Vieri wont like playing in the midfield as totti wouldnt liek playing centre back.......its just not right.

Traps knows he has stuffed up by not bringing a third playmaker/midfielder type player like fiore. so know he is going to make DP prove his worth playing out of position.

its bullocks!
 

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Trap laid down the game plans and the rest of them suit into the scheme....not Trap suiting into their own.

Lets say all of em plays their own ideal positions...then u dont need a coach. ITs a team that individuals suit into , with Trap picking and planning, and players executing. Whatever scudetto, or had fights with his mother in the morning has got nothing to do with the players' right to refuse.
 
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