The Italian national team started their first game in the World Cup with a 1-1 draw against South American counterparts Paraguay despite having more of the ball possession. On paper the result isn’t actually something horrible for the Azzurri, however there were some negative aspects that needs to have a close attention from Marcello Lippi if he still expect his team going far in the tournament such as the lack of creativity, sharpness and Buffon’s injury.
Watching last night’s game it’s a bit obvious the reason that Italy doesn’t look that good is their lack of creativity in producing the final pass to their strikers, although they have more possession and doesn’t really play bad in the midfield. However, the Azzuri players fail to cut open the Paraguay’s defense especially in the first half, theres not much exquisite through ball being created and there’s just too many predictable crossing attempt that were easily handled by the Paraguayan defense. The absent of Pirlo seems so visible as Ricardo Montolivo and Claudio Marchisio just fail to provide that dangerous killing pass for the forwards.
Moreover, the static or should I say predictable movements from both Alberto Gilardino and Vicenzo Iaquinta doesn’t really help their midfielder in providing the needed assist for both. Personally I’m still lost with Lippi’s persistence in starting Gilardino and Iaquinta although the two haven’t been impressive enough to be a guaranteed starter for the Azzurri, especially with the latter hasn’t really had lots of competitive action this season due to injury. Another thing that I don’t quite understand is placing Marchisio as the player behind Gilardino on the 4-2-3-1 formation, although he doesn’t seem creative enough to connect the midfield with the attack not to mention things look much better after Lippi goes back in playing the classic 4-4-2 formation and putting Camoranesi in to replace Marchisio.
On Buffon’s injury, although the latest report stated that the Juventus keeper’s injury is not as bad as it was predicted, still is the medical team must be 100% sure about his medical condition as bad decision from the medic could jeopardize Gigi’s world cup. The 32-years-old keeper is surely an important player for the Italian as he’s quality is what bring lots of comfort for gli Azzuri’s defense in each games, loosing him especially if they went on to meet tougher opponents would be troubling for the defending champion.
The Azzuri’s next two game are against New Zealand and Slovakia, which on paper should be an “easier” game for them, however Italy must really fixed things up and work on the best way to get their creativity back as if they underestimate their opponents, anything could happen. With the possibilities of playing without Pirlo again, Lippi needs to get Montolivo, De Rossi and Marchisio or Camoranesi to provide more cutting edge for the 4 time world cup winner, if those midfield players can provide better final ball then the world champion definitely have a big chance getting the three points needed to quality or even go further in the tournament.